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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

There are starving kids all over the world - don't waste food ...

I am one who always had an aversion to leftovers, I will admit I have this fear of rotten food. I think it comes from growing up in the restaurant business and hearing all the health department requirements; which obviously are more severe then what the typical person does at home. Suffice it to say I am a little obsessive about food going bad, haha. Through this journey of taking better care of God's creation I started to really look at my leftover aversion and got over it. I also made an effort to try to make just enough food versus too large of portions. Like Mom used to say "there are starving kids all over the world don't waste food". But then I went a step or a few steps beyond just making sure to eat our leftovers and looked at what waste over buying was causing. I will tell you it wasn't pretty! I have always been a just in case buyer and a mood cooker "what if we feel like ...", well this not only makes my grocery bill higher, but causes a lot of potential food wasted.

One thing I realized also was, like most Americans, we love variety. It isn't a luxury for us, it is a requirement. But with that requirement we can waste a lot of food. I had some friends go to Africa and one thing they said that really struck me in my line of thinking on this whole issue was that "the people there eat a lot of the same thing all week", so it was challenging for them because we are spoiled with so much variety. That gave me a lot of insight as to how we needed to approach being last wasteful in regards to food. Here are a few things I am doing to make sure that what doesn't even make it to our meals doesn't end up in the compost or garbage either:

1. Planning meals appropriately - now this means more than just ok we will have this on Monday and this on Tuesday ... one thing I realized, like in other countries they have a few items to cook for the week (creative opportunity here too hehe), so I basically think ok for the week we will have e.g. rice, these veggies, this fruit, eggs. So I am selecting certain things I can make in a multitude of different types of meals while at the same token using up everything I buy.

2. More trips, less purchased - so either I walk or I drive when I am already out for some other reason ... this method I found makes it easier for doing the first step ... I plan to go to the store at least 2 times a week. One thing that happens in other countries is they go out every day buy only what they need and it is all fresh, well I am taking this to a 2 times a week event, this way I can plan for narrower plots of time and everything is so fresh. Believe it or not I am spending a lot less money.

This is the two major things I am doing to reduce the waste and I have to say it is working amazingly. What are way you are reducing your food waste outside of leftovers?

1 comment:

  1. I don't mind left overs. I generally cook dinner with leftovers in mind so I can bring them to lunch :) Otherwise I try to plan the grocery trip well - we're bad about wasting food. Worse comes to worse if something goes bad, I compost it!