S&C contributor and Pompey Politics Podcast host Ian Morris shares his experience of self-isolation as someone with diabetes. It’s Day 8, and Ian muses over whether we’re all about to get a little bit less fussy about best before dates on our food.
Monday 23rd March, Day 8 of 89
Is it green or slimy?
Well week 1 is complete, and this is good news. It had its challenges but fundamentally, all is still well in my little world. Odd start to the working with week with my lovely wife and youngest son expelled from college and my eldest now another home worker. So whilst this is an odd situation, it is definitely an improvement in the ‘Any chance of a cup of tea?’ situation.
I could have written today’s missive as a rant about the rank stupidity of folk gathering like penguins in the watery sun on the seafront, the ‘Let’s all go to the pub for a last big night out’ – I genuinely hope that last is not prophetic. But instead, I will invite you into the world of ‘best before’ dates.
It’s last week and myself and little Noah (sweet 16 and 6 ft 6 inches) are home alone, so we decide it’s a scavenger hunt in the fridge and the bread bin. I am on bread duty and by braille alone have established 4 rolls, probably white, that are not too textually challenging. This is a better performance than one of my fully-sighted sons who last week pushed the boundaries of breakfast by serving his beautifully scrambled eggs on a cinnamon and raisin bagel. Thought provoking, at least.
Noah is calling out potential fillings from the fridge: ‘Pack of bacon medallions’
BOOM! Hello, this is going to be the lunch of champions.
‘Sorry dad, they are out of date.’
He attempts to scoot past me at this point to the bin.
‘Hang on soldier, how out of date?’
The answer comes back as 4 days.
‘Marvellous,’ I reply, whipping the pack off him and inducting him into the world so many of us knew before the ink jet printer of waste condemned so much food to landfill.
Packet opened, I ask, ‘Is it green?’
This is his domain and no is the answer. I can now check: does it smell bad, is it evil slimy? And with both answers in the negative, the grill is on, the HP sauce located and a splendid, nourishing bacon bap lunch was had by all.
It set me thinking, as we have had the egg-based conversation with the eldest before, after finding a couple of boxes partially used.
‘Oh, the other ones were out of date dad.’
‘What do you mean?’
I learned that each little egg has a date printed on it and our millennial eldest would not defy such an instruction. I mused on when chickens were internally fitted with ink jet printers and when exactly did common sense get lost in favour of date-based compliance?
With eggs now one of the prized goals of food hoarders, it would seem criminal to dispose of a perfectly good egg based on its arbitrary date, so is this one of our next life lessons? Ignore the date: if it’s not green, slimy or smells bad then it’s still good?
Don’t miss Ian’s self-isolation diary in the coming days, keep an eye out for new pieces here, along with past editions of the Pompey Politics Podcast.