December 12, 2009

Food Waste Friday, Saturday edition

On most Fridays, I write about our food waste for the week. I've got plenty of reasons why this post is more than a day late, but they don't really matter. Better late than never, right?

So here for your enjoyment is another beautiful photo of the food that went bad this week. I haven't had a photo in awhile, so that's progress. This week we had a bit of arugula, after my husband used most of it on sandwiches. In the container is two roasted carrots that I had forgotten about. And then the dreaded Campbell's cream of mushroom soup. Hmmm.

I rarely use this and usually just keep a can for a last minute emergency. In this case, I used it in tuna casserole, and it tastes fine, but normally I would make another type of sauce that's a little healthier. Anyway, for some reason I used all but a tablespoon or so that was left in this can. And I had absolutely no plan for using it up so there was no way it was going to get eaten.

A plan. That's the best way to avoid food waste, in my experience. Plan your shopping, plan your meals, plan how to use leftovers. If that sounds like a big drag to you (like it does to me), just do a semi-plan. Plan some meals and then have pantry staples. But keep an eye on your leftovers or they'll definitely be forgotten.

Why do I care about wasted food? Because when it goes to the landfill, it creates CO2 and adds to the climate crisis. Plus it wastes a lot of money. Luckily, most of this stuff will go on the compost pile (is cream of mushroom soup okay, does anyone know?). But I'd still rather have a zero waste week.

If you want to find out more about the effect of food waste on the environment, check out Wasted Food. And click here if you want to participate in The Frugal Girl's project of photographing food that goes bad in an effort to waste less.

Are you watching your food waste? How did you do this week? Tell us about it in the Comments section. And if anyone knows whether or not I can compost that soup, let me know.


Anonymous said...

I would be cautious about composting the soup. Though I don't know for sure, the salt content in it might not be good for the mix.

Sandi said...

As I understand it, no processed food of any kind should go on a compost pile.

Angela said...

Anonymous and Sandi- Thanks! I put the can back in the refrigerator until I got some feedback, so I will not compost it!

Thanks for commenting!

Julie said...

I end up eating a lot of weird stuff for lunch in order to use something up. Yesterday, I ate what remained of a can of Annie's brand Spaghettios-type pasta with "pretend" meatballs because my son hated it. (It was an "emergency" can from the pantry and he'd never tried that before.) I put a sprinkle of parmesan and a dash of salt and managed to get it down. Ugh. What I do for my kid and my planet!! I used to eat the real Spaghettios practically every day back in the '70's when I was a kid. I shudder to think what that did to me, those processed meatballs from factory cows. There was also half of a tortilla left, which actually made quite a tasty quesadilla with a small bit of cheese. The bad part was, the other half of the tortilla fell on the floor when I was making it, so that one had to go in the compost. Even I, a dedicated food-user-upper, will not eat stuff that fell on the floor or a dirty counter! I was really bummed about it going to waste though.
Thanks Angela, keep inspiring us!

Gayle A. Robison, DVM said...

Any cooked food that you are throwing away should go down your garbage disposal and off to the Hyperion Treatment Plant, where all our Los Angeles sewage goes. Did you know that for over 50 years the biomass aka sludge has been put in huge digesters so the methane aka natural gas can be used to generate electricity in our fair city? Compost your raw produce waste, but send the cooked stuff down the disposal. It will help power Los Angeles. And the spent biomass, the nation's cleanest and safest IIRC, goes to improve soil at a couple of farms in the Central Valley.