The surprising truth about consuming high risk foods

The other day, January 10th to be exact, I did something that made me wonder if I had lost my sense of culinary adventure.

I don’t mean raw, oysters-on the-half-shell-type culinary adventure. What I’m referring to is surrendering to full-fledged FEAR: Forsaking Edibles to Avoid Risk.

Here’s what happened.

I found an unopened Chobani Greek yogurt in the back of the refrigerator and noticed the expiration date was 12/12/15. I started to open it, but a wave of caution assaulted me, and I hesitated.

Yogurt expired

Photo by Shallow Reflections™

I stifled my doubts, and proceeded to breach its sterile, hermetically sealed package, using an arsenal of Craftsmen tools.

I rationalized that even when yogurt is fresh, it is fermented. And cultured. So how could it be harmful?

It turns out it was extra zesty, and I gobbled up every tangy clump of it over the next few days.

But the shameful memory haunted me: I had hesitated.

Has eating become a new minefield of risk for me, as I grow older? Am I one birthday away from tossing out expired dairy products before I taste and smell them….or worse….before I open them?

What’s next?

  • Restricting peanut M&M’s for fear of choking?
  • Breaking up with hard cheese for fear of cracking a tooth? (Last week I left half a molar in a slice of smoked cheddar).
  • Incinerating two-year-old frozen lasagna for fear of freezer burn?
  • Wasting hot dogs for fear of cancer?
  • Narrowing options for saturated fats for fear of constricted arteries?
  • Eliminating prunes for fear of diarrhea?
  • Stoning Lay’s Classics for fear of a gallbladder attack?
  • Extracting chocolate for fear of cavities?
  • Kicking nachos for fear of addiction? (Too late)
  • Expelling beans for fear of gas?
  • Scaling down white sugar for fear of obesity?
  • Bypassing marbled sirloin for fear of heart disease?
  • Gutting gluten for fear of intolerance?
  • Canning tuna for fear of mercury?
  • Severing ties with bone-in chicken for fear of lacerating my esophagus?
  • Shunning tequila for fear of losing everyone and everything I love?

Facing each of these fears has bolstered my courage. I am happy to report I continue to ingest these hazardous delights without FEAR, or any adverse health effects.

Though I do admit I’ve curtailed my consumption of Greek yogurt, since for some strange reason, I’ve had an upset stomach.

And Patrick tried to rock my resolve last night when he cooked a killer batch of nachos, topped with cheese and homemade chili. When I was serving myself a second helping, heaping them with mounds of salsa, he remarked, “Did you think that salsa tasted bitter? Do you know how long it has been opened?”

“The expiration date is August 2018.”

“But when did you open it?”

“Does that matter?”

Suddenly I was snorting salsa out my nose at the absurd idea that salsa could spoil in a nacho-loving household like ours.

Here is the new acronym I use now to guide my eating: FU: Feast Unfettered.

What food fears are eating at you? Have you swallowed all the hype about bad, scary foods? Have you eaten yogurt beyond its expiration date? Did you think it was delicious? Have you ever gotten sick from eating raw oysters? Have you ever snorted salsa?



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19 thoughts on “The surprising truth about consuming high risk foods

  1. Yay! I’m finally vindicated! My husband is soooo afraid of this type of thing…I routinely eat raw cookie dough or unopened packages of food past its expiration or leftovers that are a week old. I’m fine. Thank you!

  2. Took me years to drink chocolate milk again after, in my first trimester, morning sickness included that I chugged back a rather chunky carton of the stuff.
    I have since then subscribed to the practice of, when in doubt, throw it out! 🙂

    • I might have to adopt that policy too, Diana, if I’d had your experience. Ewwww! Chunky milk is a deal breaker! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment today on #ThrowbackThursday. 🙂

  3. Too funny! I once ate an egg in my twenties that I distinctly remember being green when I cracked it into the pan. But I ate it! I still eat stuff with a shrug, thinking “it’s probably fine.” Though I should be more cautious given I have had food poisoning at least three times (but not in the last ten years! Go me!) I hate throwing away food–it makes me feel like a wasteful failure. However, my husband’s slightly more honed sense of squeamishness makes me a bit more cautious now. I did accidentally give my kid a yogurt last year that had been sitting in a hot room for two weeks. He had the good sense not to eat it when it smelled like a dead thing. My point: you’re not alone. And if I end up spending a few more hours in the bathroom than I should, I’ll count it as much needed alone-time. 🙂

    • Thanks for making me feel less ‘weird,’ Angela. I left some sour cream in the car for a few weeks, okay, a month, and I was both grateful and sorry I had such a keen sense of smell. In my defense, we had bought a new car and after a detailed cleaning we were still able to sell the old one that harbored the spoiled sour cream. How can something that is already sour, spoil? These are questions that haunt me. Anyway, I love your green egg story. Did you eat ham with them?

  4. I’m not sure I would do it with yoghurt but sometime’s I have ate something out of date and it’s fine. I don’t really have the fear although I do know someone who has an irrational fear and is always going on about their stomache problems because of it, I believe it’s in the mind lol if it looks ok and tastes ok, go for it, I hate wasting food, I do find myself throwing stuff out though so maybe I’m half and half. Loved this post btw it made me laugh!
    Pauline x

    • Thanks for stopping by Pauline. Glad I could give you a chuckle as that is my aim. I hate wasting food too! I couldn’t believe I had let that yogurt sit in the back of the refrigerater unopened for nerly a month.

  5. I have a magnet on my refrigerator that trumpets “Expiration Dates are for the Weak!” Have no fear, Molly!

  6. I succumbed to fear…acid reflux and a diagnosis of CAD will do that to a gal. No more red meat, fried food or, alas, chocolate. But I’m surviving! Fun post, as always, Molly!

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