DEAR MISS MANNERS: When my wife and I hosted some family members, one of our female guests took it upon herself to go through our pantry and select every item that was past its "sell by" or "best by" date. She then proceeded to pour the contents into our garbage disposal and toss the containers in our recycling bin.
We have some other friends who experienced the same thing when they hosted a family member recently. We are over 65, as are our friends. I'm sure these women think they are doing us a favor, but most of the discarded items were condiments, and I have never gotten sick from a "bad" condiment.
Has it become commonplace for family members to go through an elderly person's pantry or refrigerator and toss expired items without their consent?
GENTLE READER: Certainly. And while they are at it, they might chuck out any family members they deem similarly past their prime.
Miss Manners suggests that you do your best to keep these helpful guests out of the kitchen -- or give them a quick, dramatic scream upon finding any food that was unceremoniously tossed out by them. They might concede that your stunned reaction is far worse for your health than the consumption of any recently expired items.