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  #1  
Old 30 July 2009, 05:18 AM
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Ponder Honey never spoils

Comment: Is honey really the only food that never spoils? If this is true
why do containers of honey bought at the store have an expiration date
printed on them?
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  #2  
Old 30 July 2009, 05:31 AM
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Because it solidifies?

This bee farm claims honey will keep indefinitely.
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  #3  
Old 30 July 2009, 05:34 AM
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Even though a food may not "spoil," it can still be best (in an aesthetic sense) if it's consumed before a particular expiration date.
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Old 30 July 2009, 01:06 PM
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Because honey is essentially a very high concentration sugar solution, it essentially dehydrates microorganisms, preventing their growth. However, this will not always destroy spoors like botulism, that is why honey is not recommended for infants (though the risk is small, it can be serious).

If the honey is diluted, microorganisms can grow. After all, mead is made from growing yeast in diluted honey...
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Old 30 July 2009, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
If this is true
why do containers of honey bought at the store have an expiration date
printed on them?
Because the law states that all items sold for human consumption must have an expiration/best before date, without making an exemption for honey?

It could be as easy as that.

Don Enrico
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  #6  
Old 30 July 2009, 01:38 PM
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My sister and BIL have bees (in a good way ). We have honey from them that has lasted several years. We did have to throw out a chunk of honeycomb once, but it was in a square plastic non-airtight container. I'd stored it in our pantry waaaay on the top shelf and forgotten it was there... Never thrown out any honey stored in an airtight jar.
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  #7  
Old 30 July 2009, 01:49 PM
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DH has a huge bucket of honey in the basement. He bought this years ago intending to make mead. The surface had aquired some moisture and this thinned the surface honey out enough to allow stuff to grow. He's certain that the middle is fine but isn't sure how to get the bad stuff out without spreading the infection. A good bit of boiling is required anyway for mead but he's not sure how much work he wants to go through for an iffy result.

Aud "take about a honey do project" 1
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  #8  
Old 30 July 2009, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Comment: Is honey really the only food that never spoils?
I would guess that vinegar, particularly strong vinegar, if kept sealed would pretty much never spoil.

A Turtle - oh, and let's not forget that Twinkies last forever - Named Mack
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  #9  
Old 30 July 2009, 01:59 PM
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I have heard that bacon grease will not spoil either. My mom and dad were of a generation that would fry bacon, save the grease and then use it to fry lots of stuff like potatoes, eggs, other meats. We always had a bowl of bacon grease in the refrigerator. *shudders*
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Old 30 July 2009, 01:59 PM
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As a child in history class I was shown a film in which the narrator claimed that jars containing honey had been found in the tomb of [insert name of pharaoh which I forgot] and not only was the honey still edible, but some of it was served to guests of the expedition team at a party hosted in their honor for their safe return.

Possible UL but still a cool story.
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  #11  
Old 30 July 2009, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Redhead View Post
We always had a bowl of bacon grease in the refrigerator. *shudders*
They kept it in the fridge at least. My relatives kept it in a cup by the stove so that it was easy to get to.

We did the same until Sasha-Kitty discovered that bacon grease was super-tasty, and would leave little kitty tongue marks in it.
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Old 30 July 2009, 03:55 PM
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Bacon grease will go bad eventually if left out. I recall my great-grandmother having a can on her counter & it would go bad if left out in the summer.
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Old 30 July 2009, 04:24 PM
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At one point I was researching historical ointments and rendered pork fat is the basis for for many of them. If you render and thus remove any meat that could spoil the resulting fat is much more shelf stable. I also suspect that all the salt from the making of bacon will also help preserve any resulting grease.

Aud "the stories my college roommate could tell" 1
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  #14  
Old 30 July 2009, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryda Wong, EBfCo. View Post
They kept it in the fridge at least. My relatives kept it in a cup by the stove so that it was easy to get to.

We did the same until Sasha-Kitty discovered that bacon grease was super-tasty, and would leave little kitty tongue marks in it.
Our cats discovered that also. I think that was why mom started keeping it in the fridge.

[MORE HIJACK]
We had wrought iron frying pans and she would turn the burns on warm and set the pans on them to dry. She was never able to break the cats of their habit of sleeping in the frying pans. She ended up washing them after dinner and then again before she used them.
[END HIJACK]
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  #15  
Old 30 July 2009, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aud 1 View Post
At one point I was researching historical ointments and rendered pork fat is the basis for for many of them. If you render and thus remove any meat that could spoil the resulting fat is much more shelf stable. I also suspect that all the salt from the making of bacon will also help preserve any resulting grease.

Aud "the stories my college roommate could tell" 1
Rendered animal fat - would that not be lard?
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  #16  
Old 30 July 2009, 04:41 PM
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Fats (especially unstaurated fats) are still subject to oxidation, which makes them rancid, even when there is no microbial growth.

Nick
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  #17  
Old 30 July 2009, 04:45 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCIAG View Post
Bacon grease will go bad eventually if left out. I recall my great-grandmother having a can on her counter & it would go bad if left out in the summer.
Indeed, but if you're using enough to qualify as a good Southern cook, not much has a chance to go bad,
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  #18  
Old 30 July 2009, 04:47 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Redhead View Post
[MORE HIJACK]
We had wrought iron frying pans and she would turn the burns on warm and set the pans on them to dry. She was never able to break the cats of their habit of sleeping in the frying pans. She ended up washing them after dinner and then again before she used them.
[END HIJACK]
Isn't that one of the Cat Rules of Life? "If I fits in it, I sits in it"?

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  #19  
Old 31 July 2009, 01:26 PM
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I am a hobby beekeeper.

It is commonly known as 'fact' among beekeepers that honey will keep forever. It will tend to seperate into crystals after a long sit on a shelf. However gentle warming and stirring will melt the crystals and the honey is great afterwards.

Living on a farm we also make our own vinegar. At 7% vinegar is 'known' to last forever. Which is why it is a very common food preservative. Nearly every food product can be preserved in vinegar.
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  #20  
Old 31 July 2009, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryda Wong, EBfCo. View Post
Indeed, but if you're using enough to qualify as a good Southern cook, not much has a chance to go bad,

Ain't that the truth.
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