Food Expiration Date Labels

What do they really mean?

Still, most experts, and restaurant owners, agree that the government should be doing more.

"At Phoenicia, we try to educate our customers as much as we can," explains Tcholakian. "But I think it has to be regulated in the market, and no one's doing that yet."


Does it weigh the same as a duck?
Nicholas L. Hall
Does it weigh the same as a duck?

Mouths on Fire
Top 5 ginger beers/ales to try.

Joanna O'Leary

As a ginger who happens to love ginger, I am always on the lookout for libations that incorporate my favorite spice. And, in eternal pursuit of a higher tolerance for heat, I have also taken to trying spicier ginger ales and ginger beers. Here are five of my favorites:

5.Vernors Ginger Ale. Through some Michigan natives, I became aware of Vernors, which has something of a cult following among Wolverine-State expats. This spirited soda deftly manages to combine a sweet creaminess with subtle spice notes, making it the perfect not-so-hot ginger ale for those with less tolerance for heat.

4.Reed's Extra Ginger Brew. The "extra ginger" in this Reed's varietal takes the mouth-burn up a notch, but an ample amount of sugar prevents this ale from becoming too caustic. If you're suffering from an upset stomach, there's no better drink for settling it and scaring away the bacteria.

3.Old Jamaica Ginger Beer. I have no idea what sort of flavors "Old Jamaica" is supposed to evoke, but I do like what I taste in this style of ginger beer. Its medium spice and heavy carbonation make it an ideal mixer for a Dark and Stormy cocktail and can make up for the disadvantages of using lesser rums (re: not Gosling's).

2.Diet Gosling's Ginger Beer. No, that's not a typo. Having tried both the regular and the diet ginger beer from Gosling's, I can say with full confidence that the latter is actually hotter and more refreshing than the former. Something about the lack of real sweeteners must highlight the ginger elements of this brew and make its "zip" a shade better than the original version.

1. Blenheim #3 Red Cap Ginger Ale. With its ability to create a Class A conflagration in your mouth, Blenheim Red Cap Ginger Ale easily blows other ginger sodas out of the water, as well as disproves the assertion that ginger ales are inherently less spicy than ginger brews. Although I don't have a natural predilection for foods and drinks that make me tear up as I consume them, I must say I found the strong scorch of Blenheim's ginger ale to be remarkably invigorating. It's the perfect aperitif for a "hot" supper of Malaysian or Indian food.

Market Watch

2013 Houston Fall Produce Guide
What to buy and when to buy it.

Molly Dunn

Say goodbye to summer squash, watermelon, tomatoes and cucumbers, and say hello to pumpkins, winter squash, citrus and dark leafy greens.

Fall is here, and that means it's time to begin using season-appropriate fruits and vegetables. As Houstonians we are fortunate, because there's a lot of great produce being grown on Texas farms. And now is the time to buy the bounty: sweet potatoes for your casserole, pears for your tart and much more. With assistance from Urban Harvest Market managers Tyler Horne and Libby Kennedy and the Kirby Whole Foods Market's Andrew DeYoung and Charles Perez, we have created a guide to show you which produce will be in season this fall and when you can expect to buy it.

In markets now you'll find a variety of ­apples. This year, Whole Foods Market will sell more than 25 different types of apples. ­DeYoung says the chain wanted to go big on apples with exotic flavors, like the pink pearl — a small, vibrant specimen that tastes like a pink SweeTart. Other popular ones, such as Honeycrisp, Granny Smith and Gala, will be available as well.

If you want pears, grab them now, because their season is almost over. Grocery stores and farmers' markets alike are selling a variety of the versatile fruits, including Anjou, Bartlett, Asian and Red Crimson. Expect blood oranges in early November, and Meyer lemons closer to December.

Winter squash have a long shelf life, so even though they won't be in season much longer, you can stock up on spaghetti squash, acorn squash and butternut squash for use in the coming months.

Purchase creamer peas now and store them in the freezer to enjoy throughout the rest of fall and in the coming winter months. They will be available through October.

In October, expect to find lots of dark leafy greens, such as kale, mustard greens and Swiss chard, in your produce aisle. Kennedy says that people have started moving away from mustards and are seeking leafy greens with milder flavor. Collard greens are being harvested now, and in the coming weeks persimmons, kumquats and pomegranates will be ready to purchase. Broccoli, cauliflower, beets, cranberries and grapefruit should also be on your mind (and menus), because they will become available in late October.

Sweet potatoes are best now through November, so you can make your favorite sweet potato pie or casserole for holiday meals.

And when you're at the table, remember to thank your local farmer.

« Previous Page
Next Page »
My Voice Nation Help

The large amount of fresh food waste is a lose-lose situation for the environment, retailers and the struggling families in today’s tough economy. The excess inventory of perishable food items close to their expiration in supermarkets causes waste.

Why not let the consumer perform the perishables rotation in the supermarket by offering him purchasing incentives based on product’s remaining shelf life?

There is a new GS1 DataBar global standard that enables an automatic incentive offering application for fresh food close to its expiration.

The EndGroceryWaste application, which is based on GS1 DataBar standard, encourages efficient consumer shopping behavior that maximizes grocery retailer revenue and makes fresh food affordable for all families while effectively reducing the global carbon footprint.


Chicago, IL