The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on May 6, 1970 · Page 11
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May 6, 1970

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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 11

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Wednesday, May 6, 1970
Page 11
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Page 11 article text (OCR)

Most Date Marks Are in Code How Old Is the Food You Buy? The Package Tells FoiiJ By Estelle Jackson R ICHMOND, VA. (AP) Ever wonder how fresh the food you buy really is? Ever suspect that the food you're e ; aling may have" been standing overly long on 'the grocery shelf? The answer to your question is probably marked right oti your grocery packages. Most perishable food products found in supermarkets are marked with a date — either the date of packaging or the date the item is to be withdrawn or "pulled" from the store counter or shelf. The problem is that most of the dates are in code — and most of the codes arc secret. W HAT IS the significance of the numbers marked in purple or black on the undersides of boxes and cans? In an effort to find the answer, I visited stores of sev- e r a I local supermarket chains. I found some help and encountered some resistance. But I did manage to crack quite a few codes. A carton of potato salad, one of my first targets, was coded in .a fairly-common, but baffling, manner.- The numbers on the underside,of the container read 2081. The manager of the store told,me to add the first and last numerals together to learn the month — the third month, March. The "08" represented the day of the month, he said. So, t concluded, the package should be pulled Mar. 8. "Is that package still back there on the counter?" suddenly asked the manager, and he took off as though both Virginia H. Knauer and Ralph Nader were in hot pursuit. The day, you see, was Mar. 11. _ M EAT CODES, I found, were difficult to decipher, because they vary from chain to chain, from store to store within the same chajiv and even within, the same store of the^ same chain. For example, in" one store fresh meats were marked "23." The "2" stood for the man who wrapped the meat, and the "3" represented the day of the week — Wednesday — the meat was wrapped. Finding the codes on a milk carton can be a strain on the eyes, as they are, usually embossed colorlessly on the lip of the wax container. Most milk is coded by pull date - "31" would indicate the carton will be withdrawn on the thirty-first. One brand codes by the bottling date, a delivery "man told me. A letter represents the week, and a number indicates the day. "B4" means the fourth day of the second full week of the month, for example. /""10DES can contain more \J than dates. Some codes also contain symbols repre-' senting cities, packing plants, vat numbers and even ~shift < numbers. Processors say this must be done to identify specific batches for checking_the-jw»- lidity of consumer complaints, as in cases where food products must be recalled. Letter codes can really be perplexing. One technique is to employ a six-letter word, like NEWARK, in which no letters are repeated. Using NEWARK, an "N" could represent Monday, "E" Tuesday and so forth. Some manufacturers •prefer a 10-letter code, using a word combination like NOURISH EAT. Wheri they reach the end of the 10-day cycle with a "T," they can simply start all over again with an "N." E ASILY understood codes, in which the packaging or expiration dates are writ- Want to Know About Pottery? Ask the Woman Who Makes It! By Susan Reed (North American Newspaper Alliance) ' I F YOU'RE thinking about making a purchase of pot- Jery_or_. some other__object__ that could be considered be mentally Gift flower pots hold ;i >we,el surprise. Flowers to Mom By Dorothy Ycglin (Tht Register's Food Editor) T HIS IS FOR kids and dads only — or any mothers who think a little hinting will help. —Hore-'s-hew-to-give-MOTtr- something she can really use on her day, next Sunday. Present her with a homemade gift certificate for "one day off from the kitchen!" Begin her holiday with breakfast in bed or on the patio, and highlight it with dinner by the substitute cooks of the household. To cap the meal with a burst of color, serve Flowerpots for Mom, a rich blend of apricot nectar and vanilla ice cream in airy combination with gelatin. Youngsters big enough to use the stove can stir up this dessert in a breeze — sprinkling gelatin over cold fruit juice, then heating and stirring until the granules are dissolved. Smaller folks can help stir in the ice cream before the "art," don't muscle-bound. That's the advice of a leading potter and art -teacher, Toshiko Takaezu, who instructs ceramic classes at Princeton University, Princeton, N.J., and thinks people with little., or art training tend to make mistakes when they look over a clay pot, wooden bowl or some other piece: They mistrust and often re- jcct their instinctive reaction .to an object. . They fret more than they should about making a mistake. . They worry too much about the opinions of others ~ : — friends, relatives or neighbors. vidual dishes to chill. Custard cups, plastic or paper cups could be used — or even new little planters or pots lined with foil.' Before they come to the table, the pots can be "planted" (or dishes decorated) with artificial flowers or homemade paper ones on wire stems. Leaves of spearmint candy could be added. For best results when dissolving unflavored gelatin, use a wide saucepan. This provides more heat surface area so gelatin will dissolve quickly. Flowerpots for Mom 1 envelope unflavored gelatin *'t cup apricot nectar 1 pint vanilla ice cream Paper flowers Spearmint candy leaves Sprinkle gelatin over apricot nectar in saucepan. Place over moderate heat; stir constantly until gelatin dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add ice cream to hot mixture and beat until melted and smooth. Pour into custard cups, paper cups, or little planters or pots lined with foil. Chill at least 2 hours or until firm. Garnish with paper flowers and spearmint candy leaves split in half. Serves 4 to 6. Mjss Takaezu, one of eight artists appearing in the ABC special "With These Hands: The Rebirth of the American Craftsman^xon Friday (8 p.m., Iowa time), has these suggestions for__the_iobject buyer: \. "If you leave it to your instinct, even if you makea mistake, you'll be all right. "In other words, if something bugs you to a point where you want to buy it, then you should even if it's wrong." She explains: "You might as well make a mistake and learn from it. In a few years,. you'll wonder why you bought what you did. But at the moment you do buy it, the piece is right." Miss Takaezu adds,- "If a person can live with himself and with what others might say, he's, all right. In time "he^'ll develop an appreciation and understanding of art objects. 1 ' ' . However^ if a person is self-conscious about his art taste, she says, he should have someone he respects do his art buying. \ , "Better yet," she says, "ask why the expert likes .what he does." Scarf Stays Put By Heloise Cruse Dear Heloise: Most of us know how to make belt keepers (the little loop holders that hold our belts in place). Well, I came up with an idea of using the same belt keeper to anchor scarves. For instance, if a dress has a round neck, no collar, and opens at the back with a zipper, put one of these long keepers inside on each side of fte zipper. Then run your £ tielofee ,,keepers can be put inside in • the front on either side of the small slit. Put these very close to the edge of the collar and you can put a long.nar- row scarf through both and tie in a bow. — Wilma Lenz Rub the Rim Dear Heloise: When using a pressure sauce pan for the first time or after replacing the sauce pan gasket, rub the top rim of the pan with cooking oil. This prevents the sticking of the gasket and makes unlocking the lid for removal much easier. — Mrs. Harley Vickers scarf through both loops and bring the scraf around to the front, tying it hi any fashion you choose. With a mandarin collar, ............ - T ..T~S because or me volume of mill she receives. Her column •weirs dally on the women's pages of The Des Molnes Register and In The Sunday Register's comic pages. AMY By Jacic Tipptt "I hove a problem...which one of you will volunteer to help me solve it?" M ISS TAKAEZU also has taught at the University of Wisconsin and the Cleveland Art Institute. She has been making pottery for more than two decades and has been weaving for at least 10 years. / Her pottery and wpven pieces are in the "Objects: U.S.A.," Johnson Wax crafts collection now touring the country. (Johnson Wax also is sponsor of the ABC television special on the crafts.) Miss STakaezu, who can throve large clay pots with considerable skill and ease, tends to suggest the plants and sky of her native Hawaii in her often asymmetrical pieces. Miss Takaezu generally is slow to release her pottery for exhibition. She likes to put them away and re-examine them later to determine whether they stand up aesthetically. "Some things I never release at all," she says. "I won't part with them." I N SHOPPING for objects, she thinks the critical faculty is emotion. "I have to feel it.- There's something about a piece that goes beyond the obvious physical things of form and line." The artist also believes curiosity is indispensable to acquiring a sure touch in art buying. "When a person can't tell the difference between similar objects and begins to question and to search for the difference," she says, ''he eventually wiU find out what makes a piece have that indefinable something." ten in plain English, fall into the category of "open coding." And open coding is what various consumer organizations want.- It would Be~ mandatory' if a bill now before Congress is passed. Representative Leonard Farbstein (Dem., N.Y.) is the author of the bill, an amendment to the Fair Labeling and Packaging Act, The-bill, which has 47 sponsors in Congress, includes provisions for open dating by uniformly using the product's "pull" or expirationdate. _ Preliminary results of surveys made for Farbstein's office by women investigators in the Washington area were disclosed by Ellis Levin, the congressman's legislative assistant. "Everything sold is not stale, but a signficant amount of food is older than the codes say it should be," said Levin. "We're finding this especially in milk, bread and meat. The greatest abuse is in low income areas. However, middle-income area housewives are concerned, too, about paying a lot of money for stale food." • P OOD INDUSTRY spokesmen maintain that open coding would add to the cost of food and contend it is not necessary because the purpose of coding is to help stores rotate products. They say that the codes are not the customers' business. S. Frank Straus, executive vice-president of the Virginia Food Dealers Assoc. f — says— that coding would "create more .problems than it solves. "Housewives would buy things**with the newest and freshest dates," he said. "The last merchandise in would be the first out. "This would create a vast problem in that much merchandise would have to be destroyed and credited. Imagine-what-that would do to the cost of food." Proponents of open coding counter industry arguments by saying that open dating would not be an extra cost, since the industry is already coding food. They argue that open dating has existed for years in some European countries. __. A PAGE FOR Women Sfte Pi# IJKmtg Wednesday, May 6, 1970 Page II POINTS FOR PARENTS Fatlrer: "Keep your-eye-on the ball! How many times must I tell you? If you want to play baseball, you have to pay attention." Son: "I'll never learn to hit the ball- Father: "You're doihg-finer- , You'll soon get into the habit '•of watching the ball automatically when you're at bat. You have a good swing. I'll pitch you a few more before dinner if you like." Toshiko^Takaezu, in her potter's studio in Clintoji, N.J., makes a clay form she later ^vil^close at the top to create a decorative object. Most children are too aware of their failures and parents do not need to point them out. An angry tirade will not belp a child learn, but is likely to hurt his self-confidence and make learning even slower. ^ Day Gift Sales Bmndeis University Book Sale Davidson Building Downtown DOWNTOWN MERLE HAY PLAZA 5 Special Value! Fabulous Purchase! SUMMER JEWELRY One-Of-A-Kind Samples Over 1,000 individual pieces of beauiiful Summer costume jewelry specially purchased and just in time for Mother': Day! From one-of our best known makers . .. regularly $ $8, now 1/2 price . . . Earrings, pins, rings, pearls, cameos, long ropes, necklaces, belts, bracelet^. A fabulous array io choose from. For Mother, for yourself, gifts for any occasion. Jewelry and Handbags, Fit CANVAS HANDBAGS With Attached Umbrellas •5 I o set Laige, smart looking canvas bag*, absolutely perfect for travel or a busy shopping day. Attached compartment carries it's own umbrella. Choose from toies or shou'der strap styles in Red, Black or White with contrasting trim. Downtown • Merle Hay Plant

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