May 29, 2009

Food Waste Friday

Another ugly food waste photo. I'm taking part in the Waste-No-Food challenge from The Frugal Girl, and posting these photos does help me try harder to waste less food. Call it positive peer pressure, or just attention and focus, whatever the reason, it works. Check out Jonathan Bloom's blog Wasted Food to learn about how much food we waste (collectively) and why you should care.

So this week we still had some bagged lettuce in the refrigerator when we got our first CSA delivery, and the cornucopia of greens offered made it pretty hard to go back into the bag. My husband made an impressive effort, and used most of these greens on sandwiches when they were a little less than fresh. I have to admit I didn't even try. The beans were also entirely my responsibility, since he hates white beans and I only buy them for one type of salad I eat. I got sick of that salad after eating it a few times, and then these beans just sat there.

Actually, I don't think I even want to buy canned white beans anymore, I hate that layer of goo on top. Another project in this house will be making beans from scratch, how hard can it be? And I love throwing things in the Crockpot, so I'll start doing that soon.

I'm looking forward to our next CSA delivery this Monday. It's a little bit like Christmas for adults. The anticipation of pleasure. I might not be able to stand the suspense, and go online to check what we'll be receiving, the equivalent of peeking in mom's closet as a kid. I'm happy to report that we used up ALL of that produce, even the turnips. I made them once on the barbecue, chopped up and wrapped in a foil pouch, and the other time roasted in the oven with a bunch of other vegetables, and they were delicious.

If you're new to this segment, don't feel bad if you waste A LOT more food than this. That's the case with everyone who starts doing it. I used to buy tons of produce that would rot by the time I went grocery shopping again, and I'd have to dump it to make room for the new stuff. But it's amazing how much less you'll waste once you start thinking about it. And you can really save money by doing this too. Please leave your thoughts about all things food-related in the Comments section.


Linzerella said...

I think you're doing great in the Food Waste challenge! I'm impressed at your discipline ... for my husband and I, I find the only way I can manage our food waste (and budget/time/sanity) is to menu plan our food. I keep lots of frozen veggies (almost as good as fresh!) in the freezer and plan all of our meals ... meaning I hardly ever throw out food and we always have leftovers. Keep up the good work!

Alea said...

I had a similar problem once I started harvesting greens from my garden. We had to force ourselves to finish off the store bought lettuce.

I would definitely go online and peak and if I got caught I would explain that I was preparing the menu.

Kristin said...

Bean goo is gross :) We always rinse our canned beans. We also cook large batches of dried beans and freeze them in 1-cup or 1-can portions. Then they are as easy to use as canned and still taste good--not as mushy as canned.

Crunchy Sews said...

>>I'm looking forward to our next CSA delivery this Monday. It's a little bit like Christmas for adults.<<

Oh my that is the truth! Ours starts next week and we've been talking excitedly about it for probably a month now. We have a mix & match share which means we go directly to the farm to pick it's something to look forward to all week long!

MindfulMama said...

Just thinking about your idea to cook beans from scratch. Being a busy mom, I have learned how to use a pressure canner to cook dried beans in minutes rather than hours. No pre-soaking required, and you can prepare the beans right when you want them. Thrift stores often have the canners, just be sure to check that the seal is still tight on the lid. And another thing - for your money, you get many more dried beans than canned!

Marylyn said...

Have you ever made your own bread? If you make bread you can simply ADD leftover veggies and grains to the dough. Of course you then have to put your hands in it to knead it, but if you had a breadmaker, you could have just thrown those beans into it. They become "something else." part of the bread.

Deb said...

Do NOT use canned beans, canned beans are very high in BPA because of the lining in the cans. Not good for you at all. Soak your beans overnight, cook them in saltwater, and then freeze the cooked beans. The standard can of beans equals 1.5 cups of cooked beans. The cost is about HALF for using dried beans vs. canned beans. And now you know! :o)

Angela said...

Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions!

Linzerella- I do a "loose" plan in that I know 2 or 3 of the meals we'll be having- I'll make 2 and my husband makes 1, the rest of the time we eat leftovers or a pantry meal, and we usually go out once. That semi-plan style works for us because of our lifestyle.

Alea- I did go online and peek at what we're getting, and now I know we'll be having a tomato tart with parmesan crust tonight!

Kristin- I am definitely going to try cooked dried beans this week.

Crunchy Sews- yes, I never dreamed the CSA would be so much fun. I love it!

MindfulMama- that's a great tip, and I'll keep an eye out for a pressure canner.

Marylyn- I like the idea of adding to the bread. I bake a lot of quick breads, but am planning on starting to bake our own bread soon.(So far I've made granola, mayo, and am trying yogurt and bread next)

Deb- Yes, I think the health issue is definitely the final straw that will get me to start using dried beans. thanks!