No More Excuses for Harboring 'Meat Cake'

I wonder what the late comedian George Carlin would think of Still Tasty, a new Web site focused on the shelf life of food. It was in the late 1970s when Carlin coined the expression “meat cake” for those unidentifiable objects left to rot in the fridge. The famous bit can be viewed, below (beginning at :57, 'til 2:17):

Fridge neglect is something we’re all guilty of to varying degrees, and it inevitably leaves us in this strange state of panic and guilt, as perfectly good food decays and morphs into science projects and our money literally goes down the garbage disposal. We angst over past-due expiration dates on yogurt containers and we wonder just how long that carry-out container of Asian noodles will last.

(Kim O'Donnel)

Before February, when Still Tasty launched, there was nary one Web destination for all those nagging food storage/safety conundrums. Home cooks were forced to become intrepid reporters, patching together bits of advice and info from sundry sources to ward off self-imposed hazards of food poisoning. Enter Jeanie and Janice Revell, the mother-daughter duo who developed Still Tasty’s “Keep It or Toss It” searchable database, which dishes up the shelf life of every possible perishable item in the average home kitchen.

Both Revells have background in consumer affairs -- Jeanie (Mom) is a retired civil servant from the Canadian office of Consumer Affairs and Janice is a senior writer at Money Magazine and a retirement columnist at

We’re happy that we’ve gotten the site launched,” writes Janice in an e-mail, “as we feel it’s more important than ever in these tight economic times for people to get the most out their food budget.”

In case you’re wondering, the Revells are not dispensing their own home-grown food safety advice; rather, they have sourced most of their information from US and Canadian government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, plus research from the academic world.

And no, I haven't typed "meat cake" into the database, but I'm tempted...

Welcome to All We Can Eat, the Post Food section's blog, just out of the oven!

By Kim ODonnel |  April 29, 2009; 7:00 AM ET Food Safety , Food on the Web
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