February 26, 2010

Food Waste Friday, Friday Freebies, and Favorite Blog Post of the Week

This is our food waste for the week. Poor cilantro.

This picture might make you think we haven't been eating cilantro, but in fact we've been eating A LOT of cilantro. My husband has been adding it to almost everything lately (burritos, soup, Trader Joe's Indian food, and scrambles), and I used it in several meals, but we got it in our CSA delivery about four times in a row and couldn't keep up with it. This is already very old, because we save it in a glass of water in the refrigerator.

So it was dumped in the compost bin. Visit The Frugal Girl for the rotten food photos round-up (hey, we all get our kicks somewhere). And check out Wasted Food if you want to know how the food that ends up in a landfill creates greenhouse gasses. If that's too abstract a concept, here's one that might hit closer to home: wasting less food saves money.

Are you tracking your food waste? How did you do this week? Let us know in the Comments section.

FREE STUFF ALERT: Universal Studios is offering free admission to educators until March 31st. The offer applies to teachers and other school employees working for public, private, and charter schools in California. Plus up to four guests can get in for half price. Universal says the offer is "a thank you for the tireless efforts of those who help to educate our youth." Click here to read the details.

And I'm choosing this post by Catherine at The Vegan Good Life as my favorite blog post of the week even though it's almost a month old. It's about absolutism and it's really stuck with me these past few weeks. I'm sure it was the inspiration for my post a few days ago about my 90% rule. The post is called "A Plea for Inclusion" and it talks about her philosophy on veganism and life. She believes the "vegan label police" and now the "vegan thought police" have scared millions of people away with their smug attitudes and intolerance. I think her ideas apply to lots of areas of life and I agree with her that no one wants to be part of a group that gives off such a judgmental vibe. I couldn't do The Compact if I thought it was all about "I'm a better Compacter than you!" No thanks. It shouldn't be a competition. Catherine has written a thoughtful and insightful post, so check it out and feel free to chime in with your thoughts in the Comments section.


Vanessa said...

Hi Angela,
I have started FWF this week. I have the same problem with shallots (I think you call them spring onions) as you do with the cilentro. I just can't use up the whole bunch and I had some roasted pumpkin that I kinda forgot was in there. Not too bad for my first attempt though. 3 Years ago it would have been a bag full of stuff.

Rachelle said...

Waste is not usually an issue, but this week stunk. I had to throw out half a container of leftover black bean and sweet potato chili. I guess I could have frozen it but it was pretty old and I was tired of it. Much bigger waste: I had to throw out a whole pan of fudge (minus the one piece my hubby ate). I realized too late that the recipe called for icing sugar, so I ground up 5 cups of regular sugar into a fine powder, but apparently not fine enough. He said it was grainy and awful, and he's usually very easy to please. I hate fudge anyway, so i'm not touching it.

Catherine @ The Vegan Good Life said...

Thanks so much Angela, I'm humbled. I so appreciate your honest look at your path with The Compact and that choices are not always as easy or black and white all the time. Easy is such a relative term.

The issues are so emotional – animal welfare, the health of our planet, financial security. So much is at stake. But if people take themselves too seriously and feel the need to 'correct' others who aren't up to their standards or present themselves as perfect, it will alienate people.

I was very strict initially, but then was so hard on myself if I wasn't the perfect vegan all the time. Perhaps the Compacters feel similar pressure. It's about education, finding what works for you, and not feeling the need to apologize for it. Stand strong! Remember we pick apart everything in our lives, when so many others don't care at all about their impact.

I think it's great how many people are doing meatless Mondays (thank you for promoting that). If people don't want to go meatless all the way, it's still a major contribution.

jill said...

Excess herbs such as parsley, cilantro and basil can be pureed with a little water and frozen in a spare ice cube tray. When solid pop them out of the tray and store in a bag.
This way they are always available to add eztra flavor to soups, stews, sauces or just add zip to plain pasta or rice.

Anonymous said...

Cilantro is my favorite, and I buy it every week, use it in 3 or more dishes, and still rarely use it up. They should sell it in smaller increments. It seems like cilantro is a frequently spoiled item on these Food Waste Fridays!

Anonymous said...

I only get my CSA in the summer. But when I end up with too much herbs, I dry them for use in the winter.

Angela said...

Vanessa- Congratulations! yes, I am surprised at how I used to take for granted the act of throwing out the food that had gone bad every week when I stocked up with new groceries.

Rachelle- I have a similar situation going on with some whipped cream I made for a dessert. My husband hasn't used the leftovers for anything, and I'm not going to eat it just to avoid waste!

Catherine- Thanks again for the great post. And yes, I agree about Meatless Mondays- I think it's an incremental approach that works. People realize they can go meatless and will do it even more. And even if they just do it once a week it will make a big difference.

Jill- That's a great tip. I'll have to do it BEFORE I realize the cilantro is about to go off, though.

The Saved Quarter- yes, we didn't need as much as we got. Because as I said we like it and were eating it what seemed like constantly.

Anonymous- I'm going to have to do that more often. We were getting a lot of thyme and I also had it in my herb pot, so I would just leave it out and then it was great on roasted veggies and such. But how do you dry herbs like cilantro and basil that actually go brown or yellow and soggy?