Thanks for visiting Eat or Toss!
What we do
This is a space for answering those really scary questions, like, is that white stuff on grapes going to make me sick? Or, is it OK to eat a hard-boiled egg with a greenish yolk? The goal is to take the mystery out of our food, so we can understand it better, enjoy it more, save money, and throw away less. Along the way it’s also pretty fun to learn about things like the power of salt to dissolve aluminum foil and the reason some apples are covered in all those little pinprick dots (it’s how they breathe!).
How it works
On EatOrToss you’ll find a database of images of confusing food situations, along with quick, science-based explanations of why you should, well, eat… or toss. We regularly add new images and articles.
While we entertain many different types of questions, we focus on highly visual dilemmas, with the hope that readers at home can compare whatever they’re seeing in their kitchens with the images on screen. Questions are only answered after thorough reviews of authoritative sources and our research often includes interviews with food scientists, post-harvest researchers and other experts in horticulture, botany, plant pathology, microbiology and food safety.
You’ll find the results written up in quick summaries — so hopefully, next time you encounter an onion that’s turned turquoise or an apple that looks like it used to be a chimney sweep—you’ll know what to do.
Recipes, flexipes and using it up
While EatOrToss’s focus is on helping consumers use accessible science to take the “doubt” out of “when in doubt throw it out,” we also feature occasional recipes to help reduce food waste. Actually, we prefer to call them “flexipes,” as they’re designed to help you use what you have on hand, and not to stress about making sure you have exactly the right amount of exactly the right ingredients. Poke around on our “use-it-up” page for ideas on what to do with peels, pickle juice, stale bread and other foods that we promise can still make for good eating!
If you have a brilliant way to use an ingredient that often goes to waste, we may be able to feature your flexipe as a guest post! Get in touch with us at [email protected].
Where do the images come from?
The images featured on EatOrToss come both from our own kitchen adventures and those of our readers.
Facing your own eat or toss dilemma?
If you encounter a confusing-looking clementine or a wonky watermelon, we hope you’ll take photos and send them via our Submit a Question form. We love questions from readers!
Who we are and how to get involved
The bigger picture
According to the National Resources Defense Council, America throws away something like 40 percent of its food. Forty percent! And a lot of that is being dumped because people mistakenly think that good food isn’t safe.
At the consumer level, NRDC reports, that forty percent is like going to the grocery store, buying five bags of food and dropping two of them in the parking lot. Much of that is lost to industry practices that favor perfection and abundance over preventing waste, but consumers’ direct share of that loss is also huge—something like a whopping 40 percent of the food wasted in America comes from ordinary people doing ordinary things like leaving half a meal on their restaurant plates and letting vegetables wither in their fridges.
And, a lot of that waste stems from people not knowing enough about their food to determine if it’s still good or not. When, as a nation, we’re throwing away nearly half of our food, the “when in doubt, throw it out” philosophy feels like pretty weak (expired?) sauce. Our hope is that this site will help people take the “doubt” out of these daily food decisions—and keep good food on our plates and out of our trash cans.