TIME Family

How Long You Can Store (Almost) Anything in the Fridge and Freezer

This infographic includes expiration dates on items in the pantry, too

They can feel like life’s greatest mysteries: Is that chicken breast at the bottom of the freezer still safe to eat? Or is that mustard jar in the back of the cupboard still any good? We’ve de-mystified the process with this handy chart, which incorporates advice from the USDA, food scientists, and food manufacturers. (Scroll down for downloadable, kitchen-ready versions.)

storageinfographic (1)

 

Download and print out your own versions to stick up in the kitchen:

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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Read next: These 8 Household Items Have Tons of Germs

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: January 8

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. The same features that make cities hubs for innovation may spur inequality. Smart policies can strike a balance.

By Richard Florida in CityLab

2. Solar power can provide hot meals for the masses.

By José Andrés in National Geographic’s The Plate

3. A simple way to make a huge difference in the lives of foster kids: college scholarships for youth ‘aging out’ of the system.

By Jennifer Guerra at National Public Radio

4. When we include women in post-conflict peacekeeping, they do a better job of managing resources to prevent future war.

By Priya Kamdar in New Security Beat

5. It’s time to build a more secure internet.

By Walter Isaacson in Time

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

These Healthy Foods Contain More Sugar Than You Thought

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When it comes to sugar, less is usually more

Aside from the occasional birthday cake or candy binge, you might think you’re a healthy eater most of the time. But sugar lurks in more than just the obvious places, like candy bars and cupcakes. In fact some so-called “nutritious” go-tos are actually packed with enough sugar to satisfy a mouth full of sweet tooths (er, sweet teeth?), and then some.

SugarScience, a new initiative from the University of California, San Francisco, along with a long list of partnering health departments across the country, is working to educate consumers about sugar. The information on the site comes from 8,000 research papers and warns against the risks of consuming too much sugar, including liver disease, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes.

When it comes to sugar, less is usually more. The World Health Organization recommends adults consume a max of 25 grams (or six teaspoons) per day. With the average American getting more than 19 teaspoons daily, it’s safe to say that we could stand to cut back a bit. “[The recommended limit] is not very much at all and a hard goal to meet, considering that most of us consume three times as much added sugar as what’s recommended,” says Julie Upton, M.S., R.D., CSSD.

But it’s not always the obvious sugar bombs that add up—here are some sneaky foods to avoid in the grocery aisles.

Yogurt

When it comes to sugar, yogurt can pack a powerful punch. Some kinds even have more sugar than a Twinkie, and low fat and flavored brands, in particular, might contain as much as 29 grams of sugar per serving. That doesn’t necessarily mean we have to kick yogurt out of our diets though. When shopping for it, avoid flavored or low-fat varieties, as those tend to have more sugar than plain yogurt. “Look for brands with no more than 20 grams sugar per single serve container,” says Joy Bauer, M.S., R.D., NBC’s Today Show diet expert, and founder of Nourish Snacks. “Or buy plain and doctor it up with fresh chopped fruit.” You can also add a teaspoon of sugar, honey, or maple syrup so that you control the amount of added sweeteners in your yogurt, Bauer says.

Granola

Sprinkling granola over that plain yogurt can actually add back in the sugar you avoided by swapping out flavors for the original. One half cup can cost you more than 12 grams. Plain, unflavored granola bars are better, but not great, still clocking in at six grams. If you’re really craving crunch, replace the granola with a protein-rich nut, like a handful of almonds.

Sports Drinks and Fruit Juice

Think twice before hydrating with a sports drink after a grueling workout. Just one drink can pack five teaspoons of sugar, according to Harvard University. Orange juice is even worse, containing 10 teaspoons, the same as a can of soda. Skip the sugar altogether by quenching your thirst with water next time you hit the gym. If you’re not willing to give up juice, Bauer suggests adding in the same flavor of seltzer to drive down natural sugar by 50 percent and give it some fizz.

Salad

Salad itself may be good for you, as long as it’s stuffed with a variety of veggies, but it’s what you drizzle on top that adds a surplus of sugar. And the seemingly healthy “low-fat” option is often the worst choice, as the fat that gets cut out is often replaced with sugar. So, a two-tablespoon serving of Italian dressing has 2 grams and thousand island and fat-free French have a whopping 6 grams of sugar.

Ketchup

While it’s not necessarily a health food, adding a dash of ketchup to your meal isn’t as harmless as you may think. Just one tablespoon of the condiment contains a teaspoon of sugar. That’s one sixth of your allotted daily amount.

Does this mean we should swear off sugar altogether? No need to panic. It’s still OK to indulge in sweet treats and foods that carry natural (and small amounts of added) sugar. “It does mean that we should read food labels and keep tabs on how much added sugar we eat in a day,” says Upton.

She also recommends avoiding flavored and processed foods, which are notorious for packing in the sugar. The key is to limit both the amount of sugar that we eat and how often we eat it, says nutritionist Rochelle Sirota, R.D., C.D.N. And Upton suggests learning to recognize the sometimes tricky names for added sweeteners, which include words like “evaporated cane juice” and “dextrin.” Steer clear of the food if a sweetener appears in one of the top three listed ingredients, she says.

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

More from Real Simple:

TIME Pets

Petco Won’t Sell Chinese Dog and Cat Treats Any More

FDA is investigating whether treats led to canine deaths

Petco has announced it will remove dog and cat treats made in China from its stores, amid a U.S. investigation of the safety of animal snacks created in the country.

The Food and Drug Administration has received 4,800 complaints about pet illnesses related to jerky treats, including 1,000 complaints involving canine deaths, since 2007. Most of the complaints involve snacks made in China. The investigation is ongoing.

Petco becomes the first pet speciality retailer in the U.S. to pull the Chinese treats from its shelves. Its competitor PetSmart has said it will remove such treats from its stores by March, according to the Associated Press.

In lieu of China-made treats, Petco will continue to source treats from the U.S. and begin including new items from New Zealand, Australia and South America.

TIME Food

Here Are the Only 6 Food Trends You Need to Know for 2015

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Zoryana Ivchenko—Getty Images/Flickr Open Harissa

Josh Schonwald is a Chicago-based journalist and author of The Taste of Tomorrow: Dispatches from the Future of Food.

Experts forecast that we'll be eating more fat and insects, and predict the next sriracha

With all due respect to sports geeks, music freaks, stock jocks, and teenage girls, there is no group more obsessed with The Next Big Thing conversation than food people.

The “restaurant trends for 2015″ predictions aren’t just coming now; they’ve been coming, steadily, since before Halloween. Press releases, slideshows, listicles in trades and foodie zines all aimed at telling us what’s the next kale, sriracha, or quinoa.

Interesting reading, often hunger inducing, but with so many predictions — from so many chefs, flavor-makers, food companies, bloggers— it’s hard to make sense of it all.

So this year, to cut through the tsunami of food punditry, I submit a highly abridged list.

I asked only six experts — all industry people who live and breathe food trends. And I asked these carefully chosen experts to make some carefully chosen decisions. Instead of a top ten list — or even a five-item slideshow — just give me that one big food prediction for 2015.

1. The Rise of Fat

For most health-conscious people, fat ranks right up there on the no-no list with nicotine and smog. But Kara Nielsen, culinary director of the Boulder, CO-based Sterling-Rice Group, believes 2015 could be known as the year that more and more Americans get over their fat phobia.

Nielsen isn’t talking about just any fat — not the trans fats found in highly processed foods. She’s talking about natural, animal-derived fats. Real butter sales are at a 40-year high; cultured butter is surging in popularity; high-end burger joints, like Shake Shack, celebrate fat as an essential part of a better burger. And the trend seems to be broadening: There’s a San Francisco restaurant selling a wildly popular chicken fat rice dish; there’s a rapidly growing Boulder company that only features full-fat yogurt. Nielsen expects more high-fat dairy products, more fat-celebrating meat purveyors, and more higher fat Asian foods to hit restaurant menus and grocery store shelves in 2015. “Americans are recognizing that the fear of fat that we’ve lived under for so long is erroneous,” said Nielsen. And it’s not just because of a foodie quest for flavor. Says Nielsen: “It’s also because of books like The Big Fat Surprise that are making the argument that natural fat is an essential part of a healthy diet.”

2. Local Meat

There’s near unanimity among food trend trackers that the local foods movement will continue to grow in 2015. Darren Tristano is no exception. Tristano, who tracks the restaurant industry for market research giant Technomic, expects more local produce, more local beer, more local grains. But Tristano believes the big local story of next year will be local meat. Californians will see more menus boasting of grass-fed beef from Niman Ranch; Chicagoans will likely see more free-range bacon from Slagel Farm. Diners in DC will see more chicken sandwiches from Polyface Farms. In short, get ready for more restaurants to celebrate the local origins of their chicken, beef, or pork just as zealously as their local Brandywine tomatoes or radicchio.

3. Insect-Powered Foods

Restaurants serving grasshopper tacos and ant guacamole, entrepreneurs peddling cricket-powered powerbars —there’s been tons of media coverage of insect-eating in 2014. Yet most people regard it as a curiosity, more Fear Factor-fad than food trend.

Not Suzy Badaracco. The president of food trend consultancy Culinary Tides believes insects will rise as a foodstuff in the U.S. far sooner than many expect. In picking insects as her “Food of 2015,” Badaracco said that insects draw on not one but three food trends: the growing interest in foraging, the invasivore movement (i.e., don’t kill them, eat them), and, the granddaddy of current trends, the desire for more protein. (Insects are protein powerhouses; grasshoppers, for instance, have about the same protein content as a chicken breast). Full-bodied insects won’t appear in your Safeway this year; get ready for them to arrive in processed form, especially protein-packed power bars, like Chapul and Exo. Badaracco expects insects, processed as flour, to soon become a popular protein sources for bakery and cereal products. Full-bodied insects — tentacles and all? Further off, but coming. Badaracco sent a list of more than a dozen American restaurants that feature insect options, such as the “Grass Whopper” —a burger made from cricket meat.

4. The Next Sriracha is Harissa

A few years ago, it was the unpronounceable hot sauce that you might find in Chinatown. Now, you can get a Subway chicken sriracha melt with a side of sriracha potato chips.

Maeve Webster, a restaurant analyst for market researcher Dataessential, believes the next sauce to experience a sriracha-like rise is harissa, a spread of dried chiles, garlic, tomatoes, caraway, paprika, coriander, and olive oil that’s as common as ketchup in Tunisia. It’s still largely unknown to Americans, but Webster says all the elements are in place for harissa. “U.S. consumers can’t get enough of spicy foods. Harissa has a flavor profile that is both spicy and familiar,” Webster says. Like sriracha, harissa is also versatile and can work in a wide variety of applications. Last year, Datamonitor found that less than 3% of American restaurants included a harisssa item, but Webster noted that’s a more than 180% leap over three years. If Webster is right, get ready for the chicken harissa melt — maybe not this year, but soon.

5. The Next Quinoa is Millet

Melissa Abbot, director of culinary insights at The Hartman Group, concedes that her pick for “Food of 2015″ is not very sexy. Millet is, after all, best known as the main ingredient in birdseed. But Abbot believes that this avian staple could quite possibly become the next quinoa. Ever since quinoa exploded on the scene, the food industry has been in hot pursuit of the Next Great Grain, and there are plenty of healthful, gluten-free candidates. So why millet, and why not amaranth, sorghum, teff, or fonio? It’s gluten-free, protein-rich, high fiber, and, Abbot says, has a superfood quality all of its own. “It retains its alkaline properties after being cooked, which helps in reducing inflammation ideal for those with wheat allergies and sensitive digestion.” Another plus for millet: it’s local. The Great Plains, especially Colorado, is one of the world’s major millet growing regions.

6. Peas

This pick for “Food of 2015″ will not necessarily be found on restaurant menus or on grocery store shelves. You may even need glasses to notice it.

Barb Stuckey, who is a vice president at Mattson, one of the world’s largest food product developers, describes Americans as being in a “torrid love affair” with protein. While it’s debatable whether Americans should be seeking out more protein, the reality is food companies are responding to our love affair with protein by giving us more protein.

Soy is one of the best, most widely available, efficient ways of fortifying foods with protein, Stuckey says. But whether deserved or not, soy is falling out of favor. Food makers are searching for non-GMO plant-based sources of protein and, Stuckey says, “the newest, hottest kid on the block is pea.” Peas are high in protein and, as people gain more experience processing it, the flavor is improving. “Look for pea protein to show up the ingredient list of bars, cereals, beverages, you name it.”

Josh Schonwald is a Chicago-based journalist and author of The Taste of Tomorrow: Dispatches from the Future of Food, but he is perhaps best-known as the guy who ate the Frankenburger.Schonwald writes and speaks frequently about the future of food and agriculture. His work has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, and The Wall Street Journal. A graduate of Macalester College and Columbia University’s journalism school, Schonwald lives in Evanston, Illinois with his wife, children, and indoor aquaponic system.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME animals

See a Python Eat Enough Food for 3 Months at 1 Sitting

The meal could take a week to digest

And you thought you ate too much over the holidays.

Australia’s Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Facebook page posted images of a python with “about the biggest prey item it could eat”: A whole baby wallaby.

Images show the snake wrapping around the wallaby to suffocate the creature before eating it whole. The meal would take almost a week to digest and could sustain the snake for up to three months. Here are the (somewhat graphic) images:

TIME Innovation

Big Idea 2015: How Digital and Health Will Converge for a Better You

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Getty Images

Denise Morrison is the President and CEO of Campbell Soup Company.

The convergence of these two trends is accelerating the rise of “quantified lives”

When I was growing up, my father helped kindle my passion for innovation and technology. He was a high-ranking executive at AT&T and used our family dinner table as a focus group. I remember how excited I was when he showed me and my sisters the new Trimline phone, which I thought was really cool because it had push buttons instead of a rotary dial!

Today, as the CEO of Campbell, I’m just as intrigued by the convergence of innovative digital technology and the consumer’s increasing focus on health and well-being because it has implications for consumers and our industry. The convergence of these two trends is accelerating the rise of “quantified lives” or as Time magazine called it recently, the “quantified self” movement.

Whatever you call it, this movement will be a powerful force in 2015 and in years to come… a force that will shape people’s lives and help them keep their commitment to fitness, diet and nutrition. I see more people taking charge of their well-being through the use of data and digital sensors, wearable health bands and smartphone apps that can track and quantify everything from their heart rate, blood pressure and sleep quality to steps walked and calories consumed. The word “quantify” is what’s really important because people will use the personal data and feedback from these devices to make healthier lifestyle choices and adjust the way they eat, exercise, work and rest.

Why am I so interested in this movement? Two reasons. First, Campbell has been responding to consumers’ increasing focus on health and well-being by reshaping our portfolio to offer a growing range of packaged fresh and organic foods. Second, I believe it’s really important to understand how consumer behavior is evolving as the digital shift continues to transform our lives.

It’s not surprising to me that Millennials are at the epicenter of digital and food. About 19 percent of them are using mobile apps to monitor their fitness; 17 percent to count calories; and 14 percent to monitor diet and nutrition. That’s ahead of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, according to The Futures Company.

As our nation aims to reduce obesity, heart disease and other health problems through exercise, balanced nutrition and a focus on prevention – a goal that we support avidly at Campbell – I believe we are moving closer to a future where quantified lives will become the norm.

I’m seeing a dramatic reset in the consumer mindset about health and well-being. The next big step is innovation that will make measuring and managing your health easier and faster than dialing the wonderful Trimline phone my father brought home.

This Influencer post originally appeared on LinkedIn. Denise Morrison shares her thoughts as part of LinkedIn’s Influencer series, “Big Ideas 2015” in which the brightest minds in business blog on LinkedIn about their predictions on ideas and trends that will shape 2015. LinkedIn Editor Amy Chen provides an overview of the 70+ Influencers that tackled this subject as part of the package. Follow Denise Morrison and insights from other top minds in business on LinkedIn.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

10 Biggest Food and Weight Loss Stories of 2014

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I can’t believe it’s been a year since I compiled my last round-up, but it’s that time again! As a research junkie, I think this year’s crop of studies in the areas of nutrition and weight management have been particularly fascinating.

Here are my top 10 picks for discoveries that have either broadened our knowledge, or shed new light on the best ways to stay nourished and lean.

Night shift workers burn fewer calories

This intriguing study found that shift workers burn fewer calories, which means that the amount of food needed to maintain weight becomes excessive, promoting weight gain. The lesson: if your job requires working when most people are sleeping, find ways to curb your calorie intake, or employ healthy habits to help regulate or suppress your appetite.

HEALTH.COM: 11 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Belly Fat

Gut bacteria play a major role in weight control

Number one on my list of the compelling revelations in 2014 is the handful of studies about the role of gut microorganisms in weight management. One study found that there is a relationship between body clock regulation, gut microbiota, and metabolism. When mice received gut bacteria from jet-lagged humans, they gained significant amounts of weight and had abnormally high blood sugar levels (yikes!). Another found that gut bacteria affect cravings, mood, and food choices. And a third concluded that the healthfulness of gut bacteria may play a role in metabolic syndrome risk. All of this research may lead to a future that involves personalized gut microbe testing, special diets specifically designed to alter these organisms, or tailored probiotic therapy. Stay tuned!

Coffee may help prevent obesity

If there’s one thing my clients love, it’s hearing that a food they enjoy is actually beneficial. Two studies this year offered some good news about java. Animal research from researchers at the University of Georgia concluded that a compound in coffee called CGA allowed mice fed a fatty diet to not only stave off weight gain, but also maintain normal blood sugar levels and healthy livers. Another Spanish study, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, found that athletes who took in caffeine pre-exercise burned about 15% more calories for three hours post-exercise, compared to those who gulped down a placebo. For more about other potential health benefits of enjoying your morning cup of Joe, check out my post 6 Healthy Reasons to Keep Loving Coffee.

HEALTH.COM: Best and Worst Health News of 2014

Obesity tied to autoimmune diseases

We’ve heard plenty about the connection between obesity and chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. But research from Tel Aviv University concluded that obesity leads to a breakdown of the body’s protective self-tolerance mechanisms, which results in a pro-inflammatory environment that may lead to or worsen autoimmune diseases, including Crohn’s Disease and multiple sclerosis, or hinder their treatment. The silver lining: adequate vitamin D may help, both with immunity and weight control. Here’s more about vitamin D, and 6 other nutrients to zero in on as you age.

In women, optimism affects diet quality

There aren’t a lot of feel-good studies tied to weight management, but I loved the conclusion of this one from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative, researchers found that those with higher levels of optimism made healthier choices, and had more success in making dietary changes over a one-year period. Those who scored better on the healthy eating index also had lower BMIs, smaller waist measurements, and fewer chronic health conditions. More proof that attitude is everything.

HEALTH.COM: 14 Strategies to Become a Happier Person

There’s a new type of good fat

When scientists say they’re blown away, it’s pretty big news. And that’s just what researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center declared when they uncovered a previously unidentified class of fat molecules that enhance blood sugar control, and may offer a promising avenue for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. Unlike omega-3 fatty acids, which are not made in mammals, these “good” fats, called FAHFAs, are produced and broken down in the body. Feeding mice extra FAHFAs resulted in a rapid and dramatic drop in blood sugar. Scientists also looked at FAHFA levels in humans, and found they were 50 to 75% lower in those who were insulin resistant and at high risk for developing diabetes. The data suggest that changes in FAHFA levels may contribute to diabetes. Groundbreaking. Surely there will be more research to come in this area.

Produce is connected to happiness

I love getting my hands on any research related to happiness, so I was thrilled to find this study, which tied healthy food choices to mental health. Scientists at the University of Warwick’s Medical School found that five daily servings of produce may just keep the blues away. More than a third of subjects with high mental well-being consumed five or more daily servings of fruits and veggies. In contrast, happiness was high in less than 7% of those who ate less than one daily portion of produce. In another study in young adults, a higher fruit and veggie intake was tied to “flourishing,” which includes greater happiness, creativity, curiosity, and positivity. For more about how eating well can bolster your mood, check out my post 5 Reasons to Eat Healthier Than Have Nothing to Do With Your Weight.

Umami may curb eating

A very foodie-forward study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that umami—also known as the 5th taste—boosts appetite but also increases post-meal satiety, which may help support weight control. Naturally found in mushrooms, truffles, green tea, seaweed, and tomatoes, incorporating more of this this unique palate pleaser may help you naturally eat less overall. To give it a try, check out my tips on umami, which include suggestions for now to sneak it into healthy meals.

HEALTH.COM: 12 Foods That Control Your Appetite

“Fat shaming” causes weight gain, not loss

I think we all intuitively know this is true, yet weight bullying persists, even if it’s self-directed. In this U.K. study, researchers found that over four years, those who reported weight discrimination gained weight, whereas those who didn’t actually shed pounds. So if you tend to berate yourself, with a goal of weight loss motivation, stop. And for techniques that work check out my post 5 Dos and Don’ts for Weight Loss Motivation.

Language stimulates the brain in the same way as food

This compelling study found that the reward region of the brain that drives us to eat (and also enjoy sex, gambling, drugs, and games) is stimulated by learning new words and their meanings. Interesting! I can’t guarantee it will work, but when a craving strikes, try visiting a site like vocabulary.com to see if logging some lingo time will satisfy your fix.

Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers NHL team and the Tampa Bay Rays MLB team, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics.

This article originally appeared on Health.com

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TIME human behavior

Fast Food Could Make Children Perform Worse in School

Jamie Grill—Getty

New study shows that kids who eat the most fast food have lower test scores in science, math and reading

A new study shows that children who regularly eat fast food don’t perform as well as their fellow students in school.

“Research has been focused on how children’s food consumption contributes to the child-obesity epidemic,” Kelly Purtell of Ohio State University, who led the study, told the Telegraph. “Our findings provide evidence that eating fast food is linked to another problem: poorer academic outcomes.”

The study, published in Clinical Pediatrics, measured the fast-food consumption of 8,500 American 10-year-olds and then reviewed their academic test results three years later. The children were a nationally representative sample and researchers took into account more than two dozen factors other than fast food that could skew the results.

Among those who ate fast food on a daily basis, the average science score was 79, as compared with 83 for those who never ate fast food. Similar results were discovered for reading and math.

[Telegraph]

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