Saturday, January 14, 2012

Food Waste Friday #1

Welcome to Food Waste Friday!

My friend Marisa and I have been reading The Frugal Girl for a while (Marisa introduced it to me about a year ago, I don’t know how long Marisa has been reading it). The Frugal Girl does “Food Waste Fridays”, where she posts an occasionally embarrassing picture of her food waste for the week each Friday and encourages other bloggers to join her. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while but couldn’t get the guts up, but I’m doing it now! I decided to do it about a week and a half ago but my trash can was full last week (they are super strict on trash here in Oregon, no overflow or anything), so I just saved up my food waste (ew?) in my fridge. So what you will see here is about two weeks of food waste. In addition, I’m declaring “food waste bankruptcy” – cleaned out my fridge and freezer pretty completely so I have a fresh slate. I have some pantry items that are on the edge, but I’ve been eating stale cereal for the past week or so to try to prevent food waste on those things. It really is interesting how big of a difference you can make when you put your mind to it!

Not pictured this week:

- Several leftover containers from restaurants. These were my sister’s (she’s been staying with us since she got back from Afghanistan while she job hunts) and she was in Italy for a few weeks and they got weird.

- Most of a loaf of bread. We don’t eat a ton of bread but we bought it were my parents were here and it went moldy. Sad

- Hamburger rolls from when we first moved in and I had made a bunch of pulled pork. We had two packages and I guess there were two buns left at the end and they were also moldy.

- A tiny bit of skim milk – again, my sister’s and she left for Italy around the beginning of the expiration date.

- Eggnog – Geoff purchased with the intention of drinking and never even opened the carton.

- Parsley – I don’t even know when it was from, it was all dried and weird. Maybe there is something I could have done with dried parsley? But it certainly wasn’t properly dried.

- A weird malt cranberry drink I bought. I thought it would be tasty and festive for the holidays. It was festive perhaps, but it sure wasn’t tasty. I just faced facts that no one (including myself) was going to drink it.


- One picture is my special “s’more stash” for camping. It is a divided container that holds chocolate and graham crackers (and sometimes marshmallows, but they were in a separate container and they’re still ok at the moment). The chocolate was all oxidized (I tried it and it was weird) – I tried to pull it out a bit so you could see it. And the grahams were mushy. I made a s’more in the microwave – yuck. It was all crumbly and weird.

- Caesar salad & dressing – this was also from when my parents were here.

- 2 packages of awesome meat – sad. But it was super freezer burned. I made Geoff a steak from the same set of meat and it was YUCKY. So we decided not to take our chances with these… why waste cooking time, materials, energy, etc. when we know it will be bad?

- Buttermilk – not sure when this is from, got stuck in the back of the fridge.

- Fig spread – I never ate this. Totally my fault. It’s way past the sell by date.

- Onion – it was a little weird to begin with, I should have prioritized using this or made sure I cut the weird parts off from the beginning. I think it contaminated itself.

- Random cup of ranch dressing – no explanation.

- Pomegranate – this was my sister’s. It got super moldy and weird. But this was the first time I tried pomegranate, SO GOOD!!!!

Seems like I had a lot of large quantities of food. I guess I need to work on that. Here are some highlights of the past few weeks, since I’ve been thinking about this stuff more:

- Used up a bunch of cheeses in macaroni and cheese (had to cut a few moldy spots off, but I’ll take it! – I guess I should have counted the moldy spots above)

- Been eating tortilla chips like crazy to use up the giant Costco bag I bought for New Year’s Eve (also been eating up the dips that went along with it as well as some other dips we had on hand, which gets rid of them and uses up sour cream and cream cheese)

- Geoff ate a frozen lasagna that had been in the freezer FOREVER (and by “in the freezer”, I mean has traveled with us… probably since we sold our house in 2009. Ew. And YAY GEOFF!)

- Ate leftovers from going out to brunch this weekend (again, YAY GEOFF)

- Ate a bunch of meatballs leftover from NYE and froze the rest in nice portioned packs!

- Ate up some super-special chocolate sauce/topping we have had for a while (there was one moldy bit that needed to be scooped out, so I think we saved it in the nick of time!)

- My stale-cereal binge

- Geoff’s been eating up his frozen fruit smoothie things (and using up some of my sister’s skim milk, as well as the cream and his own milk in the process!)

So I think pretty good all in all! I’m looking forward to doing this and seeing what we can do about food waste!