Do you Know What’s in Your Food Pantry?

Stale Lays Potato Chips

How many of you watch the Capital One commercials , especially the maroders or hooligans ones?  At the end of the commercial, they ask, “what’s in your wallet?”  Well, I am asking you the same thing about your pantry or medicine cabinet.   Well, the Capital One gang visited my house this year.  They pillaged, destroyed, and wretched my pantry.  They threw duplicates of the same products that I had on the shelves.  Then they mixed up everything in the pantry, so I can’t find anything.  And finally to make matters worse,  they even put expired food on the shelves. I heard them laughing as they ran off , and  yelled at me, “what’s in your pantry?

I was screwed.

Yah, I only  wish that I could blame them instead of me.  It is so much easier to blame than take responsibility for my ridiculous out of control pantry.  In, my article, “Confessions of a Green Food Waster,” I stood up and said that this green person (me) was a shameless food waster and would be methane creator had I not owned  a composter.  But worse then the stale food, was the expired food that I found.  Did you know some of your food has expiration dates?

The horrors.  The horrors.  So what was in my pantry?

Three Lays Potato Chips Bulk Boxes
Besides, stale food there was many expired cans of food.  (Nope. Can’t return those to  the supermarket.)  And three almost full bulk boxes of  Lays potato chips that you buy at the BJs and Costco of the world.  Did you know that potato chips have a shelf life?  I always thought there was enough preservatives in all snack food so it had indefinite life span.  Well there goes the theory that my some day  grandchildren could enjoy those boxes of potato chips that their fickle parents (aka my kids)  no longer like.  Did you know that some snack food has an expiration date?  I am I just late coming to the party?

I should have gotten a clue when one of my children was complaining that sometimes the chips tasted like a laundry room.  (What does that mean?) In kid speak, I guess that meant that out of the huge package, there may be a bad egg.  It happens, I reasoned.  To be honest, I learned to tune out a lot of their whining and complaining.   Call me a bad mother, but it is constant. I could serve cheese with their whines.

Back to cleaning. As I was cleaning this weekend, I noticed the date on the box but NO Year.  Oh, was I in trouble. Oh, come on, I reasoned. Why wouldn’t they put on a year on the box for crying out loud.  Moms are busy.  We don’t need added choirs?  (Am I right, ladies?)  Since I was busy getting the cheese, remember?

When I looked online, I read that the potato chips had a shelf live of 6 months.  I knew those boxes were over 6 months old.  Possibly two years old.

expired Lays Potato Chip Bulk Boxes

My boxes were dated July 16, December 30, and October 23.  Perhaps, 2004? 2005?  or pick a year?

First thing Monday, I called the Lays’ consumer line.  The woman I spoke to couldn’t have been nicer.  She explained that chips had a shelf life of 30-60 days and the date was for the year they were purchased.  She could not even find my particular dates that is how old the products were.  I was so embarrassed. Why did we have almost three full 50 packs boxes of potato chips? Sh*t just grows in our house.  Sometimes, I wonder if I have more kids then I do because I can’t remember their names anyways.  I just call them by the oldest name kid. They always correct me.

By the way the nice Lays Potato chips lady sent me coupons to buy fresh chips.    She probably hung up the phone and thought what a moron I was.   Either that, she felt sorry for me because it must have been those Capital One guys who did this to me.  I hear they are creating alot of problems in the neighborhood.  Have you heard this too?

So what did I do with the chips?  To the composter, Batman.
Lays Potato Chip Bags for TerraCycle Upcycling

That night my college boy dumped all the chips in three large bowls heading to the composter, and I recycled the chips bags. (He has to earn his tuition some how.)  My school is part of the TerraCycle Lays Potato Bridgade, so all of the bags are going to be made into handbags.

So, do you think I should listen next time when they tell me the chips smelled like the laundry room?  Nah.  Another day, another complaint.


What have you found in your pantry that expired?  Was it moldy?  You can’t believe “it” lived there?  Do you eat expired food?

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  1. 1


    With canned/dry goods, I’ll often use it anyway if it’s expired, because the expiration date is really a “best by” date, which means you’re looking at a loss of flavor, not a health issue. So if it looks OK, tastes OK, I just use it. If it tasted like laundry room, I probably wouldn’t, though! :-)
    .-= Kathleen McDade´s last blog ..Planting Fava Beans and Spring Vegetables =-.

    • 2

      Green Talk says

      Kathleen, thanks for the clarification. Yeah, laundry room smell does not sound too appealing. Anna

  2. 3


    Wow, sounds like you have a lot in your pantry. I’ll make this my goal not to accumulate too many canned goods. I’m going to be moving into a new home sometime in month, so it’ll give me a chance to clean up and start with a fresh slate.
    .-= Victor´s last blog ..Day Trip to Boreal 2010 =-.

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