The days after Christmas are always a good time for clearing up and throwing things out, ready to welcome the New Year into a clean and tidy house. In a fit of such domestic enthusiasm last week, I was checking sell-by dates and clearing out dangerous and suspect items from the kitchen when I came across this:

chili pepper package
The chillies were clearly past their best, but as I went to toss them aside, I noticed the date: September 9th – with no year specified.

According to the packaging, before they were found by me at the back of the fridge, they were Discovered by Columbus, so I can only assume they were fresh some time back in 1492. Heaven knows when they should have been used by.

There’s a lot of discussion about the sense and usefulness of sell-by, best-before, display-until, and use-by dates, and about how we waste food which is perfectly good by being too finicky about such things. I tend not to be as vigilant as I might be, but recently came across a news story about cocoa-poisoning: although it’s dated March 2015, I don’t think it has passed its expiry date.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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