By this summer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will have launched its most sweeping safety reforms in a decade for the food it buys for school lunches.
There's a filet mignon in my fridge that expired four days ago, but it seems OK to me. I take a hesitant whiff and detect no putrid odor of rotting flesh, no oozing, fetid cow juice—just the full-bodied aroma of well-aged meat. A feast for one; I retrieve my frying pan. This is not an isolated experiment or a sad symptom of my radical frugality. With a spirit of teenage rebellion, I disavow any regard for expiration dates.
The modern food industry likes consistency. Modern food and agricultural corporations operate on a huge scale, and that's where consistency matters. When it comes to the crops and animals that we eat, consistency means the variety gets the short straw — instead of growing multiple varieties of potatoes, for example, the industry relies on one or two primary strains. The few strains that are grown are susceptible to certain kinds of disease, and the results can be disastrous.
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