Sea Salt and Cardboard
Leaving the room at the hotel, I noticed the uneaten breakfast bars in the corner. The event is long over and I am paying for this uneaten food, so I grab them. I look at one of them as I pile them into my briefcase. I can imagine a giant silver machine extruding a long line of nuts and berries along a conveyor belt. People in white lab coats and hair nets pulling out bits and pieces before the big knives chop, and the clear cellophane wrapper is applied. That mental image is part of the reason why I don't eat them myself, but the rest of the family does and maybe they'll appreciate the extra space snacks to gnaw on.
At the house, my youngest grabs one and makes a face. "What did you get there? Is that flavor gross?" I ask. He shrugs and puts it down, presumably for me to either finish or toss.
Later, my daughter comes by, grabs one from the pile, takes a bite, makes a face, wraps it back up, and says, "Cleaning out the cupboard?"
"No," I say, "why?"
"I think they're expired."
How would you know?