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Whether you eat it or not don't ask us.
February 25, 2008 8:12 AM   Subscribe

Can we plase have a guideline against "Should I eat this?" posts?

They all turn out the same way every time. I'm happy to flag it an move on once we get some sort of word from above that they'll get deleted.
posted by GuyZero to Etiquette/Policy at 8:12 AM (162 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Why are these all delete worthy in your opinion? They seem to be quite different to me; sometimes they are asking for cooking tips on how to salvage a meal, other times they are asking about spoilage rates among different ingredients. Sometimes meals are saved and sometimes there's a rough consensus on whether or not it's safe to eat stored food.

I don't see them always turning out the same at all.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:16 AM on February 25, 2008


A Should-I-Eat-This thread saved my life. Of course, I was an idiot for even asking it, but do fools not deserve to live?
posted by Bookhouse at 8:18 AM on February 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


Can we plase have a guideline against "Should I eat this?" posts?

No, we can't.
posted by caddis at 8:19 AM on February 25, 2008


I find them to be educational.
posted by amro at 8:22 AM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think we should delete all posts that don't deal with heavy, controversial issues. Ask Metafilter should be taken seriously at all times and posts about whether or not to eat food degrade the poignancy of the site.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:25 AM on February 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Everybody has a guideline already. The "You get one question a week so use it wisely" guideline. If that is what they choose to use their question on, then I think it is fine. There is still plenty of room for other questions and no one is making you click and read that one.
posted by pearlybob at 8:27 AM on February 25, 2008


No soup question for you!

Signed,
The "Should I Eat This?" Nazi
posted by burnmp3s at 8:29 AM on February 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's the suspenseful waiting for the OP (or their next-of-kin) to post-back that I enjoy. GuyZero, why are you tenterhookist?
posted by mumkin at 8:37 AM on February 25, 2008


Dear Askme: While hiking in the woods, I found this crate of glass vials. Inside was a metal looking substance labled Rubidium (Rb), and I have to tell you, it sound delicious. (I wonder if it tastes like rhubarb?)

Should I eat it?
posted by quin at 8:38 AM on February 25, 2008 [12 favorites]


DTMFA
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:39 AM on February 25, 2008


Of all the spinoff sites I'd like to see, a Should I Eat It type thing is high in the running.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:43 AM on February 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


ETMFA
posted by ND¢ at 8:45 AM on February 25, 2008 [13 favorites]


Could one EAT the mother fucker already? ETMFA?

Personally I learn a lot about things from these posts, there is a whole lot about food spoilage I wouldn't know where it not for AskMe.
posted by French Fry at 8:46 AM on February 25, 2008


DTMFA

Digest?
posted by uncleozzy at 8:46 AM on February 25, 2008


on post: dammit
posted by French Fry at 8:46 AM on February 25, 2008


While we're all here, does anyone feel anxious any time they eat canned shrimp? Shrimp on pizza or on a heated buffet table frightens me - I'm alway afraid that if I eat even a little bit, I will be plagued by food poisoning the next day.

Of course, it nevers happens (although I did get food poisoning from eating an uncooked weiner once, and, most recently, a greek pizza).

Yours truly,

Shrimpy
posted by KokuRyu at 8:48 AM on February 25, 2008


Of all the spinoff sites I'd like to see, a Should I Eat It type thing is high in the running.

Didn't the doctor say you couldn't have anymore spin-off sites? I think you'll go blind.
posted by French Fry at 8:48 AM on February 25, 2008


the worst thing that could happen if you threw it out and it was good would be that you wasted good food

the worst thing that could happen if you ate it and it was bad would be dying

easy decision to make, isn't it? - if you don't know, throw it out

some things are best answered with good old fashioned horse sense
posted by pyramid termite at 8:50 AM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


No.

He should not eat those beans, but you should eat your words.
posted by jamjam at 8:51 AM on February 25, 2008


Of all the spinoff sites I'd like to see, a Should I Eat It type thing is high in the running.

Oh, i am SO gonna do this, I swear. Really.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:52 AM on February 25, 2008


No way. I find them fascinating to my Proctor & Gamble-sanitized suburban world as a barometer of just how many people would even contemplate eating something that I threw out immediately. I also print them out for future reference by putting them in my "In case the world turns into Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" file.
posted by jamaro at 8:52 AM on February 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Of all the spinoff sites I'd like to see, a Should I Eat It type thing is high in the running.

Only if you enable images.
posted by Big_B at 8:53 AM on February 25, 2008


If that dude from the Sneeze is still alive, the answer to all these questions is probably yes.
posted by danb at 8:53 AM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


We need a guideline about people wanting new guidelines.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:54 AM on February 25, 2008


Dear AskMetafilter,

I'm a woman with the paws, claws, and breasts of a lioness, a serpent's tail, and eagle wings. The son of Laius and Jocasta has just reached me on his way to Thebes. I usually stop any traveler and ask them a riddle that no-one has yet been able to solve. If the traveler fails, I eat them. Should I do so in the case of this young man or should I take a different approach? TIA.

ETMFA
posted by ND¢ at 8:54 AM on February 25, 2008 [24 favorites]


It's the suspenseful waiting for the OP (or their next-of-kin) to post-back that I enjoy.

Heheh. Good one.

I don't find those questions annoying at all. What I do find weird is phrasing a question like a demand ie., "Tell me of a good restaurant in Chicago" or "Name my cat!" It feels more like DemandMe rather than AskMe.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:55 AM on February 25, 2008


Do these threads really all turn out the same way? How? With the poster dying of botulism?

"Should I eat this?" Sure, why not. We can always use more cautionary tales.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:56 AM on February 25, 2008


THE TRUTH HAS BEEN SPOKEN
MIGHTY GUYZERO DEMANDS MORE HUMAN SACRIFICES
THEY WHO EAT MUST SLEEP IF NEED BE
IT IS HIS WILL
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:04 AM on February 25, 2008


"Tell me of a good restaurant in Chicago" or "Name my cat!"

Fucking tell me why my dick just turned purple already!
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:04 AM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Should I eat this?" ...
posted by Pastabagel ...

Eponi-amusing
posted by shothotbot at 9:04 AM on February 25, 2008


As a person who has eaten many terrible things, I like them as a kind of reference point in figuring out how many times I should have died, or at the least, shit myself.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 9:06 AM on February 25, 2008


You know, I actually just strolled over to Metatalk from that very thread. As I clicked my way over here, I thought to myself, "Boy, I love Should I Eat This posts. Someone ought to compile a list of every single one. What a great time that would be."

I think "Should I Eat This" represents some of the best of Ask Metafilter.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:06 AM on February 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


What bugs me about this callout is the assumption that AskMe is somehow supposed to be kept fresh for our entertainment instead of just being a place where people can ask questions.
posted by tkolar at 9:06 AM on February 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


Not eating black bean soup with chicken stock didn't kill my father, you insensitive bastards. Every time one of these unending SIETBBSWCS questions is posted, his long drawn-out lack of death comes flooding back, and I curse the day mathowie's maternal grandparents met.

In summary, what the hell?
posted by ormondsacker at 9:08 AM on February 25, 2008


SIETBBSWCS

YHTMAAAIYP.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:13 AM on February 25, 2008


Of all the spinoff sites I'd like to see, a Should I Eat It type thing is high in the running.

EatMe
posted by bibliowench at 9:14 AM on February 25, 2008 [8 favorites]


although I did get food poisoning from eating an uncooked weiner once

Heh...... I am so immature....
posted by inigo2 at 9:15 AM on February 25, 2008


Why are these all delete worthy in your opinion?
Because you don't need AskMe to provide you with a scattershot array of "Yes, No, and Who knows" bullshit before you make up your mind to do whatever you were going to do anyway.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:16 AM on February 25, 2008


I'm a woman with the paws, claws, and breasts of a lioness, a serpent's tail, and eagle wings.

See, this is why we need a personals subsite.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:16 AM on February 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Fucking tell me why my dick just turned purple already!

Two words: Diablo Cody
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:17 AM on February 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


I like to use these threads to help me decide which MeFite dinner invitations to accept...
posted by pupdog at 9:18 AM on February 25, 2008


Didn't the doctor say you couldn't have anymore spin-off sites? I think you'll go blind.

He's working with me on some redirection therapy where I try to encourage others to pursue my stupid project ideas. Also, I'm not sure he's actually a very good doctor.

Though, really and truly, I think this'd make a fun little bloggy project. Folks send in/post specific Shoud I Eat It questions (with photos when possible, yeah, Big_B); people comment/argue/vote; asker follows up; site can track eat it vs. chuck it votes across all posts in the long run to determine an Official Statistically Questionable Contiunuum of Eatability. It'd be hot stuff.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:18 AM on February 25, 2008


I'm sure there's an "overthinking" joke to be made here about those beans and the two threads involved.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:29 AM on February 25, 2008


EatMe
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:31 AM on February 25, 2008


I openly demand, yes demand, the creation of a "should I eat this?" website. Failure to comply will result in mandatory food poisoning for all!
posted by aramaic at 9:46 AM on February 25, 2008


Subsite for oysters and sushi - EatMe Raw
posted by ALongDecember at 9:54 AM on February 25, 2008


If this comment gets 500 favorites, I'll go find something nasty in my fridge and eat it.

Wheee!
posted by miss lynnster at 9:57 AM on February 25, 2008 [10 favorites]


Standard AskMe Checklist

[   ] Call a doctor.
[   ] Get a lawyer.
[   ] Dump him/her.
[   ] Throw it out.


Outrage AskMe Checklist

[   ] You are not fit to own a pet.
[   ] You are an alcoholic.
[   ] You are a psychopathic gun nut.
[   ] You are an arrogant jerk.
[   ] You are a Republican.


Snark AskMe Checklist

[   ] Centipedes? In *your* vagina?
[   ] That's what *she* said!
[   ] How appropriate. You fight like a cow.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:58 AM on February 25, 2008 [24 favorites]


*hides in miss lynnster's fridge*
posted by Wolfdog at 10:26 AM on February 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


*finds MeTa behind some old, unidentifiable pseudo-foods in tipperware*
*frantically wonders if this MeTa is still edible*
*takes tentative nibble*

I'll let you know how it turns out.
posted by baphomet at 10:40 AM on February 25, 2008


I would be more intrigued by a "did I eat it?" site. The user would be given the choice of two food (or nonfood) items. Users would be shown a series of pictures of the submitter after ingestion, and would try to decide which the submitter ate. Look for such classic battles as "dented can of crabmeat with no label" vs. "2 year old Dr. Scholl's insert", or "some prechewed gum I found on Madison Ave" vs. "five-day-old macaroni 'n cheez made with bongwater".
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 10:43 AM on February 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


tipperware

For all your gore-storing needs.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:51 AM on February 25, 2008 [7 favorites]


As Jim Rice once said, "Eating is overrated."


He was trim back then.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:53 AM on February 25, 2008


Shtupperware

For - oh, you figure it out.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:54 AM on February 25, 2008


The danger is the time factor. A "just eat it" answer that was sensible at eight in the morning could lead to tragedy or the shits come afternoon. AskMe responses need to have a coded expiry time. And full nutritional information.
posted by Abiezer at 11:05 AM on February 25, 2008


No.
posted by misha at 11:05 AM on February 25, 2008


MetaTalk: For - oh, you figure it out.
posted by cgc373 at 11:06 AM on February 25, 2008


What is this trend in Metatalk lately, wanting to take away all of our fun? I love the "should I eat this" posts!

Jeez. What happened to good old call-out posts and spectacular flameouts?

*grumble grumble* get off my lawn
posted by misha at 11:07 AM on February 25, 2008


MetaTalk: Tragedy or the shits.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:09 AM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Could one EAT the mother fucker already? ETMFA?

Personally I learn a lot about things from these posts, there is a whole lot about food spoilage I wouldn't know where it not for AskMe.
posted by French Fry at 8:46 AM on February 25


Eponysterical, says me. Anyone else?
posted by Lynsey at 11:10 AM on February 25, 2008


What is this trend in Metatalk lately, wanting to take away all of our fun?

Yeah! What's up with that?

Fuckers.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:10 AM on February 25, 2008


plase.
posted by bonaldi at 11:13 AM on February 25, 2008


GYOFGuidelines.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:19 AM on February 25, 2008


Since we have DTMFA and now ETMFA, I know exactly what my answer will be the next time an asker presents the classic "I really like this boy/girl and I know that he/she likes me, but I don't know the best way to let them know that I want to go from just friends to romance. What should I do?"

FTMFA
posted by ND¢ at 11:20 AM on February 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


Aren't these questions just a tad unanswerable?

I mean, people are asking how fast a particular food goes bad. Unless the question is "Has this mayonnaise gone bad? I've left it out of the refrigerator for 3 weeks." the answer in most cases is "who the fuck knows? maybe you'll get sick. some people get sick from almost anything, some people don't ever get sick from anything barring colossal stupidity. the safe answer is always throw it out, but you already knew that."

there's no hour by hour basis for these things. no one can say to the asker "ooh! if only you'd noticed when it was only SEVENTEEN hours ago?! no, I'm sorry. at the 18th hour, it's simply too late. your food is forever spoiled."

still, this isn't really something that needs a new guideline. I guess I just sort of feel chatty, today. so how's everyone's day going?
posted by shmegegge at 11:21 AM on February 25, 2008


They all turn out the same way every time.

Huh? Some are near-unanimous for "eat it," some are near-unanimous for "don't eat it," depending on the specifics. WTF do you mean "they all turn out the same way every time?"
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:23 AM on February 25, 2008


"who the fuck knows? maybe you'll get sick. some people get sick from almost anything, some people don't ever get sick from anything barring colossal stupidity. the safe answer is always throw it out, but you already knew that."

This is sort of what it comes down to to me. Most of these questions are unanswerable in any real sense, and the extent they're answerable is pretty much identical to the extent they're googleable.

People offer the same cautionary tales, more or less, and people get in the same snarkfests about whether or not you're being anal/hippieish with the advice you're giving to the OP. I feel that in some ways these questions, with their conclusions ["I ate it and it was okay!" seem to be the norm] are forming some sort of data set, but realistically if AskMe told you NOT to eat something and you did anyhow and then you got sick, you'd be a little silly to report back, even if it would be helpful information.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:25 AM on February 25, 2008


Unless the question is "Has this mayonnaise gone bad? I've left it out of the refrigerator for 3 weeks." the answer in most cases is "who the fuck knows?

Actually, there was one question I believe where someone was worried about butter left out overnight and then was surprised to discover that butter doesn't need to be refrigerated at all.

So, sometimes the answer is illuminating in a "Here's some common knowledge you somehow missed out on" kind of way.
posted by vacapinta at 11:25 AM on February 25, 2008


New MetaFilter subsites:

politics.metafilter.com
obituaries.metafilter.com
shouldieatthis.metafilter.com
shouldiseeadoctor.metafilter.com
whydoesithurtwhenipee.metafilter.com
posted by LarryC at 11:26 AM on February 25, 2008


WTF do you mean "they all turn out the same way every time?"

There's a bunch of messages in a row on the screen, and down at the bottom is a big white area with my login name above it.

EVERY FUCKING TIME.
posted by tkolar at 11:27 AM on February 25, 2008 [13 favorites]


AskMe is too useful and informative. Please ruin it by making the guidelines more restrictive. Thanks!
posted by Sys Rq at 11:29 AM on February 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Because you don't need AskMe to provide you with a scattershot array of "Yes, No, and Who knows" bullshit before you make up your mind to do whatever you were going to do anyway.

If the criterion for AskMe were "does the querent need to ask this here," we'd have about one question a year, tops.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:32 AM on February 25, 2008


In the immortal words of President Sarkozy, "Casse-toi, pauvre con."
posted by languagehat at 11:44 AM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ban them? Those questions are the best questions of all. The information provided is incomplete, the answers are always a bracing mix of "YES!" and "NO!", and the asker is risking his life against $1.75 worth of leftovers. AskMe was made for these questions.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:44 AM on February 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


Because you don't need AskMe to provide you with a scattershot array of "Yes, No, and Who knows" bullshit before you make up your mind to do whatever you were going to do anyway.

Which makes it different from every other AskMe post how, exactly?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:48 AM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ban them? Those questions are the best questions of all. The information provided is incomplete, the answers are always a bracing mix of "YES!" and "NO!", and the asker is risking his life against $1.75 worth of leftovers

Fuck creating another site, this sounds like the best reality TV idea yet!
posted by never used baby shoes at 11:49 AM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think it would be awesome if they found the Loch Ness Monster.

Just the very fact of The Loch Ness Monster's existence would be enough to put the whole world into a state of childlike awe and wonderment. After all, if the Loch Ness Monster is real, anything is possible! Cynics would become idealists. People would start believing in unicorns again. Everyone would start taking global warming seriously. Israelis and Palestinians would learn to live together in peace. The Trix bunny would finally get his very own box of Trix.

And The Loch Ness Monster herself would be all the rage. Movies, TV shows, product endorsements, the whole nine. Religious leaders would pray for her. Children would want to grow up to be her. Tabloid magazines would run stories about a possible pregnancy.

But then tragedy would strike. The Loch Ness Monster would accidentally kill someone. Maybe the person would be really stupid and totally have it coming to them - like if they were some drunken fratboy who wanted their friends to get a picture of them standing on The Loch Ness Monster's tail. Wouldn't matter. The media would go apeshit. People would protest. "Nessie go home!" "We hate the Loch Ness Monster!" "An end to Lochnessmonstrofascism!" News clips from local TV stations in the southern United States, with barechested guys in backwards hats saying, "damn that Loch Ness Monster better not show her ass Tuscaloosa, tell you what!"

And then one cold, grey morning, The Loch Ness Monster would sadly and dejectedly sulk back to her gothy undersea lair, to the sound of Danny Elfman music. And although she would have enjoyed her time in the limelight, she knew all along this had to happen.

Because she was, after all, a Monster.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:54 AM on February 25, 2008 [10 favorites]


"WTF do you mean "they all turn out the same way every time?""

You know, with a consensus for or against or no consensus at all. Every time.
posted by klangklangston at 11:55 AM on February 25, 2008


Actually, there was one question I believe where someone was worried about butter left out overnight

To hurf durf or not to hurf durf, that was the question.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:56 AM on February 25, 2008


shouldieatthis.metafilter.com

I can't help but read that as "shoul die at this", which makes no sense until you say it in a bad Connery accent: "She'll die at this"

Trebek: "Mr. Connery, please pick a category."

Connery: "I'll take She'll Die At This for $100, Alex."

Trebek: "That's Should I Eat This, you illiterate haggis-engorged freak!"

Connery: "No, no. She'll Die At This."

Trebek: "How is that a category?! Who will die at what?"

Connery: "Your mother. At this! [frantic hip-thrusting] Hahaha! Got you, you prissy Canadian!"
posted by CKmtl at 11:59 AM on February 25, 2008 [26 favorites]


All of the 'should I eat it' threads need follow ups. Desperately.
posted by slimepuppy at 11:59 AM on February 25, 2008


If follow-ups are absent, I think we can safely draw the obvious conclusion.


.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:06 PM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


And then one cold, grey morning, The Loch Ness Monster would sadly and dejectedly sulk back to her gothy undersea lair, to the sound of Danny Elfman music. And although she would have enjoyed her time in the limelight, she knew all along this had to happen.

Because she was, after all, a Monster.


NESSIE!! COME BACK!!!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:16 PM on February 25, 2008


I had left-over 3-day-old pizza for lunch, and, except for being terribly sad about Nessie, I fell fi
posted by Cranberry at 12:23 PM on February 25, 2008


The other day I was at the grocery store, and the checker was unable to identify this mushroom...and to make matters worse the other checker next to her didn't know either. Can I still eat it?
posted by casarkos at 12:28 PM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


And although she would have enjoyed her time in the limelight, she knew all along this had to happen.

Because she was, after all, a Monster.


Though once the cult of celebrity had found her, it was hard to let her go. She tried dodging the paparazzi, but her high-profile affair with Ben Affleck ensured that even in her private retreat, the cameras were always just around the corner. Waiting to get a shot of her.

Naturally, to combat the stress, she started drinking and taking sleeping pills. This led to her inevitable arrest for swimming the Loch under the influence, and her on-camera tirade against the "filthy Irish".

Shortly afterwards, it was quietly reported that she got into rehab, but the press didn't care, they had claimed another celebrity victim and already moved on.
posted by quin at 12:28 PM on February 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Nessie: Intrinsically wrong to eat, or just wrong if she's been sitting on the counter for a few days? How about before she's been through rehab?
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 12:38 PM on February 25, 2008


How about before she's been through rehab?

Shed probably taste like a Christmas pudding. So you shouldn't eat that.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 12:48 PM on February 25, 2008


+'
posted by soundofsuburbia at 12:48 PM on February 25, 2008


Nessie should probably have her agent call Bert Stern.
posted by cgc373 at 12:52 PM on February 25, 2008


Will it float?
posted by tkchrist at 12:55 PM on February 25, 2008


Trump or Monkey?
posted by cgc373 at 12:59 PM on February 25, 2008


Is this anything?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:03 PM on February 25, 2008


Oh, hell, we gotta nip this Letterman derail in the bud.
posted by cgc373 at 1:07 PM on February 25, 2008


Things seemed to be going ok after rehab, and Nessie started a serious relationship with Mokèlé-mbèmbé. She had mostly dropped off the tabloids' radar until he started having a torrid affair with a sirrush pop singer (you know the one) and wasn't even trying to hide it. The tabloids went insane, of course. They all predicted her death from drug overdose every day. But she stayed clean, and she poured all her immense sorrow into a new record, which made Oprah cry on the air and won her a Grammy, signaling her comeback. She's singing on Bono's next album, and all proceeds will go toward loch conservation.
posted by Tehanu at 1:08 PM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


EatAFilter. Love it.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:14 PM on February 25, 2008


Can we please have a guideline against...

FFS, no.

Just skip these questions if you don't like them. Sheesh.
posted by desuetude at 1:18 PM on February 25, 2008


[works on his first "Should I masturbate with this" askme]
posted by waraw at 1:26 PM on February 25, 2008


Tehanu, I can't tell from your description whether the comeback pop record is Nessie's or the pop singer's. I really need to know.
posted by cgc373 at 1:33 PM on February 25, 2008


Nessie's. The pop singer was a flash in the pan, sorry.
posted by Tehanu at 1:52 PM on February 25, 2008


You can buy the original cover art for five million dollars. It's just a white elephant poking its flaming trunk out of the water, though.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:01 PM on February 25, 2008


People offer the same cautionary tales, more or less, and people get in the same snarkfests about whether or not you're being anal/hippieish ...

HIPPIES
USE
SIDE DOOR
posted by wafaa at 2:04 PM on February 25, 2008


[works on his first "Should I masturbate with this" askme]

HTMFA
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:09 PM on February 25, 2008


There have been some good answers in the past. Shelleycat in particular has dispensed her microbiologist wisdom to good effect.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:10 PM on February 25, 2008


Wait, butter doesn't have to be refrigerated?
posted by BridgetR at 2:22 PM on February 25, 2008


When I grew up, we always left the butter out, yeah. The biggest danger was the cat hopping up on the counter and licking it.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:29 PM on February 25, 2008


Jesus, did anyone here not register a shouldieatit type site?
posted by boo_radley at 2:32 PM on February 25, 2008


I always think the SIETBBSWCS are going to be repeats of older ones and every time there's a new wrinkle. They're perfect snowflakes. No two are alike.
posted by puckupdate at 2:55 PM on February 25, 2008


Wait, butter doesn't have to be refrigerated?

It'll go rancid eventually. But you can tell if it does — it smells and tastes funny. It'll go rancid more slowly in the fridge, but it'll still go eventually. Either way, while it's still tasting and smelling good, you don't really need to worry about food poisoning.

So ultimately it depends on how quickly you go through a stick of butter, and how much it bugs you to throw out the odd quarter-stick that's started to turn.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:12 PM on February 25, 2008


I leave my butter out.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:17 PM on February 25, 2008


Keeping butter in the fridge just seems slightly pervy - I always suspect that folk who do that must secretly enjoy the frustration of waiting for ages before their butter is spreadable, or that they take some sinister pleasure in the ragged and torn surface of a piece of bread spread with ice-cold butter. No offense meant to the baking fraternity, of course - their need for cold butter is entirely decent.

As for those who keep cheese in the fridge? Come the dairy revolution, they'll be first up against the churn.
posted by jack_mo at 3:48 PM on February 25, 2008


beurre
posted by ND¢ at 3:53 PM on February 25, 2008


I had this chicken in the fridge the other day. I thought it might be the chicken making the fridge smell funny, but I only bought it like half a week ago or something so maybe it wasn't. Anyway, I live with roommates so I asked them. What if I was living alone and AskMetafilter wasn't available? I would be dead from slightly-green chicken! And then I would never be able to comment on Metafilter again.

Then again, if I made a "Should I Eat This" post about my, um, ripened stews, I would never know the delicious tang that is added to lentil soups when they age.
posted by schroedinger at 3:54 PM on February 25, 2008


For $132 I will accept postal delivery of your questionable food product. Upon receipt, I will reheat the food and consume approximately 3 ounces. Every hour, for the next 8 hours, I will email you a two sentence description of how I am feeling that focus on whether I am taking ill or not. Any left-over foodstuffs become my property to dispose of as I see fit.
posted by mrmojoflying at 4:01 PM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I leave my butter out."

This has the makings of a great funk sample chorus.
posted by klangklangston at 4:01 PM on February 25, 2008


Keeping butter in the fridge just seems slightly pervy - I always suspect that folk who do that must secretly enjoy the frustration of waiting for ages before their butter is spreadable, or that they take some sinister pleasure in the ragged and torn surface of a piece of bread spread with ice-cold butter.

I grew up in a leave-the-butter-out household. My wife grew up in a butter-goes-in-the-fridge household. Complicated, this.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:19 PM on February 25, 2008


What about margarine?
posted by team lowkey at 4:29 PM on February 25, 2008


It's already margarine. Nothing worse can happen to it.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:36 PM on February 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


Margarine is made of fail and poison, and you should not eat it ever.

Unlike shit that you left out accidentally overnight, which generally you should eat.

I would be greatly entertained by druggie versions of this phenomena:

"I found some marijuana under the fridge. It looks maybe a little moldy but it could just be dust. Should I smoke it?"

"I found a bag of white powder on the sidewalk.* I think it's coke. Should I snort it?"

*I actually once saw a lonely bag of (I think) coke dropped on the sidewalk on Ave A. No, I did not pick it up.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 4:37 PM on February 25, 2008


I always have butter a) out on the counter b) in the fridge and c) in the freezer. I like butter. A lot.
posted by trip and a half at 4:49 PM on February 25, 2008


What about margarine?

So ersatz it might as well be called I Can't Believe It's Not Hitler!

"I found a bag of white powder on the sidewalk.* I think it's coke. Should I snort it?"

I'm amazed at how often one sees bags and wraps on the street. (In my younger days, I would invariably do any powders I found. Always fine, except for that time I over-enthusiastically dug into a bag of what turned out to be Ketamine.)
posted by jack_mo at 4:57 PM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Am I possibly the only person here who is profoundly confused by Afroblanco's Loch Ness Monster derail? What is this? Help me please!

Also, SIET AskMe's are always fun, and having a vehement aversion to them just seems weird to me, but that's me.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:34 PM on February 25, 2008


The SIET butter AskMe taught me that it's okay to leave butter out. I love AskMe.
posted by popechunk at 6:13 PM on February 25, 2008


Why, look, it's another retarded MeTa whinge!

Christ on a popsicle stick, it's time for mods to start deleting MeTa FPPs.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:38 PM on February 25, 2008


"Should I Eat This?" would be a good facebook app.
posted by empath at 6:57 PM on February 25, 2008


"I found a bag of white powder on the sidewalk.* I think it's coke. Should I snort it?"

I did. Turned out to be Meth (I think). Stung a bit, got me high.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 7:42 PM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dear Askme: While hiking in the woods, I found this crate of glass vials. Inside was a metal looking substance labled Rubidium (Rb), and I have to tell you, it sound delicious.

From WP:
Rubidium, like sodium and potassium, is almost always in its +1 oxidation state. The human body tends to treat Rb+ ions as if they were potassium ions, and therefore concentrates rubidium in the body's electrolytic fluid. The ions are not particularly toxic, and are relatively quickly removed in the sweat and urine.

I say eat it. Try not to get it wet or expose it to air while doing this though. Maybe on oily dipping sauce?
posted by markr at 8:15 PM on February 25, 2008


The only thing that bugs me about AskMe "should I eat this?" questions is that they're so detached. I much prefer giving good, sensible advice in person, because if it's followed, you win, and if it isn't, it can be one damn entertaining floor show.

This engineer I once knew was given a tray of leftover sandwiches after a company party and stored them overnight in the back of his car, in a garage that was about 15 degrees C (60 degrees F). The next morning, he determined that the sandwiches were safe to eat because they smelled OK, and ate several for breakfast. By mid-afternoon, he was a lovely shade of green. The evening was rather less lovely, but yeah, there was a certain entertainment value to be derived from it all.
posted by maudlin at 8:18 PM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


I say no ban against this at all. If you don't like it, don't read it. As for me, I asked about expired tylenol once and it really helped.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:38 PM on February 25, 2008


Come on half the time AskMe just functions as a mother/good friend who you need to tell you to do what you kind of already know you need to do, but need some reassurance first that you aren't making a mistake. This accounts for about 20% of all human interactions in real life, so I don't see why it's a problem on AskMe
posted by whoaali at 9:13 PM on February 25, 2008


Oh and you should never eat it. The possible gains are massively outweighed by the hell that food poisoning is, no 2 day old meat/sandwich/eggs/anything is ever worth it (and fun tip should you eat it anyway, try some pediapops, got me through my 2L finals when I got food poisoning from some bad shellfish which is the worst kind of food poisoning).
posted by whoaali at 9:16 PM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Should I eat the...

black bean soup?
deviled eggs?
wheat bread, yellow mustard, fat free mayo, precooked breaded chicken patty, american cheese sandwich?
beef past the sell-by date?
raw chicken and onions?
6-7 day old cooked chicken?
raw pancetta?
rotten-egg-smelling pork?
squirrel-knawed cookies?
blue cheese in fridge for a month?
tuna sandwich?
Xmas dinner leftovers?
mussels steamed in beer?
hardboiled eggs?
live wasp?
tomato sauce?
raw honey from a beehive?
sprouted potatoes?
pizza?
2 week old bread slices?
cooked shrimp?
pulled pork?
fermented applesauce?
2 year old frozen scallops?
rice pilaf?
cocoa-butter moisturizer?
garlic that turned blue?
chicken seviche?
Egg Beaters?
turkey?
goat cheese?
scrambled eggs?
moldy bread and/or cheese?
unrefrigerated cheese?
chicken past the sell-by date?
frothing salad dressing?
beer from 1994?
old pizza dough?
food from freezer off for 48 hours?
eternal pot of soup?
unrefrigerated butter?
cans of crab?
posted by Locative at 1:21 AM on February 26, 2008 [34 favorites]


Locative steps up. Wiki material.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 2:00 AM on February 26, 2008


2 week old bread slices?
2 year old frozen scallops?


Don't forget 2-day-old Lunch. Bad food apparently comes in twos.
posted by Dave Faris at 4:01 AM on February 26, 2008


FUCK YEAH, LOCATIVE! That is EXCELLENT. Damn, damn. I know what I'm doing when work gets slow today.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:24 AM on February 26, 2008


Next someone will want a guideline against "Should I do this person or not" posts. We must have doable audits.
posted by orange swan at 5:35 AM on February 26, 2008


Nice, Locative.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:12 AM on February 26, 2008


Like a dog to his vomit (should I eat my own vomit?) so returns the poster to the scene of the MetaTalk post.

Fine. FINE. I should know better than to suggest rules about <>
I don't think these threads really every turn out differently - people bring up different points, but ultimately the questions remains unanswered and unanswerable in every case. They're just so predictable. And dull! They're really just one step above chatfilter:

"Should I buy a new pair of shoes?"
"Does my ass look fat in these jeans?"
"What the hell is stinking up my apartment?"
"Should I eat this day-old sandwich ?"

Bleah. Unanswerable, all of them. But I will move on and try to get over it, the same way I manage not to throttle the people on the streetcar who don't move back.

I mean, it's PUBLIC transit, not a private limo asshole! There's space in the back! You're not glued to that goddamned handhold - move back!

/breathes deeply

Locative, thanks for the list. if I need to punish myself sometime I'll go through it in detail.
posted by GuyZero at 6:57 AM on February 26, 2008


WTF?

I don't know how "<>" got in there but it was supposed to be "rules about a tiny fraction of AskMe posts".
posted by GuyZero at 6:58 AM on February 26, 2008


Of course, I should also know better than to suggest rules for any value of "<>".
posted by GuyZero at 6:58 AM on February 26, 2008


Locative, any interest in putting that on the wiki?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:59 AM on February 26, 2008


I added it to the wiki. I'll break it out on to its own page I think...
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:10 AM on February 26, 2008


I am so tallying up the yes/no/maybes for those when I have a quiet hour.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:12 AM on February 26, 2008


If someone wants to organize the "should I eat this" page into categories, that would be swell.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:14 AM on February 26, 2008


She ate it.

I am so tallying up the yes/no/maybes for those when I have a quiet hour.

Outcomes would be nice, too. Outcome: ate it/didn't eat it/unknown.
posted by Tehanu at 9:38 AM on February 26, 2008


As soon as I saw locative's comment, I could practically hear cortex salivating on his keyboard.
posted by shmegegge at 9:50 AM on February 26, 2008


Nessie, the Loch Ness monster lived in a lake
And loved to act out little tracts, just for acting's sake
Little jackie paper was inspired by Nessie,
Wrote her songs and plays with bits to say and other oratory.

Together they would travel to the local talent shows
Each time they’d go, the crowds would grow, and their fame arose,
Movie stars and rockers turned up whene’er they’d play,
And photogs hung around to catch Nessie’s picture for OK!.

A monster lives forever but not so fleeting fame
Nessie’s tail tore a boy’s entrails and Nessie got the blame
One grey night it happened, the audience came no more
And even Jackie disappeared, to find some crack to score,

Paparazzi kept on coming, growing rich off her despair,
Within their sites, in flashing lights, knickerless and with no hair
Neither Rehab nor Ben Affleck could save her from her past
I hear she’s clean, but no-one’s seen her since october last.

/LEAVE NESSIE ALONE
posted by Sparx at 10:32 AM on February 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Should I Eat It

I swore when it hurt me so, I wouldn't eat it anymore,
And today I can see the mold - but I still need to be told:

Should I eat it, should I fall? Should I eat it after all?
Is it crazy, is it right? I really wanna eat it tonight.
Should I give in to the urge? What if I might have to purge?
When see that week-old food, I know it's gonna taste so good.

I know when the dish was new, I could eat it and not have to spew.
But I left some for later,
And now when I look in the refrigerator:

Should I eat it, should I fall?...
Oh, I'm so hungry and it's so fine,
Maybe I should swallow my pride
Just one, one, one more time, yeah.

MeFi, I've got to know: Should I eat it, should I fall?
posted by languagehat at 11:34 AM on February 26, 2008


Okay, so I grabbed the last thread on Locative's list, what I take to be maybe the Great Precursor Thread of askme eat-or-not questions: _sirmissalot_ wants to know if he can eat his unrefrigerated canned pasteurized blue crab meat, despite instructions on the can to the contrary.

I went through taking a rough tally of Eat it, Don't eat it, and Maybe eat it comments:

YES: 15
NO: 13
MAYBE: 4

One thing that became clear is that there's a lot of subjectivity here to deal with. I improvised some guide rules as I went through the thread, coming out with the following.

- Any comment that, at least in part, clearly stated that, yes, you should—or I would, in your place—eat it, I counted as a YES. I also counted comments that seemed more goading/daring than encouraging, per se.
- Any comment that, at least in part, clearly stated that it should not be eaten, I counted as a NO.
- Comments that made actual arguments for both eating and not eating, I counted as a MAYBE.
- Comments that were reticent about eat/don't directives I did not count.
- Where I was aware that someone was repeating their vote, I did not count it again; but I was not very careful about this.

I suspect different folks would tally MAYBE votes differently, but I think the YES and NO stuff is pretty straightforward, though in some cases it requires reading comments that are longer than a simple vote, up to multi-paragraph justifications.

A few highlight moments from the thread:

- A couple of users suggest animal testing (neighbor's dog, squirril). Other folks object, on grounds both moral and pragmatic.
- Rep from crab meat company tells asker not to eat it.
- Asker wimped out; asker's wife did not. She survived without incident.

There were 114 comments in the original thread, including several comments from the original poster and a fair number of comments from after the asker stated their decision. The balance of the comments that aren't counted as votes above come from followup comments from voters, clarifying questions from commenters, and general commentary from folks neither voting nor otherwise answering. The thread is interesting in part because it's very much from the infancy of AskMe; much of the thread as it exists reads more like something from the blue than from the green, and if it were new today we'd be doing a good deal of culling (mostly of sidebars and jokes and such) to keep it in line with current guidelines.

Faced with the idea of doing a runthrough for all the threads, my recommendation (and I realize I may be recommending this solely to myself) would be to tally only YES and NO votes; the MAYBE thing is way too subjective to be worth the effort for a casual tally. It'd be worth it as well to track what, exactly is being ingested (substance, time, conditions) as well as any reported final decision from asker and results if reported. Any further detail beyond that could be gathered by interested parties by jumping into a specific thread.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:18 PM on February 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


The thread is interesting in part because it's very much from the infancy of AskMe; much of the thread as it exists reads more like something from the blue than from the green, and if it were new today we'd be doing a good deal of culling (mostly of sidebars and jokes and such) to keep it in line with current guidelines.

If you really want to see how much the standards and guidelines have changed, I pretty randomly stumbled upon this the other day: A Chatfilter, posted as a zero link Metafilter FPP, about who's high.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 12:49 PM on February 26, 2008


Wow. That's a nice find, TOCT.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:58 PM on February 26, 2008


I'd eat it, with a stick maybe.
posted by wafaa at 3:47 PM on February 26, 2008


Sparx, that was awesome!

Just remember, every winter, the now-aged Jackie takes her young granddaughter out to Loch Ness, to tell her the tale of Nessie's brush with fame. At the conclusion of the tale, one lone air bubble reaches the surface of Loch Ness and pops.

Little does Jackie's granddaughter know, the air bubble is actually by-product of Nessie's undersea photo lab, where she develops the papparazzi photographs that she takes of herself.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:13 PM on February 26, 2008


Don't forget the exploding hummus.
posted by hindmost at 5:19 PM on February 26, 2008


Wait wait wait! I made hummus on Friday. Can I eat what's left, or should I just throw it over the fence and onto the train tracks? I always wanted to be a saboteur.
posted by maudlin at 5:57 PM on February 26, 2008


Many of the chattier ones are also basically "Should I Hit This"? They also all tend to turn out the same way every time: unresolved.
posted by meehawl at 6:29 PM on February 26, 2008


Divine_Wino: ""Tell me of a good restaurant in Chicago" or "Name my cat!"

Fucking tell me why my dick just turned purple already!
"
See, you should have asked the hive mind "should I let x eat this?"

jack_mo: "Keeping butter in the fridge just seems slightly pervy - I always suspect that folk who do that must secretly enjoy the frustration of waiting for ages before their butter is spreadable, or that they take some sinister pleasure in the ragged and torn surface of a piece of bread spread with ice-cold butter.
Or that they live in a climate where butter left out of the fridge will end up as a molten pool within half an hour.
posted by dg at 7:10 PM on February 26, 2008


+1 no. unless you make an awesome flow chart!
posted by thetenthstory at 7:11 PM on February 26, 2008


I can answer all of the "should I eat this" questions in one fell swoop:

If you have to ask, it's either not bad or your not hungry enough.


Seriously, eat your germs.

Those of you Howard-Hughes-wannabe germaphobes that take antibiotics like they're Flinstone vitamins, douse everything in antibacterials and subsist on packaged foods are throwing off the bell curve for the rest of us not-yet-plasticized humans.
posted by loquacious at 7:16 PM on February 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Yes, you should eat it" or "No, throw it out" should be radio buttons on user pages so we can publicly declare our allegiances to the world. Y

cali
actual Viking
Yes, you should eat it
posted by cali at 10:44 PM on February 26, 2008


Also, pardon my spelling. CalTrain trip. Zzzzz.
posted by loquacious at 12:22 AM on February 27, 2008


dg: "Or that they live in a climate where butter left out of the fridge will end up as a molten pool within half an hour."

Oop, that never even occurred to me - my sincere apologies to the hot climate butter refrigerators. (Give it a few more years of climate change, and I'll probably have to renounce my anti-refrigeration ways. Haven't had the heating on in my flat for a week. Doing that ten years ago at this time of year would have meant certain death. Or wearing about six jumpers.)
posted by jack_mo at 2:51 AM on February 27, 2008


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