Can I eat it?
October 13, 2021 6:21 PM   Subscribe

Woman finds 50 year old cans of food and… eats them. On tiktok. This may be a potential datapoint for the perennial askmefi question- can I eat it?
posted by slateyness (34 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Kids do the darndest things.
posted by freakazoid at 6:29 PM on October 13 [1 favorite]

I once drank a sixpack of OK Cola, because they'd all started to develop pinhole leaks and there wasn't any reason to save them any longer, except as empty cans.

(that "once" was in 2016. I can see through time now.)
posted by aramaic at 6:34 PM on October 13 [18 favorites]

Better than most things you'd see on IG.
posted by oddman at 6:37 PM on October 13

I'll take Botulism for $200.
posted by clavdivs at 6:41 PM on October 13 [9 favorites]

preserved food she found in her 1904 cellar, including "50-year-old beef heart."

Great sockpuppet handle in there somewhere, just don’t make us call you Captain.
posted by armeowda at 6:52 PM on October 13 [11 favorites]

This guy has a youtube channel where he eats MREs from World War 2 and the Vietnam War.
posted by mogget at 6:56 PM on October 13 [21 favorites]

This guy has a youtube channel where he eats MREs from World War 2 and the Vietnam War.

He's eaten stuff from the oughts (the grandpa simpson oughts) and even the civil war.
posted by 445supermag at 7:09 PM on October 13 [11 favorites]

Mogget, you beat me to it!
posted by praemunire at 7:39 PM on October 13

What, there's no TikTok about the possible diarrhea had afterwards?
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:16 PM on October 13

I'm surprised she found a 50 year-old bee.
posted by zamboni at 8:22 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]

Eating History is an entire TV series on eating expired food.

Yet another reason to mourn the lost opportunity that the History Channel had to present enlightening documentaries on real history rather than the tacky mishmash of ghosts and UFOs they ended up with. :(
posted by fairmettle at 12:25 AM on October 14 [3 favorites]

50 years from now there will be viral content of people discovering stores of dried beans and toilet paper from the great pandemic of the Twenty Twenties.
posted by srboisvert at 4:56 AM on October 14 [10 favorites]

I've always wanted to write something about a character with a phobia for eating irradiated food, who spends all their time and energy locating and procuring preserved food from before the era of nuclear testing. I don't reckon it's possible to subsist on such a restrictive diet anymore, but maybe up to about 30 years ago, during the dawn of public-accessible internet?
posted by St. Oops at 5:10 AM on October 14 [1 favorite]

Just last week I threw out a rather...puffy...can of mango slices. I'm sure it had been hidden in the pantry for well over a year. Still, 50 years? No. Effin. Way.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:37 AM on October 14 [1 favorite]

I ate a slice of cheese the other day, and a few hours later someone else tried to grab a slice from the same pack only to discover it was covered in mold. I haven't died yet, but I was pretty sure, that entire day, that I could feel the mold spores multiplying in my throat. I cannot imagine how someone sallies forth to eat from Ancient Cans. The worry alone would kill me.
posted by mittens at 6:59 AM on October 14

There's millions of people on TikTok. I'm just saying ... survivor bias.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:59 AM on October 14 [8 favorites]

Drove to my sisters wedding with my soon-to-be brother in law (he was driving), stopped on the road to relieve myself, and found an old Budweiser that had been there so long that one side was bleached completely silver. I brought it back to show him, and he double dared me to drink it.

Which I did. Nothing really bad happened, but I think I would have felt better had I not.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:25 AM on October 14 [6 favorites]

This is fun.

I've sampled an ~40 year old canned pineapple cream that had been stored at roughly -45C most of that time. It was okay, or at least not unpleasant, though I don't really know what pineapple cream is supposed to taste like when fresh. I've also tried a 26 year old Bacon Bar ("Pre-fried bacon, diced & pressed.") It was truly revolting. Just the smell of rancid oil on opening the package was enough to drive one from the room. "Can" isn't always the most important question that ends with "I eat this."
posted by eotvos at 7:28 AM on October 14 [4 favorites]

If the can isn't puffy or leaking, I say eat it.
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:14 AM on October 14

When I was a kid in the early 80s my Dad was clearing out his great-aunt's house after she died, and found a tin of salmon from the 1930s or possibly earlier. The can was intact, but distinctly convex. He insisted it would be fine to eat, my mother strenuously disagreed. When he did open it the built-up gasses sprayed what I'm going to guess was about 90% salmonella bacteria all around the deceased aunt's kitchen. We all fled screaming and nobody was ill, but my mother made my father shower and wash all his clothes before she'd let him drive back home with her. Ever since then I've been firmly on the side of "nope" when it comes to this sort of thing. as it's just too much work when it goes wrong.
posted by YoungStencil at 8:57 AM on October 14 [16 favorites]

Goldblum, could, should. You know the drill.
posted by delfin at 9:14 AM on October 14 [1 favorite]

Once early in my postdoc days our lab tech and I were eating lunch. He was eating some crackers he had found in a random cabinet. At some point he realized the crackers had green specks on them and he said “Wait a minute. Is that mold? Am I eating mold? Are these crackers moldy? Dude, am I gonna die?”

I did a google search for ‘are these crackers moldy am i going to die’. The very top result was a person asking the exact same question, nearly word-for-word. Turns out there was at one time a saltine flavor that included little specks of chives or green onion. It was NOT mold, but it was funny as heck, and also marked the very last time our lab tech went foraging in the cupboard for lunch, because that's kinda hard to live down.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:37 AM on October 14 [6 favorites]

I don't reckon it's possible to subsist on such a restrictive diet anymore, but maybe up to about 30 years ago, during the dawn of public-accessible internet?

St. Oops , maybe part of their story is that they locate and purchase/break into sealed Cold War era fallout shelters built under private homes and buildings to get at the stored food there? There surely must be a bunch of those left over from that period.
posted by star gentle uterus at 9:56 AM on October 14 [1 favorite]

50 years from now there will be viral content of people discovering stores of dried beans and toilet paper from the great pandemic of the Twenty Twenties.

I see you're an optimist.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:08 AM on October 14 [9 favorites]

When my grandmother died in the early 2000s we found in her pantry a box of Jell-o powder. It was for a variety (some type of parfait?!?) that none of us could remember ever existing, so we took a closer look. The price on the box was not a sticker or a barcode, but a *stamp* for $0.15. She had moved this box of Jell-o no fewer than 4 times for easily 40 years.

Supposedly my cousins tried to eat it but it would no longer set up properly.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:45 AM on October 14 [5 favorites]

I was reading the article and this thread feeling a little queasy, then hit YoungStencil's comment. Gloriously horrible, simply glorious. "We all fled screaming and nobody was ill." Classic.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:36 AM on October 14

I've got a box of cake mix with the packaging entirely in cyrillic. Bought at the end of the 80's / beginning of the 90's. No later than 1991. I've taken it with me everywhere I've lived.

My grandmother has the most useful version of this type of thing. An opium tincture from the Grandpa Simpson aughts (that's a great term, 445supermag). She got it from her grandmother as an "in case of emergencies" thing. When I was a kid with a terrible toothache, she gave me a few drops from it. Worked wonderfully. With grandma gone, its mine now. In a drawer next to the bottle full of 21 year old oxy from when my partner broke her ankle at the Grand Canyon. We like to joke about our finely aged opiates.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 12:08 PM on October 14 [4 favorites]

Oh, I'm all about the historic food. Bring it on.
posted by inexorably_forward at 1:25 PM on October 14

I have two army surplus cans, one with the silhouette of a pig, one with that of a cow. I personally looted them from an abandoned building in New Orleans in late 2005. They're my favorite bookends. I guess I can imagine circumstances in which I would open them, but I prefer not to.

But also, Thorzdad: I would eat every ounce of the nasty meat-like substance within, uncooked, and also the cans themselves, rather than open an even slightly puffy can. Mango or otherwise. Cause that shit will actually kill you.
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 1:48 PM on October 14

I once found a tube of a deep heat / tiger balm type cream for sore muscles at the back of our medical cabinet. It had a "Christchurch '74" Commonwealth Games sticker on the box. I used it. My legs felt like they were on fire for about 48 hours.....I assume some part of the cream had evaporated away leaving only pure lava in cream form.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 2:34 PM on October 14 [5 favorites]

I remember touring Grand Canyon Caverns about 20 years ago and they had some old MREs there from back when it was a bomb shelter during the Cold War. The guide said, “they’re still edible! Probably not terribly good, but edible.”
posted by azpenguin at 6:30 PM on October 14

In a 2015 AskMe question asking Safe to drink 20 year old bottles of coke?
I proposed a challenge: I'll drink mine if you drink yours.
posted by bendy at 10:34 PM on October 14 [2 favorites]

Steve1989, linked above, is the best. There is something weirdly fascinating about watching him reviewing the kits. He's SO EXCITED about it to and you can tell really has a passion for MREs.
posted by schroedinger at 5:36 AM on October 15

My parents lived in Spain in the early-mid 1950s. Before they left in 1956, they bought a bunch of saffron, since it was fairly inexpensive there, in comparison to the price in the U.S.. Mom passed on some of it to me at one point and I kept in out of a weird sense of nostalgia I guess. I finally tossed it last year I think. I did use a bit of it once when I needed some and the weather was icy and I did not feel like a trip to the store for one item. It did provide a saffron color to the food, but of course any flavor was long since gone.
posted by gudrun at 10:14 AM on October 15 [1 favorite]

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