August 21, 2009

It's not pretty, but...

... it's Food Waste Friday.

And that's why you see this ridiculous, hideous photo up on my blog instead of a cute baby, a beautiful sunset, a cute crafty purse, or the millions of other things you might find in the blogosphere...

I'm part of a group who participates in Food Waste Fridays. It was started by Kristen at The Frugal Girl, who began taking pictures of the food she threw in the garbage in hopes it would help her waste less. It did, and so she shared the idea with her readers and invited them to join in.

This week was all about my husband being out of town. In the tinfoil is the last of the banana bread I baked for him to take on his road trip. I baked an entire 13" X 9" pan of this stuff, and it was good but not great, so I don't feel too bad about wasting this little piece. I already gave most of it to my husband and a large chunk to a neighbor the day I baked it, but after having a few pieces myself, it wasn't worth the calories at some point.

The bagged lettuce is due to snobbery. My husband would have used it up, but with him away, I let it sit and rot while I enjoyed all the tastier fresh produce from our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) delivery in the refrigerator. I barely have to buy any fruits or vegetables these days, just a bit of lettuce. And this bag just really won't do anymore, now that I've gone back to a fresh head: local, organic, and unpackaged.

When I was little, we had the "Clean Plate Club" at our dinner table. We ate everything on our plates because the little children in China and India and Africa were starving. As an adult, I gave up that logic because I think it can contribute to overeating. But I do believe in buying only what you need, and serving only what you can eat, and throwing away as little as possible. It's a tough balancing act if you want to eat healthfully, but it's what we're all trying to do better by participating in Food Waste Fridays. It really does make a difference to the planet what you toss in the trash. You can find out the details by visiting Wasted Food.

Are you tracking your food waste? How did you do this week? What's more important to you, eating well or wasting less? What if I told you the two things don't have to be mutually exclusive? I used to buy way too much produce, without a plan for preparing it, and throw half of it away the next time I went shopping. Does that sound like you? Please leave your thoughts, questions, ideas and suggestions in the Comments section.


WilliamB said...

"it wasn't worth the calories at some point."

Yay! Important consideration. There was a post on Wasted Food: someone had half a tub of frosting and didn't want to waste it by throwing it out. Many responders pointed out that she and the world would probably be better off if she didn't eat it.

hiptobeme said...

As a general rule, I hate to waste food and I have leftovers planned into my menu. Lucky for me, I have two hungry males who aren't too picky when it comes to reheating a single serving of last night's dinner. While I don't track all of my waste I definitely know we are throwing out so much less now that we plan our meals and shop accordingly. That in itself is the best step we have taken to date.

Kim said...

My food waste Friday was horribly embarrassing, I couldn't bring myself to post a pic!

Kung-Juin Wang said...

I always tried to finish what was edible, even if it was a little rotten. To me, it seems like that to avoid the guilty feeling of wasting anything outweighs others. The result is, in every stage related to food consumption, I mean, buying, cooking, and eating, I always calculate. It may sounds hideous but the true is only in extremely rare situations would I waste anything, would I feel tired in calculating, and would I become sick. In fact, calculating is really easy after several shoppings. It actually becomes intuition. That means, I really don't have to do the math in my awareness.
And during my whole life I can only remember one or two experiences of getting a little bit sick because of eating rotten food.
I'm healthy and I'm slim. Overeating never becomes my problem. Actually, I can freely have the privilege of emotional eating whenever I need to because I'm slim enough to have a lot of "quota."
Really, it's not difficult.

Alea said...

My kids and I were happy to discover that we could not finish a pan of brownies when my husband was out of town. )I cut them up and froze them before they became too stale). It was a good visual on how much I needed to cut back on shopping and cooking when he is traveling.

Angela said...

WilliamB- Yes, I'm just never going to force myself to eat baked goods or half and half. What I've been trying to do is make less if possible, give some away immediately, and freeze it before it gets unappetizing.

Hiptobeme- I agree, the shopping and planning stage are where we can make the biggest impact on food waste. And I'm sure the two men in the house don't hurt!

Kim- Have you seen some of my photos- the fridge cleanout was really embarrassing! I know it's still better than when I wasn't paying attention, and that's the important thing. Don't be hard on yourself, we're all learning.

Kung-Juin Wang- Actually, I don't choose eating rotten food over wasting. But I will eat something that might not be very appetizing to someone else. A lot of people I know won't even eat leftovers, which we have no problem with. One thing I will eat almost "rotten" is raspberries- I find that they get a little mold really quick, and it's never made me sick and I don't mind it. Of course my coworkers thought I was a bit "eccentric," to put it kindly...

Alea- Brownies?? That has never happened in this house, and I would be surprised to see the day. But you're right, that IS a good thing not to finish them and put them in the freezer for later instead.