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Oh, nobody nose, what I nose

  1. Sep 18, 2010 #1
    Article: http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/is-gulf-seafood-safe-to-eat-the-nose-knows/19577398"

    Wow. Ever since survival school, I've been somewhat ignoring the dates on various items, trusting my nose, but have still erred on the side of science (if it's past the due date, it's out). Over the years, my nose has confirmed the fact the dates usually err on the conservative side, and on a few occasions, my nose has failed to err on the side of trouble (meaning I didn't see things coming). Now modern science is confirming that my multi-million-year-developed sense of smell is worth something after all?

    This morning, I threw out six fantastic-looking breakfast steaks which had but the slightest whiff of "eh..?" After all - what's $18 among friends? Thankfully, we grillled new steaks instead. The eggs were just fine
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2010 #2
    Yep, the nose is an impressive little nubbin of brain, but I agree that to err on the side of caution is wise. Short of actually dying, food poisoning is the worst... I mean... the one time I had it I thought, "I don't want to die, but if this is going to kill me let me die NOW, and not have this go on!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  4. Sep 19, 2010 #3
    The sense of smell can vary a lot with genetics. Some people are much better smellers than others, and we're all pretty terrible compared to most other animals. I would agree that it's better to err on the side of caution, unless you're about to die of starvation.

    Expiration dates should be viewed with some healthy skepticism. They're based on the average time it takes for the food to spoil since the date it was packaged. This is also assuming the lot wasn't contaminated in the first place. Food that doesn't smell bad can still make you sick, like ground beef contaminated with E. coli. Other foods that do smell a bit ripe may be perfectly fine to eat, like many cheeses.

    In regards to the gulf, don't many of the animals also have a sense of smell? Humans aren't the only picky eaters of the animal kingdom.

    Edit: It would probably be better to say "sense of taste" when referring to aquatic animals.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
  5. Sep 19, 2010 #4
    They certainly do, but they may well not say to themselves, "that smells like aromatic hydrocarbons, I'm not eating that crab!"
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