Food waste Friday – always read the small print

Filed in Blog by on October 24, 2009 9 Comments
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Maplel Syrup - refrigerate after opening

Maplel Syrup - refrigerate after opening

After a resounding success last week with zero food waste; I got caught out!

I use a lot of alternative sweeteners in baking such as fructose, agave syrup and honey. Ages ago I bought some maple syrup to use in place of golden syrup in recipes.

I used a little of it in one recipe and put it in the cupboard.

This week I decided to play in the kitchen and experiment with some new ideas. I decided to use maple syrup as the agave had run out. I was delighted to find the maple syrup in the shop in a glass bottle with a metal lid – this was part of the reason I bought it as so many syrups and sweeteners are in squeezy plastic bottles.

I reached for the bottle and was shocked to see a little bit of mould on the top.

It was only a small amount, but I was unsure whether to use it, so I ditched it.

I looked on the label and lo and behold there were instructions to keep refrigerated once opened.  I was very surprised because good old tate and lyle golden syrup will last for years in the cupboard. I should know, I’ve found perfectly good syrup in a rusty tin before now.

So let that be a lesson to me; always read the small print.

What about you – have you ever been caught out by not storing food properly?

Remember, if you blog about food waste, go and add your name and comment to Kristen’s Frugal girl website and check out how others are doing too!


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (9)

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  1. Alea says:

    Bad lcuk! I had that happen with coconut oil. I had some that I could put in the cupboard and I bought a different brand and it went bad. I read the label and it said it should be refrigerated after opening. It never occured to me to refrigerate an oil.

  2. Claire Brown says:

    it happened to me with noodles, – the 2 packs of stirfry noodles, – trouble is, once you’ve opened the first pack, you have to put the second in the fridge, – 2 weeks later when I reached into the cupboard to the 2nd helping it was green and fluffy – not pleasant and the rest of the carefully planned meal was then difficult to use.

  3. Sarah says:

    Yuck. I wouldn’t have thought to refrigerate or check that either.

  4. Beth Anne says:

    I had a similar thing happen with some chicken base. I didn’t realize it needed to be refrigerated at first but I was able to catch it in time!

  5. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    I feed rooks, jackdaws and magpies with bacon and beef rind and chicken fat. After 1 week’s collection in the fridge, using a plastic tub, this is thrown out first thing. On a recent occasion, I found white spores growing from beef rind which was a first for me. After washing off the fungus, the meat was fed to the eager birds.

    I now keep the collected material in the freezer to prevent further contamination and thaw it out a day or two before use.

  6. Jane DeGroff says:

    I hope you didn’t throw the maple syrup out. All you have to do is skim off the mold and boil the syrup for a few minutes. It repruifies it and it will be thicker.

  7. Mrs Green says:

    @Alea: weird that some things need refrigerating and others don’t, isn’t it? Sorry to hear about the coconut oil.

    @Claire Brown: Ewww, that’s horrible! I buy dry noodles as we eat them so infrequently, so fortunately that shouldn’t happen here!

    @Beth Anne: Hi Beth Anne – what is chicken base? Is that stock?

    @John Costigane: Sounds like you have things well planned, John and I’m sure your feathered friends are happy; especially with the cooler months ahead.

    @Jane DeGroff: Hi Jane, welcome to the site. I’m afraid the maple syrup went down the sink. I couldn’t really scrape it off because it was in a bottle, not a jar, so I couldn’t physically get to it without tipping the whole lot out, iykwim. I’ll bear in mind to scrape off the bad bits and boil if it happens again though – thanks for the tip!

  8. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    The only food waste recently has been the loss of leaves from the younger of 2 remaining potted Sweet Basil plants. The leaves saw their colour lighten compared to others. After this, they have fallen in quick time. I decided to remove all the lowest, hanging ones to prevent the inevitable.

    As freezing is a bit tricky, the leaves were cut-off, washed, dried, and wrapped in folded tissue paper. Tinfoil from the Schogetten chocolate was then used to cover the lot to seal in the leaves. Finally, placed in a tight container for the chill.

    There is still growth in both plants so they should last a good while yet. The older plant has leathery-looking leaves which might last all winter but the younger, fast growing one may not. There are enough leaves, included dried ones, to last until next spring which was the aim.

    My brother and girlfriend visited at the weekend and noticed the same leaf-loss in their plant which backed my experience. All 9 recipients will be contacted to check their progress, with advice to deal with the effects of the cold, and the dark.

  9. Mrs Green says:

    @John Costigane: Hi John, yes, our basil has shed its leaves as well! I have preserved all I can to see us through the winter. Last year I managed to keep our plant growing, but this year it doesn’t want to know. Let’s hope yours survives the winter 🙂

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