How Long It Takes Those Oats in Your Pantry to Go Bad

iStock.com/invizbk
iStock.com/invizbk

You can tell when some foods go bad by looking for changes in texture, scent, and color. Other products don't warn you that they're past the point of palatability until you take a bite. According to Extra Crispy, the dried oats on your shelf fall into the latter category.

If you're someone who goes through a package of oats—whether they're rolled oats or steel-cut—in a few months or less, you may have never had to think about whether it has an expiration date. As long as they're stored in a sealed container in a cool, dry place, most oats should last one to two years before they start to turn funky.

There are, however, a couple exceptions to this rule. Flavored oatmeal packets that contain added ingredients like dried fruit or cream will start to spoil a bit faster—somewhere around the six- to nine-month mark. Some fancier, organic oats can also have a shorter shelf life if they're unstabilized. Most oats from big brands like Quaker treat their oats by dehusking them, rolling them, steaming them, and toasting them. This process stabilizes the grains and extends the expiration date of whatever oils they contain. If you purchase oats labeled "unsteamed" or "unstabilized," those oils will turn bad a bit faster than the commercially processed stuff. But if you store them properly in the fridge, the oats should last you about 12 months.

If you're not sure exactly how long your oats have been hanging out in the back of your cabinet, the good news is that they probably won't hurt you even if they're on the older side. They may taste a little sour or be discolored, but as long as you don't see any mold growing, they're not unsafe to eat. To be totally safe, you can store your oats in a glass or metal container to extend their shelf life even longer. And for a totally low-maintenance pantry, stock it with these items that almost never go bad.

[h/t Extra Crispy]

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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A Short, Sweet History of Candy Corn

Love it or hate it, candy corn is here to stay.
Love it or hate it, candy corn is here to stay.
Evan-Amos, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Depending on which survey you happen to be looking at, candy corn is either the best or the worst Halloween candy ever created. If that proves anything, it’s that the tricolor treat is extremely polarizing. But whether you consider candy corn a confectionery abomination or the sweetest part of the spooky season, you can’t deny that it’s an integral part of the holiday—and it’s been around for nearly 150 years.

On this episode of Food History, Mental Floss’s Justin Dodd is tracing candy corn’s long, storied existence all the way back to the 1880s, when confectioner George Renninger started molding buttercream into different shapes—including corn kernels, which he tossed at actual chickens to see if it would fool them. His white-, orange-, and yellow-striped snack eventually caught the attention of Goelitz Confectionery Company (now Jelly Belly), which started mass-producing what was then sometimes called “chicken feed” rather than “candy corn.”

But what exactly is candy corn? Why do we associate it with Halloween? And will it ever disappear? Find answers to these questions and more in the video below.

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