Simplified 365: The Kitchen - Day 15: Canned & Jarred Food

Simplified 365 - Day 15: Canned & Jarred Food

Great job!  At this point, you’ve sorted through all of your boxed and snack foods.  Now it’s time to tackle the canned and jarred foods! 

If you’re like, well, pretty much everyone, there is at least one expired can hiding in the dark recesses of your shelves. 

Things to look for:

  • Canned Soups
  • Stocks
  • Pasta sauces
  • BBQ sauces
  • Canned meats
  • Tomato sauces
  • Marinades

Set your timer for 10 minutes and let’s go on a treasure hunt and pull out all of the cans and jars.  Done?  Great.  Now, go through them and toss any expired ones.  Those beans from 1978? Time to go.  That artisanal canned salmon you just haven’t gotten around to eating?  Once you’ve finished tossing all the expired cans, grab a bag and fill it with any (still good!) food you know you won’t eat.  Consider offering it to your neighbor or taking it to your local food pantry.  A quick Google search should let you know where to take it. 

Also, please keep in mind, even though a lot (most?) food is probably just fine a a few months or even years past it’s expiration date, a lot of canned foods and plastics do still contain BPA which leaches into the food.  How about a side of endocrine disruptors with those canned beans?  Also, their longevity is dependent upon how carefully they were stored under ideal conditions.  When in doubt...throw it out. 

Oooh-weeee.  We’re getting down to it now.  Let’s continue on and sort any food in jars.  Set your timer for another 10 minutes and pull out all the jars hiding in your cabinets or pantry.  We’re talking spaghetti sauces and pickles, tikka masala and tamales.  Ew…never mind on the tamales. If those are in a jar, you may to just toss them.  Yuck. 

Ok, so all the jars are out.  I bet you know what to do.  If they are expired, empty them into the compost or down the garbage disposal and recycle the jar.  If they are still good, but unloved, add the to your neighbor/food pantry bag.  

Done?  Now put all the keepers back.  If you can fit them on one shelf at this point, great.  That’s our goal, but we will do the actual organizing in 2 days. 

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