Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Food Waste Reduction Check-in

Food Waste Reduction ChallengeSorry for the late post today, people, but I've got some sort of strep-like virus going on. Anyway, I wanted to let people have the chance to check-in today and let everyone know how their first week of the Food Waste Reduction Challenge went.

I didn't get around to taking a picture but, for myself, I've thrown away (composted) a half a piece of bread and about 1/4 cup of bean dip. You'll have to visualize for yourself since it went into the yard waste bin already. I've been eating a lot of leftovers and freezing what can't be eaten in a reasonable amount of time so, aside from inedible food parts, there's not much food waste being generated.

The kids, on the other hand, well, I don't even want to think about it. They both have been sick with various head colds, stomach viruses and other issues and so there's been a bit of food waste on their part. I did manage to reduce it as much as possible by only doling out a small amount of food at a time and reintroducing food that wasn't eaten at an earlier meal (within reason).

How 'bout you? How was your first week? Feel free to add in links to your posts if you are posting about it on your blog so that others can read.


Anonymous said...

Here it's:
1/2 cup flour, left from breading fish
1/2 small sweet potato
small amount of an omelette (my son's waste)
1/2 of bean quesadilla (made from leftover refried beans)

One of my problems is that I tend to feed the freezer, then throw out the stuff once it's way too freezer burned to use. I'll be doing a defrosting in a few weeks, and fear a whole list of waste then.


Tammi said...

So far, I have composted a few banana peels, maybe 1/2 cup of pasta and a 2/3 cup of natural peanut butter that got lost in the depths of the fridge and went past it's expiration date by a few months.

We are SO bad with leftovers so I am being extra careful to only make enough for that one meal. I'm pleased with how well we are going. :)

SongbirdSisters said...

We too had sick kids so there was some after dinner waste. When we did the fridge clean out it wasn't as bad as originally expected, though. Mostly it was leftover beef and chicken stock! Weird. Just made us think about planning a little better when opening a container.


Joyce said...

We're doing great- no waste at all. (I'm not counting things like banana peels, etc. that you cn't really eat.) I do see a couple of things in the fridge that need to be used immediately, mostly some dips made for Superbowl Sunday.

Anonymous said...

It was good eats for the garbage can this week: 2 apples, a container of cut watermelon, a couple slices of banana bread, half a container of guacamole, and a bunch of stuff from the fridge clean-out which is still in progress.

Robj98168 said...

Looky here! I had 22.7 ounces of food waste, but I counted chicken bones and peelings and coffee grounds- Next week I won't so it should be much less. Ate a lot of left overs and got real tricky on reusing left overs (made soup, froze already baked pizza)more on my blog post

Farmer's Daughter said...

It was a bad week for me in the food waste department... I ended up getting a stomach bug on Tuesday night, so a lot of my food for that day went down the toilet. Then, I felt so sick for the rest of the week I really couldn't eat anything and didn't want to look at food.

Now that I'm feeling better, I've more than made up for my lost calories... Fortunately most of our meat is in the freezer so I didn't have to worry about anything spoiling because I wasn't cooking much.

I also have realized that I made more jam than we could eat last year, so I'm looking for ways to use it up. Any suggestions? We pretty much eat it on toast or sometimes I'll put it on ice cream for a sundae.

Stephanie said...

Farmer's Daughter, my husband likes to put jam in plain yogurt.

We wasted about a cup of milk and a bag of shredded cheese. We are usually so good about using up dairy.

Spot-On said...

Good week for me!
No food waste this week!!! about the third time since I started documenting in December! Next week won't be as good though I already know there is one thing that'll be tossed in the fridge.

Unknown said...

It looks like everyone is doing pretty good so far. Sorry for all the sickies out there.

The total waste for the week was:

1 cup of the chicken & Stuffing
1 cup of the Baked rigatoni
1/2 cup refried beans
The following were put in the compost bucket.
1/4 bagged lettuce
3 mushrooms
16 grape tomatoes
1/2 half rotted apple

I didn't too bad since I really didn't plan on this challenge and only found out about it last Sunday. I'm hoping to do better now that the old leftovers are out of the way and I can start from scratch and plan my meals better.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

We didn't have any food waste this week!

One way we repurpose our leftovers is to make Garbage Pizzas Garbage pizza started as a way for me to use up 1/2 a jar of dead yeast - made pizza dough with it. Now I regualary make & freeze a batch of pizza dough to use whenever the need arises.

Megan said...

Alright, what the heck. Did I miss something in the rules, or are you all eating veg that doesn't create peels?

Generally, we're doing well. Our £2 a day diet means we are wasting VERY little. I do wonder if our organic milk will go off because it's too expensive to have cereal for breakfast.

Our compost bag (it hangs on the kitchen door, gross I know) is FULL of peelings. None of it is "waste", ALTHOUGH I probably didn't need to take the WHOLE red cabbage outer leaf off, and turns out you don't have to peel unwaxed rutabaga.

Nothing thrown out, though. Well, except for the scrapings from the bottom of the pan whenever I make oatmeal (I can't find a way around that).

I'm awfully impressed by everyone so far. It's WAY better than the 1/3 they say we throw out!!!

Greenpa said...

We've only recently discovered a great resource for being sure no food is wasted.

Our dog. We've always had a cat, but the cat it pretty useless on old bread crusts that the 3 year old hides. Since we've become dog owners- hey presto!

Why even when we do throw stuff in the trash- Delilah will dig it out and reprocess it! All over the yard!

healinggreen said...

Well, on one hand we did well -- we've been going through the cupboards eating all sorts of old canned and dried foods -- I haven't been to the grocery store in two weks. On the other hand: YIKES! I went through all the canned goods in the pantry, and found a multitude of things that had expired. Well over a year, sometimes three, ago. Scary. Especially sine I know we must have eaten quite a few expired things very recently. While we are none the worse for wear (even my husband, who apparently ate some clam chowder last weekend whose twin today said it had expired in 2005.) I tossed it all. The good news is the remainder is all very organized now, and I am going to continue using it up until its gone. Then I will have plenty of room for the many preserves, pickles, and dried foods I plan to make this summer.

Farmer's Daughter said...

Megan- All those peels can go into the freezer to be used later in stock, then composted. I've also found that I don't need to peel carrots if I give them a good scrub, and I prefer to eat potatoes with the peel.

Michele said...

I didn't keep a strict count since I decided to do this just a few days ago! I did toss a bit of flat root beer down the drain and probably less than 1/4 cup of spaghetti sauce tonight

I can tell you more about what I have done right! I make sure that I pour my son only a little milk at a time. If he doesn't finish it, I put it in the fridge for a later meal. I have done the same for my drinks.

We make homemade pizza on Fridays. This week was a spinach/artichoke hearts/leftover rotisserie chicken combo. My hubby didn't put it all on the pizza, so I scooped it up and added it to leftover egg noodles. Delish! He used some chicken in a quesadilla.

I had a little sausage tomato spaghetti sauce leftover that I wanted to use up. So, the boys got some newly defrosted sauce and I used up the sausage sauce on my pasta.

I am definitely getting more creative and conscious with what we are eating!

Carla said...

My kids are little wasters. It's hard to judge how they'll do too. Sometimes they'll drink a full cup and eat a plateful of food. The next time you give them the same amount, and toss most of it. Bread crusts got tossed and about 1/3 of some bagged lettuce that had turned. Also some tortilla chip crumbs. I put some on top of fajita soup but couldn't eat them all. We also recycled some cooked hamburger meat into a pot of chili. So not terrible, but probably could have done better.

Ellen said...

One trick I've learned is to add our extra grains to our soups. I usually always end up dumping the bits and scraps from the kids' plates and now I'm just collecting them all in a tupperware and adding them to soups. Yum.
The only waste this week was fruit that went bad (not our fault, we inhale fruit, so it had been rotting when we bought it. Stupid Whole Paycheck clementines).

Allie said...

Farmer's Daughter,

This happens to me w/ jam too. I rectify it by making lots of jelly cookies (or jam cookies). I roll out chilled sugar cookie dough (basically, though it's somewhat stiffer), cut it into rounds, top w/ a spoonful of jelly, then top it w/ another round of dough that has a hole in the middle. These things go QUICK.

Also, we make biscuit and scone dough in rather large batches, then bake only what we're going to eat that day (which uses up preserves with the biscuits, and home-canned curd for the scones). The remainder we cut, flash freeze, then transfer to freezer bags, which makes it more feasible to make jam/curd carriers with more frequency (just add 3-5 minutes to the baking time, w/o thawing them first).

Yess said...

None really with the exception with what isn't licked from the plate.The fridge is more empty since we aren't buying any food more then 2 days ahead of time with the exception of a 5lb bag of apples...which is looking like it would even make it to the end of the week as about a fruit bowl worth of fruit a day seems to go missing.It helps that my b/f is a human garbage disposal.

knutty knitter said...

Two corn cobs here. Hubby bought them when they were rather elderly and then forgot them. A small plum and half a very green apple is the rest. Oh and a couple of small buns the kids forgot in the oven. It's all salads here and I haven't used the oven so it was a bit late when I found them.

viv in nz

Anonymous said...

I hate to waste food anyway, but this challenge is really getting me to think a little more about planning. Of course I have a 2 1/2 year-old who changes what he likes to eat on a daily basis, so I do compost a lot of dinners from him.

I am interested in learning more about what can be frozen and how to do it.

Oldnovice said...

I mostly talked about other topics, but put up my pictures here. It's mostly unedible waste ... egg shells, tea bags, hair, pistachio shells, onion peels, but we had a few meals that stretched further than we'd anticipated. I hadn't done a refrigerator cleanout before the challenge, as we don't usually have too much in there. Bzzzt.

Anonymous said...

These comments are fantastic tips!

@Megan, the rules say non-edible things like banana peels and eggshells can be excluded ... is that what you mean?

The timing for this check in is perfect for us, as I was eyeing the fridge and thinking we need a leftover-collective dinner soon. I plan to turn some wilted apples into a cobbler, and we're working on our squash stash in our laundry room/root cellar.

I'm also trying to use up home-canned goods that are getting a little old. Any suggestions for home-canned white grape juice that tastes nice and grapey ... but is an unappetizing shade of pea-soup green?

scifichick said...

We are doing pretty good, I haven't thrown out anything yet. But then we are going on vacation for a week, and I think I'll come back to few things that will be too far gone for consumption :( But so far so good.

Stacey said...

I had no waste from my fridge or freezer this week, but I tackled the old food in my pantry and it wasn't pretty. I did that last Friday and have since seen that there is even more questionable fare, but you can see a picture and my post about the waste here:

It's a very interesting challenge - thanks for encouraging it! I'm also challenging myself to keep to a weekly food budget of $80 for my family of 4. I've managed the last 2 weeks (and even threw a party for 8 adults and 3 kids), but it is *very* challenging!

m3missy said...

We're doing well here too! We really only have banana peels, egg shells, and a little ginger that came out of the juicer (the pups doing like it much but do well with the carrot pulp) in the compost container. We did have to toss out the remnants of 1/2 a lime after we made gin & tonics the other night. We threw them out side though, not in the compost. So, if we're counting real waist, that would go in the trash, that would be none for us!

Our dogs help out when cheese is questionable and with all the left over broccoli stems and the like, which is so good for them too!

Anonymous said...

We didn't have any waste, which I expected (we don't have kids, and I'm pretty vigilant). So I made extra rules for myself. I am a teacher of adult ed ESL, and my dear students give me food. Sometimes it's totally eaten with gusto (homemade tortillas or flan) and other times it lingers (commercial chocolates or cookies, which I don't really like). So my added rule was to only eat what I love, and to give away the rest, either to another class or to my husband's work's communal kitchen.

In that sense, the only thing I ate that I regretted (thereby keeping it from someone else to enjoy) was a dove chocolate.

Anonymous said...

Uh, Stella - I could happily take care of that Dove Chocolate problem of yours!


Joy said...

I had a great week! Read all about it here:

Kiezie said...

I started the week by cleaning out the fridge: moldy stuff from the back of the fridge (Ya, I really hate to admit that, but it's true, I let things mold from time to time). We composted a cup of rice that someone forgot to put back in the fridge, and the usual banana peels and grapefruit and lemon rinds (after I zested them), most of the seeds and the peel of a squash, and many apple cores.

Anonymous said...

I'm struggling but I'm still making progress. I'm not sure how to deal with slobbery sandwich crusts and all those cheerios that get tossed on the floor by my toddler. I've written a post about it on my blog.

Carmen said...

I don't think I've wasted any of my own personal food... but - with the kids it's a different story. We had one can 34 oz. can of composted food waste. Mostly dinner food that the kids did not finish. (I'll eat their leftovers myself, but not when they are sick and not when they spit stuff out back into their food!)

I've posted about my solution to wasting bread crusts on my blog:

This week is going to be bad. Why? Weevils! I didn't know what they were a week ago, but now I have discovered them in several stored grains. I know you CAN eat them, but I'm just not going there. Anyone know good ways of preventing weevils?!

The Simpleton said...

@Carmen: here are some weevil tips that have worked for me. Store grain items in sealable containers. I use plastic (say what you want about me) but large glass jars, etc. will work for small quantities.

Put a bay leaf in with the items. I did this religiously until I forgot to sift it out once and found jagged pieces of bay leaf in my bread. Dangerous!

If all else fails, my co-op sells weevil sticky traps. I'm sure you can find them online.

Carmen said...

@The Simpleton: Thanks for the tips! I'm intrigued by the Bay Leaf.