I slid my spoon into the creamy yogurt — my favorite, key lime, the original without aspartame — and I put it in my mouth. Mmmmm, it tasted wonderful… until I happened to see the “use by” date and realized it was two days ago. I kept eating and said a quick prayer to the food gods.
And that led to a startling debate around the water cooler, because I figured everyone was like me and took those dates as a suggestion. I mean, who honestly can tell me ahead of time that on October 15, 2013, this yogurt will be fine, but after midnight early on the 16th it will be spoiled?
Leah: They do research on that stuff.
Me: I do research on this stuff too.
Leah: It doesn’t count as research when you eat the stuff out of date and don’t get sick. It counts as lucky.
Me: Well then I’ve been lucky an awful lot.
Leah: And others have done actual research.
Me: What? What about the cheese that goes green two weeks before the date on the package? How did that research help there?
Mike: Dude, cheese is different.
Mike: It just is.
Leah: Way to prove my point, Mike.
Mike: No problem.
Leah: Anyway, they’re right more often than not.
Me: And this time is a “not.”