Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday Ramblings: Food "Best By Dates", Premium Ammo in Storage and Other Great Stuff

After further consideration (See my last post in on this topic here.) I am really starting to think that "best by" dates on shelf stable food are about meaningless. The ketsup we have been using was purchased in January 2010 and had a "best by" date of July 2010, it seems to have suffered no deterioration. Today I had a can of chili for lunch. I purchased it in December 2009 and had a best by date of March 2011. A bit of oil had separated and risen to the top and the thick content had sort of separated from the thin but it smelled fine so I heated it up and ate it. The texture had changed slightly but not enough that I would notice if I hadn't been looking for it. Lunch was 8 hours ago and I haven't had any ill effects. If I start dumping my guts out I will tell you all but I suspect it will be fine.

It bears repeating that I am just some yahoo sitting at home eating expired food and writing about it on the internet. Just because something worked once for me does not mean it is necessarily so for all people under all circumstances. Do your own research, consult experts if necessary and use common sense before eating any food that is beyond the best by date or has been preserved/ stored questionably.

Commander Zero wrote an interesting post today on FMJ vs Premium JHP ammo as part of your Ballistic Wampum. As Zero notes premium defensive ammunition costs somewhere from about .75 cents to a buck or more a bullet. This stuff is seriously cost prohibitive. Like most folks I load my carry pistols with premium stuff like Federal Hydroshocks, Speer Gold Dot or Corbon JHP's. Typically I have a few boxes per gun of this really good stuff.
I tend not to worry about it with rifles because centerfire rifles produce so much energy that all BS aside they do the job if you do yours. Though as Gabe Suarez noted if you have to shoot a goblin near a family member do you really want to be using ammo made in Russia 50 years ago? Probably not. It might be worthwhile to pick up a couple mags worth of something good that shoots comparably to whatever bulk ammo you use. For shotguns as long as shot is the right size for your task (birdshot for birds, whatever is appropriate for game and something that starts with "buck" for 2 legged predators) and patterns OK it is G2G. The idea of premium buckshot kind of escapes me.

So the premium stuff is great but cost prohibitive, on that we can all probably agree. Personally as a sort of stop gap between premium defensive ammo and FMJ I store more affordable JHP ammo in quantity.

I didn't worry about the bullet type of my stored pistol ammo much when I mostly shot .40 and .45. Both are big, heavy bullets that do fine with FMJ's. Since I shifted to 9mm this has been a bit more of a concern. The 9mm with modern JHP ammo is quite effective but ball ammo isn't great. Thus I care more about having JHP ammo on hand than I used to. Initially I got some of the 100 round JHP packs from Wally World which calmed my immediate paranoia. Down the road I ordered a case of Federal Classic 115 grain JHP from the good folks at Lucky Gunner for a very reasonable price. With this purchase made I feel pretty secure about our 9mm defensive ammo situation. Somewhere between 30-50% of my 9mm ammunition is JHP.

When available at reasonable prices I have picked up JHP ammo in .38/.357mag, .223 and 7.62x39.

I have really been enjoying homemade bread. Wifey makes wheat bread that is soft, hearty and filling. Unlike some junk from the store where I can eat 3 sandwiches and still be hungry a sandwich with this stuff goes a long way. Add in a can of soup or some fruit and whatever is lying around and you have a solid lunch. Two sandwiches is a good dinner. Pretty regularly I have toast with strawberry jam for breakfast these days. Suprisingly this happens just after baking day.

Anyway that is about all that comes to mind. I think rambling posts may be a weekend feature here. That will leave short discrete topics for the week when I am busier.

1 comment:

Rose said...

I agree with you that most foods "best by" date is just that...it's best if used by that date, but is still edible and perfectly fine to eat after that date as long as the food has been stored properly and the can doesn't bulge or spit when you open it. I use foods after the printed date often, usually because I found it at the back of the cupboard and had forgotten about it.

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