September 11, 2009

Food Waste Friday

No picture, no waste!

That's mostly because we got back from vacation this week so we haven't had enough time for anything to go bad. At least I was good about eating or freezing everything that would go to waste BEFORE I left.

And in case you were wondering about the whole issue of "sell by" and "use by" dates, we drank Horizon organic milk a full 10 days past the expiration date, and it was still delicious. Anecdotal, but true.

Who cares that we didn't waste any food this week? What's the big deal? Because all that food that's tossed in the trash ends up in a landfill contributing to greenhouse gasses. No kidding. Plus, the less food you waste, the less MONEY you'll be throwing in the trash. Everything you buy and throw away is cash you could have saved. We're saving almost $100 a month, or about 25 percent of our food budget, since we started paying attention to wasting less. That's nothing to sneeze at.

If you'd like to find out more, check out Wasted Food and Love Food, Hate Waste for information, inspiration, and tips. And if you'd like to participate in the Waste No Food Challenge, head on over to The Frugal Girl and check it out. All you have to do is document your waste every week, write about it, and then post a link on her site. She started photographing her wasted food back in March of 2008 as a way to hold herself accountable and it's really helped her waste less. Now she's got a whole group of people following her example. Yay Kristen!

I should add that if you're not a blogger, you can still join in the challenge just by making a comment on this blog or Kristen's, or any other way you choose to participate. The whole point is for all of us to start thinking about the impact of all the food that gets thrown away. In the U.K. it's estimated to be 6.7 tons per year, most of which could be eaten. I don't know the statistic for the U.S., but it's got to be a lot more than that. Kind of hard to even imagine.

One other thing, I'm way behind on this, but the week that just ended was "Zero Waste Week." And better late than never, so check out the awesome blog My Zero Waste to see how Mrs. Green and her family have committed to producing no waste (they haven't had a trash pickup yet in 2009!) They're from the U.K., where I think they're ahead of the curve on this issue. Check it out, it's inspiring! And you'll undoubtedly learn some simple thing you could do with almost no effort to help the planet.

How was your week? Are you watching your waste? What are your best tips for wasting less food? Please share your ideas in the Comments section.

UPDATE: My husband made guacamole last night, and the last of a bag of corn chips were stale. Rather than ruin a nice snack by forcing ourselves to eat them, we threw them away. I hadn't registered them as something that needed to be eaten because he's the big chip eater in our house, and they never go to waste. But he was away almost 3 weeks!

UPDATE TO UPDATE: And now I'm thinking I could have kept the stale chips for some kind of casserole or nachos. What do you think?


WilliamB said...

You might have been able to perk them up by warming them in your oven, with a pan of boiling water to add a bit of humidity.

Crush stale chips and use as "breading" for chicken, bake or saute, and top with a tex-mex or Mexican sauce.

Julie said...

I'm kind of crazy, I love refried beans. If I have stale chips, I crumble them up and put them in refried beans or guacamole and that makes it bearable for me. Maybe a margarita or two would help as well?? :-)

Karen said...

you can "refresh" stale crackers and chips by popping them in the microwave. Just spread them in a single layer on a plate, and nuke them for 30 seconds to a minute. You may need to mix them around and nuke them a second time. They'll seem worse when you first take them out of the microwave, but wait! When they cool, they'll be crisp again.

Angela said...

Thanks for the tips!

Karen- I'm definitely going to try that next time (although it's rare)