On Fridays, I post these lovely photos of food that's headed for the trash. Why do I air our dirty laundry, so to speak, in this fashion? It's in response to The Frugal Girl's Waste-No-Food challenge, an attempt for each of us to do our part to reduce food waste on the planet.
This week wasn't too bad, especially because you can't tell from the photo, but each of these containers is actually ALMOST empty. The cheese is rare for us to waste, and I'd been using it a lot in salads, but all of a sudden the last bit was just a little off. And my husband made a valiant attempt at the half & half, using up nearly all of it, with no help from me. There are limits to how far I'll go to reduce food waste, and eating something incredibly fattening that I don't really need is one of them.
What I learned this week has a lot to do with my buying habits. Lessons:
1) Half and half. I bought it for a recipe I didn't end up making. I don't think I'll ever buy it again. If it doesn't get used, there's really nothing we need it for. And any recipe that calls for it, surely I can use milk instead.
2) Crumbled feta. This is a habit I picked up before the days of watching our food waste. I started purchasing these tubs of cheese for convenience, but now it seems silly to pay more for something I could buy in a block, especially since it comes in the useless, throwaway plastic container.
So I'm slowly learning. No more half and half. And no more plastic "convenience" containers of cheese.
Want to know why you should care about the food you waste? Here's just one fact to help convince you: "If we all stop wasting food that could have been eaten, the CO2 impact would be the equivalent of taking 1 in 5 cars off the road." (From the excellent website Love Food, Hate Waste). Be sure to visit Wasted Food to get the scoop from Jonathan Bloom, the go-to resource for all things food waste-related.
How was your week? Are you tracking your food waste? I'm finding it's an ongoing process that I have to be constantly vigilant about. But on top of feeling better about wasting less, I've cut our grocery bill by about 25%. That may be an added incentive for some of you. Please leave your tips and advice, questions and concerns in the Comments section.