August 6, 2009

Let's talk about food...


Very little this week. The apple is much older and more shriveled up than it appears on the photograph. During our recent kitchen transformation, which involved my husband laying a new linoleum floor with the help of a friend, this apple somehow ended up next to the liquor decanters. Since the urge for an apple is diametrically opposed to the urge for an alcoholic beverage (except in the case of hard cider, I suppose) the apple remained uneaten, until it was found by me this week.

The other container has a bit of cucumber raita left inside that I didn't finish. It was good, I made it from cucumber and yogurt and a few other ingredients, but my husband doesn't really like that in the first place and so it was left up to me. And he's much better at eating the leftovers than I am.

As for the writing on the lid, that dates back to my first attempts to reduce our food waste. I had been inspired by Jonathan Bloom's blog Wasted Food, and so I came up with the idea of labeling the leftovers so they wouldn't be forgotten and shoved to the back of the refrigerator. After I'd made a batch of chili, I had some adobo sauce left over, so I put it in this container and labeled it "adobo." The next morning when I opened the refrigerator, I saw that my husband had added the other "words" for my enjoyment. Click here to read all about the fun and games of those early days (4 or 5 months ago). And now that label has become a permanent part of the container (it's been through the dishwasher several times).

I wasn't ready at the time to start photographing my rotten food, so that was my contribution. My other early trick was to create an "Eat Me" section of the refrigerator, which both Jonathan Bloom and The Frugal Girl wrote about on their blogs. It's worked brilliantly for us, and is one of the main reasons we've reduced our food waste so quickly and dramatically. If you haven't seen the "Eat Me!" post, you can read it here.

Are you following The Frugal Girl's "Waste-No-Food" Challenge? If you are, how did you do this week? Even if you aren't, please share your tips and advice for wasting less in the Comments section. And if you want to know why you should try to eat your leftovers, I highly recommend a visit to Wasted Food.


saymoi said...

I have failed every week. I buy too much food. I find that if I shop for more than 3 days, I end up throwing something out because plans change and something goes bad. Then I tend to hoard food when something goes on sale. Or here's a good one, I live at least 4 hours away from a Trader Joe's and when I do get to one, I go overboard and fill up my Honda CRV (which was bought for Trader Joe runs) and end up with TOO MUCH FOOD. I think I need to move back to Southern California to stop wasting food and also find a better recycling program. Can I go on?

Angela said...

Don't give up. You're not failing because you've started trying, so you've already taken the most important step. What I have found in the past 5 months or so is that the single biggest factor is buying TOO MUCH FOOD. You recognize that. If the nearest Trader Joe's was a 4 hour drive for me, I would have a really hard time resisting all the goodies. For me, it's a 10-minute walk. So it's easy not to feel like I have to always stock up. If I forget something or change my mind, I can walk over tomorrow.

If you can't move back to Southern California, just keep trying and figure out the amount you need to buy without wasting, or at least get closer. A lot of people plan every dinner but I can't do that- we always end up changing plans or going to someone's house or not being hungry enough for a full dinner. What works best for us is to just plan 2 or 3 meals. There will be 1 or 2 just from the leftovers, 1 or 2 we'll go out, and 1 or 2 we'll just eat sandwiches or Trader Joe's snacks. You might try that method. Good luck, and thanks for commenting.

mrs green said...

We created 1 lemon and 3 potatoes as food waste this week. I feel okish because at least they will be composted, so make MORE food for my soil.
Still, I don't like food waste.
I use the top shelf of my fridge for the 'eat it up' part and find that works well for us.
I can imagine raita doesn't keep for that long and ends up slimy..

han_ysic said...

Suggestion for the apple, so long as it hasn't gone black and mouldy, it's just been drying in the fridge. When I have one or two apples like that I turn them into an apple cake. they rehydrate in the cake no worries and they are delicious. Hannah