Salad that looks fresher probably is fresher

Originally published at: Salad that looks fresher probably is fresher - Boing Boing


It also seems, to me, that the expiration date is a fantasy that the FDA should look into.

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This is fake. There only are two kinds of salad. Potato salad and coleslaw. And the latter is a bit of a stretch anyway. So maybe I should restate this. There is only one salad. Potato salad.


Ambrosia is not a salad?

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I will say I’ve opened bags that were rotten well before the date, and bags well after the date that were perfectly fine.



It is just not hard to buy salad ingredients and use your own two hands and a knife to make a salad.

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My sources tell me: no?

Yea, I don’t like the bagged chopped up stuff.
And a tip for home chefs:
When you get your bunch of lettuce home (or more than one) chop the head(s) up, and dump them into the container of your salad spinner sans the strainer part. Fill with warm water not as warm as you would wash your hands.
Swish it around well, then pour everything into the strainer part and put it in the spinner and work it.
Take the strainer full of lettuce out and put it in your fridge for a couple hours to chill, then whatever you’re not going to use that evening, put in a large tupperware lined with paper towels. Will last this way for several days at least and be ready for your next salad.

This is a minor digression, but pet peeve: I really wish people wouldn’t say things like this are “due to science” (let’s ignore the “basic” and whether the explanation for the lettuce is even accurate). Science isn’t a force that makes things happen, it’s a way of explaining things that just do happen. I know it’s just lazy phrasing, but describing it this way creates the impression that this thing happens because of science, but maybe this other thing happens because of something else, maybe magic? Which I think is how a lot of people actually think, which is bad.

Sigh. Rant over.


The salad centrifuge is the most used (and battered) kitchen tool that I own. A good investment, especially if you belong to a CSA.

It’s a rice pudding, but if you want to eat it as salad, you go for it. :wink:

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Thanks for making this point, and I’d wager it’s not a minor one - in fact it’s a pretty big deal. All people of good conscience should be rallying to the cause of not conceding the further muddling of the meaning of science. Eroding the definition and popular understandings of science into just being some particular social institution, political persuasion or predilection is a major strategic project of the far-right and their overall agenda of epistemological vandalism.


Eroding the definition and popular understandings of science into just being some particular social institution, political persuasion or predilection is a major strategic project of the far-right and their overall agenda of epistemological vandalism.

Well said… and thank you for helping me to articulate why I was reacting so strongly to a bit of lazy writing in the first place. You’re absolutely right.


This one amazing trick…

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Good episode over the roots and facts around it.

Simply: the labels are designed to note the impact on taste. Getting the actual science right on what point to set the date is complicated, many things are plenty fine past their date and the whole system is much less policed and precise than consumers would expect.

You’d be surprised how much all the little steps and cleanup add up for some people. It ends up being the difference between whether you cook for yourself some nights or not.

Just like all the pre-sliced veggies at the grocery store: it’s a huge time-benefit for disabled folks.


This just in… water is still wet.

I accept that for sure. Disability comes in many ways and to many of us, and the supports are worthwhile and necessary. I hadn’t actually thought of premade salads as a possibility for disability support, but of course it would apply for some people.

That said, those of us who are not affected by a disability that is relevant need to put our big people trousers on and learn to make a salad. More generally food preparation is a fundamental life skill that affects our financial and physical well being more than almost anything else

Eh, I know how but the effort to wash is a huge factor in my not making the effort at all. Slicing up everything else that goes into it takes a bunch of time as well, and unless the salad is the whole meal (i.e. a chicken caesar), this is in addition to all the other dishes that need cooking so it’s the first thing to fall by my wayside. That, and I learned early on that it’s just hard to get through a head of lettuce by myself before it goes bad, while the bag portions means much much less waste. Plus I get the variety of different greens, instead of having to buy too much of 3 different things to get some variety.

That said, we have a weakness whenever we see a good head of butter lettuce, yum, especially the kind sold with the root so you can eat it and then stick it in the ground and keep getting more.


I was noticing the number of meal-prep trucks delivering in my neighborhood earlier, and while I appreciate their usefulness to many, it’s sad that their marketing relies so heavily on portraying cooking as a huge burden and time that would be better spent doing something else.