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April 20, 2014

The 5 Worst Condiments


#1: Mayonnaise
Commercially prepared mayonnaise is primarily GMO soybean oil, one of the most harmful oils you can eat, found extensively in processed foods.
Whether partially hydrogenated, organic or made from newer soybean varieties modified to not require hydrogenation, these oils are highly processed and pave the way for a wide range of problems from obesity to diabetes; reproductive disorders to heart disease.
Besides trans fats created from hydrogenation, most US soybeans are genetically engineered (GE). As a result, they’re saturated with dangerous levels of the herbicide glyphosate, linked to numerous serious health problems.
Although you may not consider mayonnaise “sweet,” most commercial varieties contain liver-toxic high fructose corn syrup or other forms of fructose.
Consider making your own in a blender using olive oil, egg yolks, vinegar or lemon juice, mustard and a little sea salt. It’s actually good for you!
#2: Sour Cream
Sour cream can be a delicious and nutritious adjunct to your meal—or a toxic white glop, depending on what’s in it.
Saturated fats and animal fats AREN’T the bane of your existence, contrary to popular press. From a typical commercial sour cream label:
Cultured Pasteurized Cream and Milk, Whey, Modified Corn Starch, Sodium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Calcium Sulfate, Cultured Dextrose, Locust Bean Gum, Potassium Sorbate (As Preservative)
Non-organic dairy products often contain dangerous, genetically engineered bovine growth hormone—rBGH—the largest selling dairy animal drug in America. Interestingly, it’s banned in Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the entire European Union because of its risks to human health! IGF-1 in rBGH increases your risk for breast cancer by promoting conversion of normal breast tissue cells into cancerous ones.
Despite decades of evidence about the dangers of rBGH, the FDA ignores scientific evidence and maintains it’s safe for human consumption. Avoid rBGH by looking for products labeled “rBGH-free” or “No rBGH.”
Culturing your own sour cream using lacto-fermentation culture, starting with fresh, raw organic cream, is not difficult and offers natural probiotics critical for your immune system. To make homemade cultured sour cream, visit Cultures for Health.
#3:  Ranch & Blue Cheese Dressing
Typical processed ranch and blue cheese dressings aren’t even real food. Your digestive tract may even react to it like a foreign invader. Consider Dean’s Ranch Dip:
Soybean Pasteurized blend of skim milk, reduced minerals whey, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, dehydrated onion, sour cream flavor (cream, nonfat milk, whey, whey protein concentrate, cultured nonfat buttermilk (skim milk, cultures), maltodextrin, salt, autolyzed yeast extract, natural flavors, monosodium glutamate, sodium citrate, sour cream cultures, lactic acid, food starch-modified, gelatin, dextrose, dehydrated garlic, vinegar powder (maltodextrin, corn starch-modified, white distilled vinegar), monosodium glutamate, citric acid, sodium hexametaphosphate, locust bean gum, lecithin, spices, potassium sorbate, guar gum, whey, whey protein concentrate, carrageenan, acetic acid, propylene glycol alginate, artificial colors (FD &C Yellow No. 5 (Tartrazine) and FD & C Yellow No. 6)
As you can see, soybeans are at the forefront. Monosodium glutamate (MSG), one of the worst ever flavor enhancers, is listed TWICE. MSG hides under other names, like: flavorings, seasonings, soy protein, stocks and broths, malt extract, carrageenan, and corn starch.
MSG is an excitotoxin that overexcites your cells to the point of damage or death, potentially causing brain damage and triggering learning disabilities. Common adverse effects include obesity, eye damage, headaches, fatigue and disorientation, depression, rapid heartbeat, tingling and numbness.
Food dyes are another additive to avoid. Every year, food manufacturers pour 15 million pounds of artificial food dyes into US foods. A Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) report noted some commonly used food dyes may be linked to multiple cancers, hyperactivity and behavioral problems in children.
As of July 2010, most foods in the EU containing artificial food dyes come with warning labels. Britain has asked that food manufacturers to remove most artificial colors from foods. In the US, however, there are no such measures.
Steer clear by either finding organic alternatives or making your own. Once you’ve mastered mayo and sour cream, the sky’s the limit when it comes to healthful dressings, sauces and dips.

#4:  Ketchup
High fructose corn syrup is the biggest problem with commercially bottled ketchup. Most contain overcooked tomatoes, water, and usually some form of genetically engineered corn syrup. Many brands add flavor-boosting chemicals called “natural flavorings,” one being MSG.
Due to consumer concerns over the health problems of high fructose corn syrup, ConAgra, manufacturer of Hunt’s Ketchup, removed it from their ketchup in 2010. However, their reformulated product wasn’t a big hit, so they added it back in two years later!
Just one tablespoon of bottled ketchup typically contains four grams of sugar. Most people consume much more, quickly raising their daily sugar loads. It doesn’t take long to exceed the maximum daily fructose limit (25 grams or less).
Don’t assume that just because a commercial ketchup is organic, it’s low in sugar. Meijer Organics Ketchup has four grams of sugar per tablespoon, just like most non-organic brands. Steer clear by either finding organic alternatives or making your own.
Homemade ketchup is better in every respect. If you feel you cannot live without it, Annie’s Naturals organic brand has half the usual amount of sugar and no HFCS.
#5:  Barbecue Sauce & Steak Sauce
Steak and barbeque sauces, too, may contain a mélange of unsavory ingredients. A1 Steak Sauce contains:
Tomato puree (water, tomato paste), distilled vinegar, corn syrup, salt, raisin paste, crushed orange puree, spices and herbs, dried garlic and onion, caramel color, potassium sorbate, xanthan gum
Even worse is Open Pit Original BBQ Sauce:
High fructose corn syrup, water, distilled vinegar, tomato puree (water, tomato paste), salt, modified food starch, 2% or less of: soybean oil, hydrolyzed corn and soy protein, spice, onion powder, dehydrated garlic, artificial tomato flavor, natural and artificial flavor, Yellow No. 6 dye, Red No. 40, Blue No. 1, titanium dioxide, caramel color” 

10 Foods Sold in the U.S. That Are Banned Elsewhere

Americans are slowly realizing that food sold in the US doesn’t just taste different than foods sold in other countries, it’s created differently. Sadly, many U.S. foods are BANNED in Europe — and for good reason. Take a look at the plummeting health of Americans; what role might toxic foods play in our skyrocketing disease rates? 
#1:  Farm-Raised Salmon
Farm-raised fish is usually fed an unnatural diet of genetically engineered (GE) grains, antibiotics and chemicals unsafe for humans. To mask the resulting grayish flesh, they’re given toxic and potentially eyesight-damaging synthetic astaxanthin.
To determine wild from farm-raised salmon (sold in most restaurants), wild sockeye gets its red color from natural astaxanthin and carotenoids. The white “fat strips” are thin, meaning it’s lean. Pale pink fish and wide fat marks are a sign of farmed salmon.
Avoid “Atlantic Salmon.” Look for “Alaskan” or “sockeye,” which is illegal to farm and has very high astaxanthin concentrations.
Where it’s banned: Australia and New Zealand
#2:  Genetically Engineered Papaya
Most Hawaiian papaya is genetically engineered to be ringspot virus-resistant. But research shows animals fed GE foods like corn and soy suffer intestinal damage, multiple-organ damage, massive tumors, birth defects, premature death and/or nearly complete sterility by the third generation. Dangers to humans are unknown.
Where it’s banned: The European Union
#3:  Ractopamine-Tainted Meat
About 45 percent of US pigs, 30 percent of cattle and an unknown percentage of turkeys are plumped with the asthma drug ractopamine before slaughter. Up to 20 percent of ractopamine is still there when you buy it.
Since 1998, more than 1,700 US pork lovers have been “poisoned” this way. For this very health threat, ractopamine-laced meats are banned in 160 different countries! Russia issued a ban on US meat imports, effective February 11, 2013, until it’s certified ractopamine-free. In animals, it’s linked to reducedreproductive function, increased mastitis and increased death. It damages the human cardiovascular system and may cause hyperactivity, chromosomal abnormalities and behavioral changes. Currently, US meats aren’t even tested for it.
Where it’s banned: 160 countries across Europe, Russia, mainland China and Republic of China (Taiwan).
#4:  Flame Retardant Drinks
Mountain Dew and other drinks in the US contain the synthetic chemical brominated vegetable oil (BVO), originally patented as a flame retardant.
BVO bioaccumulates in human tissue and breast milk; animal studies report reproductive and behavioral problems. Bromine alters the central nervous and endocrine systems and promotes iodine deficiency, causing skin rashes, acne, loss of appetite, fatigue and cardiac arrhythmias. The featured article explains:
“The FDA has flip-flopped on BVO’s safety, originally classifying it as ‘generally recognized as safe,’ but reversing that call, now defining it as an ‘interim food additive,’ a category reserved for possibly questionable substances used in food.”
Where it’s banned: Europe and Japan
#5:  Processed Foods and Artificial Food Dyes
More than 3,000 preservatives, flavorings and colors are added to US foods, many of which are banned in other countries. The featured article noted:
“Boxed Mac & Cheese, cheddar flavored crackers, Jell-O and many kids’ cereals contain red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6 and/or blue 2 … (which) can cause behavioral problems as well as cancer, birth defects and other health problems in laboratory animals. Red 40 and yellow 6 are also suspected of causing an allergy-like hypersensitivity reaction in children. The Center for Science in the Public Interest reports that some dyes are also “contaminated with known carcinogens.”
In countries where these food dyes are banned, companies like Kraft employ natural colorants like paprika extract and beetroot.
Where it’s banned: Norway and Austria. Britain advised companies against using food dyes by the end of 2009. The European Union requires a warning notice on most foods containing dyes.
#6:  Arsenic-Laced Chicken
Arsenic-based drugs are approved in US-produced animal feed because they cause animals to grow quicker and meats products to look pinker and “fresher.” The FDA says arsenic-based drugs are safe safe because they contain organic arsenic … But organic arsenic can turn into inorganic arsenic, run through contaminated manure and leach into drinking water.
The European Union has never approved using arsenic in animal feed; US environmental groups have sued the FDA to remove them.
Where it’s banned: The European Union
#7:  Bread with Potassium Bromate
Bread, hamburger and hotdog buns are “enriched” with potassium bromate, or bromide, linked to kidney and nervous system damage, thyroid problems, gastrointestinal discomfort and cancer.
While commercial baking companies claim it renders dough more tolerable to bread hooks, Pepperidge Farm and others use only unbromated flour without experiencing “structural problems.”
Where it’s banned: Canada, China and the EU
#8:  Olestra/Olean
Olestra, or Olean, created by Procter & Gamble, is a calorie- and cholesterol-free fat substitute in fat-free snacks like chips and french fries. Three years ago, Time Magazine named it one of the worst 50 inventions ever. MSN noted:
“Not only did a 2011 study from Purdue University conclude rats fed potato chips made with Olean gained weight … several reports of adverse intestinal reactions to the fake fat include diarrhea, cramps and leaky bowels. And because it interferes  with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K, the FDA requires these vitamins be added to any product made with Olean or olestra.”
Where it’s banned: The UK and Canada
#9:  Preservatives BHA and BHT
BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are common preservatives in foods like cereal, nut mixes, chewing gum, butter spread, meat and beer. The National Toxicology Program’s 2011 Report on Carcinogens says BHA may trigger allergic reactions and hyperactivity and “is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”
Where it’s banned: Both are banned in parts of the European Union and Japan; the UK doesn’t allow BHA in infant foods.
#10:  Milk and Dairy Products Made with rBGH
Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), a synthetic version of natural bovine hormone is injected into cows to increase milk production. Monsanto developed it from genetically engineered E. coli bacteria, marketed as “Posilac.”
But it’s banned in at least 30 other nations. Why? It converts normal tissue cells into cancerous ones, increasing colorectal, prostate and breast cancer risks. Among other diseases, injected cows suffer exorbitant rates of mastitis, contaminating milk with pus and antibiotics.
In 1997, two Fox-affiliate investigative journalists, Jane Akre and Steve Wilson attempted to expose thedangers of rBGH, but lawyers for Monsanto – a major advertiser with the Florida network – sent letters promising “dire consequences” if the story aired.
In 1999, the United Nations Safety Agency ruled unanimously not to endorse rBGH milk, resulting in an international ban on US milk.
The Cancer Prevention Coalition, trying for years to affect a dairy industry ban of rBGH, resubmitting a petition to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg in January 2010, but the FDA sticks to its false position that rBGH-treated milk is no different than milk from untreated cows.

Why You Should Drink Apple Cider Vinegar

 ACV is the product of a fermentation process in which bacteria and yeast break down the sugars in pulverized apples and turn them into alcohol, which then becomes acetic acid, or vinegar (from the French for “sour wine”). During fermentation, a thick layer—called the “mother of vinegar”—forms on the bottom of the liquid. Proponents of ACV consider this “mother,” which they say contains living enzymes and beneficial bacteria, especially valuable and opt for raw and unpasteurized (rather than distilled) vinegar to cultivate it.
Vinegar’s main property is its acidity, but different vinegars have other acids, vitamins, mineral salts, and amino acids. According to several natural-health sources, ACV contains vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, beta-carotene, bioflavonoids, acetic acid, propionic acid, lactic acid, enzymes, amino acids, potash, and apple pectin. It also contains the minerals and trace elements potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium, copper, and iron.
Good for You Inside …
Nowadays, ACV is most popular as a purported weight-loss aid. A tablespoon a day taken before meals, some claim, will help to curb appetite and increase metabolism. According to Mayo Clinic nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky, RD, LD, there’s no evidence to support such beliefs, but a 2005 study found that consuming small amounts of vinegar with meals helped people increase feelings of satiety. It doesn’t have to be ACV, though; plain old white vinegar will do.
Researchers have also tested claims about ACV’s benefits for diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure, heart health, and cancer. A 2007 study published in Diabetes Care showed that eleven people taking two tablespoons of ACV before bed lowered their morning glucose levels by 4 to 6 percent. Two laboratory studies of rats in 2006 suggested that ACV may also lower cholesterol and blood pressure. And research at the University of Texas indicates that all vinegar may be able to kill or inhibit the growth of cancer cells, especially esophageal cancer.
Less researched is the alkaline-acid theory. Some in the alternative-health sphere believe that most ailments—especially inflammatory diseases like diabetes, arthritis, and allergies—are caused by bodily pH levels that are too low. The way to correct that imbalance, according to the theory, is to replace grains, meat, and dairy products (all acidic foods) with a plant-based diet and to consume ACV daily. It seems counterintuitive—combat acidity with an acid? But believers in the alkaline-acid theory argue that ACV, alone among the vinegars, has an alkalizing effect on the body, making it an effective cure for everything from the common cold to clinical depression.
 … and Out
You don’t have to drink ACV to reap its benefits. It’s also a natural moisturizer and toner with many uses for face, hair, and body.
• Combine one-half tablespoon of ACV with one cup of cold water for a natural dandruff remedy that will also add body and shine to your hair, as long as you don’t mind the smell. (It will fade … eventually.)
• If you’re prone to acne or age spots, use some ACV on your face as a nightly toner. It will clear up the oil and work as a natural antibacterial, as well as lighten discoloration.
• Whiten teeth on the cheap by brushing them with ACV. The acid will help break up stains. But don’t do this too often, or you’ll wear away the tooth enamel (and the stains will get worse).
• Claims that ACV also cures lice and warts are untrue, but it does do plenty. You can come up with a longer list if you think creatively.
Beware of Snake Oil Salesmen
As with all supplements, you should ask your doctor before beginning to take ACV. It’s not for everyone. Pure vinegar is very acidic and can damage tooth enamel and the tissues in your mouth and esophagus if it’s not diluted. It can even cause contact burns on the skin. Long-term use of ACV can lower potassium levels, contributing to osteoporosis, and may interact with certain medications. ACV contains chromium, too, which affects insulin levels, so people with diabetes need to be especially careful when taking it.
Despite its acidity, opt for (diluted) liquid vinegar. You can purchase ACV tablets, but since the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate supplements, there’s no way to know for sure what you’re getting. A 2005 study of eight different brands revealed wide discrepancies among their ingredients, and some didn’t contain any ACV at all.
No Miracle Cure
Though sorting through conflicting information about ACV can be confusing, adding a tablespoon or two to your salad dressing will probably do you more good than harm. Only now are researchers starting to confirm the liquid’s age-old reputation as a restorer and maintainer of health, but while we should all retain some degree of skepticism about its supposed cure-all properties, centuries of history assure us that ACV is no fad. 

Salmonella in Your Spice Rack?

In the past there have been rampant salmonella outbreaks in lettuce, sprouts, and even peanut butter, but now it’s time to be wary of a surprising source — your spice rack. In a recently published study by the FDA, high levels of imported spices were shown to be contaminated with salmonella. Around 20,000 shipments were tested between 2007 to 2009, uncovering that a whopping 7 percent of all imported spices tested positive for salmonella.
Fo salmonella contamination to occur, the bacterium (which is passed through the waste products of animals and birds) must be  present in trace amounts on the ground or in the water supply where the spices are grown/harvested/processed. As many spices are laid out on the ground to dry in the sun, the slightest contamination can be more difficult to prevent. Symptoms of salmonella include fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that begin between 12 to 36 hours after infected. It can last from three to five days, but infants and the elderly are at much higher risk. 
How to avoid it:
Check the origin.You only need to consume small amounts of a contaminated spice to become ill, so it is best to take precautions. According to the study, Mexico and India had the highest rate of contaminated spices (around 14 percent). Interestingly, almost 25 percent of the spices imported into the US come from India, so trying to steer clear of eating raw spices with those origins may be a good idea.
Which spices are the most affected? The highest contaminated spices in the study were basil, oregano, coriander, sesame seeds, curry powder, and cumin. Black pepper shipments also contained salmonella at a rate of 4 percent. The study also showed that, in general, spices derived from bark or flowers were less contaminated than spices derived from seeds or fruit. If you use these types of spices, be sure to heat them to at least 160 degrees F before consuming.
Grab your mortar and pestle. Ground or cracked spices were found to be more likely contaminated than whole spices, so you are better off grinding your spices fresh at home.
Unfortunately, the FDA hasn’t yet required labeling for unpasteurized spices. There are several spice producers out there that use methods such as irradiation, heat, or gas to kill off any harmful bacteria — although the study discovered that spices processed by these methods were still contaminated, albeit in lesser quantities. If you are very concerned and/or have a weakened immune system, it may be best to avoid eating raw spices altogether. Approximately 1.2 million people become ill with salmonella each year in the US and around 23,000 are hospitalized. By taking the proper precautions, you can avoid becoming one of them.
6 Tips for a Salmonella-Free Summer

Summer is prime Salmonella season. Warmer weather gives that sneaky Salmonella more opportunity to contaminate your food. You’ve heard about large-scale salmonella outbreaks in eggs and peanut products, but there are lots of ways for this type of food poisoning to take hold, especially in summer, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
None of this means you should give up on that family picnic in the great outdoors. With a few timely reminders of precautions you can take for a Salmonella-free summer, you can get out there and savor the season.
The CDC offers Seven Surprising Facts About Salmonella:
1. You can get Salmonella from eating a wide variety of foods, not just from eggs and undercooked poultry. Although poultry and eggs are primary culprits, Salmonella can be found in a variety of foods including ground meat, fruits, vegetables — even processed foods such as frozen pot pies.
2. Salmonella illness can sometimes be serious. In most cases, illness lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without antibiotic treatment. But, in rare cases, people may become seriously ill. Compared with other foodborne germs, salmonella is the deadliest. It also causes more hospitalizations as well.
3. For every one case of Salmonella illness that is confirmed in the laboratory, there are about 30 times more cases of salmonella illnesses that were not confirmed. Most people who get food poisoning usually do not go the doctor, and therefore don’t get laboratory confirmation of exactly what made them sick. So Salmonella can cause more illness than you might suspect.
4. Salmonella illness is more common in the summer. Warmer weather gives bacteria more opportunity to contaminate food. When eating outdoors in the summer, either in the backyard or on a picnic, follow these guidelines:
  • Always keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.
  • When you’re finished eating, refrigerate leftovers promptly. Don’t let food sit out for more than two hours. On a hot day (90°F or higher), reduce this time to one hour.
  • Be sure to put perishable items in a cooler or insulated bag.
5. You can get Salmonella from perfectly normal-looking eggs. Chicken feces on the outside of egg shells used to be a common cause of Salmonella contamination. To counter that, stringent procedures for cleaning and inspecting eggs were implemented in the 1970s. However, now there’s a new cause for concern. An epidemic that started in the 1980s and continues today is due to a type of salmonella that is inside intact grade A eggs with clean shells. This type of Salmonella can silently infect the ovaries of healthy appearing hens and contaminate the inside of eggs before the shells are formed.
6. To avoid Salmonella, you should never eat raw or lightly cooked (runny whites or yolks) eggs. Cooking reduces the number of Salmonella bacteria present in an egg. However, a lightly cooked egg with a runny egg white or yolk still poses a greater risk than a thoroughly cooked egg. Lightly cooked egg whites and yolks have both caused outbreaks of Salmonella infections.
7. Salmonella is more dangerous for certain people. Although anyone can get a Salmonella infection, older adults, infants, and people with impaired immune systems are at increased risk for serious illness. In these people, a relatively small number of Salmonella bacteria can cause severe illness.
…and these Six Tips to Keep Your Family Safer this Summer:
1. Clean. Wash hands, cutting boards, utensils, and countertops.
2. Separate. Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from ready-to-eat foods.
3. Cook. Use a food thermometer to ensure that foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature: 145°F for whole meats (allowing the meat to rest for three minutes before carving or consuming), 160°F for ground meats, and 165°F for all poultry.
4. Chill. Keep your refrigerator below 40°F and refrigerate food that will spoil.
5. Don’t prepare food for others if you have diarrhea or vomiting.
6. Be especially careful preparing food for children, pregnant woman, those in poor health, and older adults. 

Expiration Dates For 23 Types Of Food

We've all had our moments of incredulity regarding expiration dates. We sniff open milk cartons, swishing around their contents in search of any strange scents or inconsistencies. When none can be found, some of us declare the milk (or wine, or butter, or eggs -- the list goes on) fine to consume. And it usually is. But this haphazard method of determining how safe our food products are to eat could have dangerous side effects, or, at the very least, the occasional upset stomach.
According to The Boston Globe, a whole lot of Americans believe that consuming foods after their expiration date is unsafe -- three fourths of Americans, to be exact. This could be due to the vague language used to mark the shelf life of foods. Which is why we're here to set the record straight when it comes to expiration dates.
According to WebMD, there are a number of ways to classify food dates: There's the "sell by" date, the "best if used by" date, the "use by" date and the "born on" date. All concern freshness more so than safety.

Ketchup
Ketchup will maintain its quality for six months in the fridge. It's still safe to eat after this date (unless it has developed an off odor or mold appears). 

Olive OIl

Olive oil can stay fresh for 18-24 months either in or out of the fridge. It is recommended that you keep it in a cool dark place -- and refrigeration is suggested if you live in warm climates. Most times, you will have long finished the oil before it comes even close to perishing. 


Eggs, Raw In The Shell

Eggs stay good for 3-5 weeks in the refrigerator and up to one year in the freezer (note: it's not recommended to freeze them in their shell). Eggs will normally keep long past the sell-by date; but to ensure that they last as long as possible avoid storing them in the refrigerator door -- the coolest part of the fridge is best. 

Milk, Pasteurized
Milk will stay good one week past the sell by date, and three months in the freezer. But of course, if milk has developed on off odor or flavor, it's best to discard it. 


Yogurt

You have a 7-10 day window after the sell by date to enjoy your yogurt, (and one to two months if stored in the freezer.) But if mold appears, discard the yogurt. And if it was frozen, it's best to thaw it in the fridge. 


Mayonnaise
Don't throw it out just yet! An open jar of refrigerated mayonnaise is safe and good for consumption up to 2-3 months after the marked expiration date. And even then, the product may still be safe to eat, it just might begin to change in terms of texture and color. 


Peanut Butter
An open jar of peanut butter will remain fresh up to three months in the pantry. After that point, it's recommended to store the peanut butter in the fridge (where it can maintain its quality for another 3-4 months). If you don't refrigerate, oil separation may occur. 


Pickles
Pickles, once opened, stay good for a whole year in the refrigerator. So if you've just come across a jar in your fridge, chances are, they're still delicious. Same goes for brine-packed jars of olives and capers. 

Soy Milk
Despite what you might think, soy milk has a similar self life to regular milk. It lasts about 7-10 days after the date indicated on the carton. 

Sour Cream
Sour cream is a tough food item to judge, since it's supposed to have a slightly soured taste. It can keep two weeks, tightly covered, in the fridge. And unlike most other dairy products, it doesn't freeze well. 

Vinegar
The shelf-life of vinegar is almost indefinite according to versatilevinegar.com. Aesthetic changes such as color or the development of sediment may occur in non-white vinegars over time, but the product is still safe to use. 

Honey
Even more so than vinegar, honey's quality remains unchanged over time. The low water content and high acidic level makes the food an unfavorable breeding ground for bacteria, in spite of its sugary nature. 

Mustard
When purchased at a store, mustard lasts anywhere from one to two years past its expiration date. This variation is due to differing storage methods -- when left unopened in the pantry, mustard lasts an extra year. Homemade mustard doesn't have the same shelf life, and expires much more quickly. 

Almond Milk
Just like milk and soy milk, almost milk lasts 7-10 days past its printed date, unless it's stored unopened in the pantry, in which case this beverage can stay good up to a month after. 

Whipped Cream
Canned whipped cream can last up to three months past its printed date, whereas Cool Whip only lasts about 7-10 days. 


Butter
Plain ol' butter lasts about 2 weeks after its expiration date; Butter with olive oil lasts about a week more than that. Stick butter in the freezer and it can last up to 9 months longer. 


Half and Half
Once opened, half and half, and all other liquid creams, last about 5-7 days after their expiration date. 

Coffee
An open container of ground coffee will last 3 to 5 months past the best before date, whereas coffee beans will last up to 6 months.

Pasta
Dry pasta may seem to have an infinite shelf life. It doesn't, but it has quite a long one -- It'll last 1-2 years past the best before date. 

Deli meat
Packaged lunch meats last about 7-10 days longer than the best by date, whereas fresh meats will last around 5-6 days. Salami and pepperoni last much longer -- around 2-3 weeks. 


Syrup
Syrup may get thicker or darker when it gets older -- it may even crystalize. But it is never technically "spoiled."

Tea
Whether your tea leaves are packaged or loose, they'll last anywhere from 6 months to a year past their expiration date.


Spices
With the exception of mint, which has a slightly shorter shelf life, most spices from cinnamon to cayenne pepper last 2-3 years past their expiration date.