October 2, 2009

Food Waste Friday (X2)

This is last week's food waste. Yucky! My husband and I both forgot about the lettuce, and we don't put greens out on the Eat Me! shelf. This grapefruit was very old, from a tree in the neighborhood. It had been forgotten in the hoopla of the CSA and the more sexy fruit contained in the delivery box.

On the good side, it all went in the compost bin. Also, I was able to save two other bad grapefruit by squeezing them into juice, and it was delicious.

This week I was very disappointed (angry) to see a moth fly out of the oatmeal box when I went to make granola. It's the Quaker big round cardboard box, and the moths had penetrated it. I think I forgot to put new moth traps out, which I did this week after almost all those oats went to waste. I was so irritated I forgot to take a photo before tossing it. The moth traps generally work really well and help us avoid a lot of food waste, you can click here to read a post about them.

Why am I trying to waste less food, and even taking photos of rotten produce? Because keeping food out of the landfill is not only good for the environment, it saves money. Visit Wasted Food to find out all the facts about how the food we toss turns into pollution, and go to The Frugal Girl if you want to start wasting less by taking photos of your food waste every week.

We're wasting less mostly by buying less food and paying attention to leftovers. What are your best tips to waste less food? Please share them in the Comments section.


Carla said...

This morning I tossed about a third loaf of homemade bread out and later saw vultures eating it in the back yard, so I guess in a sense it didn't go to waste. I didn't get to eat it, though. I should have made it into croutons a couple of days ago but the last two days I just haven't been home. Too bad.

Isle Dance said...

Oh, wow - an excellent way to help everyone on this! Thanks so much for sharing.

Leigh @ compactbydesign said...


When I posted about some bugs in my grains I got a comment about boiling the food and skimming the dead weevils off the top. Eeeeewww!! I'm not that frugal! Sorry to hear you are having similar problems. It reminds me I need to go check the cupboard to see if the problem persists.

Donna Freedman said...

Some people have said that if you freeze flours and grains it prevents any weevils from hatching. Can't hurt to try, right?
It's disappointing to lose food. When I do throw things out (rarely), I keep expecting my mom to show up as a ghost and lecture me about waste being a sin.
What actually happens is that it reminds me next time to freeze a leftover before it goes bad, or to cook slightly smaller batches of chili or whatever.

Angela said...

Donna- I've heard that before- I think the idea is to freeze it just overnight before you put it in the pantry, right? I'm not sure where I read that before... It seems worth trying... Thanks for coming by and commenting!

mrs green said...

Oh what a shame about the moths; that's really sad. Lettuce is just about one of the worst things to find going off in the fridge!

Do you store yours in water - like cut flowers? It can last a few extra days like that ;)

Angela said...

mrs.green- I've never thought of that- I'll try it next week when we want to save a head to use for sandwiches. that's what happened with this one.

Isabella said...

I'm still trying to figure out how to reduce waste on food. Buying less during each trip and making more frequent shopping trips seems to help us, but I know we could do better.

Angela said...

Isabella- Buying less definitely helps us.

I missed some of these comments before, sorry:

Carla- vultures, oh my. I've recently started making croutons from stale bread- they're so easy and taste so much better. Saving money on croutons, plus saving the bread from turning into waste. A great win/win. But if you haven't been home, don't beat yourself up. You can only do so much- I don't believe in obsessing, just noticing so we can adjust our behavior.

Isle Dance- Thanks for coming by and commenting! I hope the tips are useful.

Leigh- Yikes! I definitely wouldn't go there. I know they eat bugs in some parts of the world, but I'm a little bug-phobic. That would definitely qualify as a "toss" for me.

amoeba said...

My food waste has dropped dramatically since I've stopped going to the supermarket. In fact the last food trip I did was to the farm shop a week last Saturday, and stuff is still good to last to this saturday. Not going to the supermarket means not buying too much in the first place. My wastage used to be huge. However I did throw some cooked plums yesterday that i'd forgotten about, plus some strawb and rasps that went mouldy faster than I could eat them :(

You're doing fantastically to have just those two items as waste! However, I guess we should also consider the waste in terms of peelings and inedible bits (shells, skins, bones) as these go into landfill... if like me it's not possible to compost (I only have a rented teeny victorian terraced yard with no growing space except tubs).

Julie said...

I've gotten into the habit of putting flour, oats, cereal etc. into the freezer as soon as I bring it in the house from the store. The next day, everything goes into the cupboard. Honestly, in my 42 years of life on the planet (here in Seattle), I've never had any problems with bugs/moths etc.---but since I am such a freak about this sort of thing, I freeze the heck out of the stuff anyway.
Also, I meant to thank you Angela last month for publicizing the Bank of America free museum thing. We went on Labor Day weekend to the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle and had a blast. My husband and I had not been there since we were kids and our son (8) had never been. My son got dressed up like a fisherman and tossed fake fish around to his heart's content. Free museums!! Gotta love it! We couldn't go anywhere this past weekend but will try another museum next month.

Anonymous said...

To follow up on everyone's freezer idea. I've read that freezing a few days to kill the weevils and then placing in glass or plastic food containers can help cut even more.