Five foods that are just fine to waste -- starting with Oreos

We Americans waste food -- and lots of it. A recent report by the Natural Resources Defense Council's food and agriculture program determined that Americans discard 40 percent of the food supply every year, and the average American family of four annually throws away an equivalent of up to $2,275 in food. That's a fat chunk of couch change.

Americans need to cut the fat by becoming more conscious of what they waste; smaller portions -- yeah, I said it -- would lighten the landfills and plump up wallets. Still, there are a few eats and drinks that are definitely acceptable to toss on the trash heap. Here's a list of five (and if you are curious, Twinkies would be number six).

Ew. Just ew.
5. Oreo cookies.

An Oreo consists of two inflexible, stale discs held together with a sandy, lardy, not-liquid, not-solid concoction that leaves a film on your teeth like you just licked the inside of a child's shoe. Dunking it in milk only pollutes the delicious moo juice with dark, crinkly particles that collect at the bottom of the glass like lice on a patch of filthy, matted hair. And somehow, these cookies are everywhere -- and never seem to spoil. You could zap these things with gamma rays and it would have no effect. Simply throwing these cookies away may be a real waste; they should be used to pave streets, build bridges or knock home intruders unconscious.

4. Veg-all.

"Seven delicious vegetables in a light onion broth" is how the makers of Veg-all describe their product of chopped potatoes, peas, green beans, carrots, lima beans, corn and celery, all crammed into the same can. But if vegetables had crotches and armpits, I'd rather eat those then open a can of Veg-all. These sad, salty vegetable nubbins aren't quite raw and aren't really cooked; they are marinated in murky, fart-smelling brine -- probably thanks to the limas -- and they can ruin a soup or a casserole faster than Lipton onion soup mix.

3. Folger's coffee.

The nicest thing I can think to say about Folger's coffee is that it smells and tastes like boiled carrots. Not lovely, seasoned, buttered carrots, but dirty, fusty just-going-off carrots boiled in water. And, contrary to popular belief, giving this inferior, badly-roasted coffee bean muck a wash with French vanilla flavoring does not improve the coffee in the slightest. You have a patriotic obligation to waste the hell out of this coffee, so that you can save others from breathing its filthy fumes on you.

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Sorry, can't agree on the Oreos. I would have sworn they had some secret ingredient developed in a top secret government lab somewhere that made them instantly addictive. (Sadly, they don't. I worked at Nabisco in the past and saw the actual recipe....nothing so exciting.)


Without Oreos, there would be no Baskin Robbins Chocolate Oreo ice cream (flavor of the month for July), which is, hands down, the best flavor B&R ever made.


I'll grant you the bagged Chex Mix, that stuff is awful, but the homemade version with Worcestershire sauce, hot out of the oven....amazing. When I was in college, knowing how to make Chex Mix (and chocolate chip cookies) got me all the lift and carry help I ever needed.


From the picture accompanying this article, I was SURE one of the items was going to Coors Light, which I would have wholeheartedly agreed with. Just pour it directly in the toilet and save the wear and tear on your kidneys.

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

Agree on the Veg-all and the Folgers - should both be banned


Can take or leave Oreos - Pepperidge Farms cookies kick Oreo butt


Totally and unequivocally disagree on Rice-a-Roni and Chex mix - love 'em both.


 @tropicalchrome1 Agreed 100% that without oreos, there's no cookies n' cream ice cream at all, the single best flavor in existence.  I can take or leave the cookies on their own, but their contribution to malt-shop cuisine cannot be denied.

jenna-furrr topcommenter

 @Denver Dave : Okay, so fill me in on the merits of RAR, please. I'm really asking. It's salty, goopy, poor quality rice and never really tastes like the flavors on the box--at all. Bah.

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