The Shelf Life Advice Quick Reference Guide has answers about refrigerated unopened and opened foods. To receive your copy, type your email address in the box below and click "Sign Up".

Battling the Ripening of Bananas

bananaQuestion from a reader:  "How can I manage to keep ripe but not overripe bananas in my home?  I don't live near a grocery store and can get to one only once a week. I usually wind up with mushy, disgusting-looking bananas that I have to throw out."


My condolences.  I know that bananas can drive you bananas. You may be comforted to know that your query has given my research skills quite a workout. Online, I've found plenty of advice, some of which didn't work for me. Keep in mind this witty comment (often quoted with slight variations) by H.L. Mencken (1880-1956), journalist, satirist, and curmudgeon: "For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." 


In addition to the online methods for prolonging the edible life of bananas that I tested, this article includes more trustworthy wisdom from four of the scientists who serve on the Shelf Life Advice Advisory Board.

Halloween Treats Even Parents Will Love

HalloweenWhat a dilemma! You don’t want to contribute to the junk food or childhood obesity problems now rampant in the U.S., but you have to hand out something kids will consider a treat and something their parents will allow them to eat.  Here are some suggestions:

The Right Care for Your Dishwasher and Microwave

Dishwasher getting vinegar treatmentFor the dishwasher or microwave to get our attention, it usually has to stop working.  But that shouldn't be the case. If we don't treat our appliances with care, they are likely to mistreat us. Does a dishwasher need cleaning? If so, why and how? What shouldn't be heated in a microwave? Below are responses to these questions and other important matters concerning these appliances from 3 scientists who serve on our site's Advisory Board and from companies that manufacture these appliances.

Tailgating: How to Do It Right

tailgatingThe word "tailgate" has several different meanings including the one we're using here: the custom of picnicking before or after an athletic event, concert, or race. This type of event originated in the American South, probably with college football, more than 100 years ago. Today, it's spread to many other team sports (such as basketball and soccer) as well as popular concerts. 


Tailgating is in full swing now that the college football season is upon us. The main activity at these events is eating and sharing food with fellow football fans (even those supporting rival teams).  Therefore, Shelf Life Advice just had to cover this social and culinary phenomenon. We have excellent advice to keep you eating well and safely while socializing in the great outdoors. Below, you'll also find links to several sites about tailgating preparations and recipes.

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