Boy, just returned from work, checked this thread and thought "Oh no, not again".
First, I just checked a box of Duncan Hines and it does have an expiration date, so I'm not sure which boxed mixes don't or if there are any that don't.
I started baking in 7th grade after my first Home Economics class, I knew I was hooked. I learned scratch baking from the beginning, so that's what I've always done. My Mom never had mixes in the house, she made everything from scratch, including bread everyday for dinner. (I have a huge family, youngest of 8 kids)
Having said that, since joining CC in August, I wanted to try the WASC after reading the rave reviews. It's OK I agree, but personally I can taste the artificial ingredients. That's my personal opinion, I'm not saying it's bad or wrong to use it, I just prefer my old scratch recipes.
As a consumer, I would not be happy to pay a premium price for what I thought was a "from scratch" item if it was not. I think if bakeries or home bakers use a mix, even if they add things to it to "doctor" it, they should advertise as such. I don't think it's fair to pass a doctored mix recipe off as a "scratch" item. It's "fresh baked" yes, but it's not "scratch". I know a girl in RI that bakes from home (unlicensed), has a website, uses mix, and advertises that her cakes are from scratch. That's just wrong in my opinion. Isn't it?
I think there's room for everyone in this world, I'm not bashing people that use mixes, at all. To me it's not even about the artificial ingredients, it's just about the different taste and texture. Notice I said different, not bad or awful, just different.
Heck, unless we grow our own fruit, vegetables, wheat, etc., we all eat a certain amount of artificial ingredients and preservatives everyday.
I guess my biggest pet peeve is the baker that advertises "from scratch", when it's not.