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Thread: Challenge - Food Waste Fridays

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    Default Challenge - Food Waste Fridays

    I was very inspired by TheFrugalGirls blog on food waste called Food Waste Friday (sorry I don't know how to link and don't know if it's allowed). She was tired of wasting food so to hold herself accountable she posts every Friday on the food she threw out that week. While I don't have the inclination or the skills to keep a blog with pictures, I would like to commit to reducing food waste this year. Americans throw away more than 40% of the food we produce for consumption. This is just bad stewardship of our resources and with rising food prices, it doesn't make good economic sense. I thought I would start a thread where we could confess our food waste (in hopes of being more aware) and share ideas for using leftover food and other ways of reducing food waste. I made a clean sweep of the refrigerator this morning so I could make a fresh start. Here is what I throw out (but I'm not counting this since I don't officially start until Friday). Two partial packages and one full unopened package of shredded cheese and one unopened block of cheddar cheese (I hate throwing away cheese), half a baked sweet potato left over from a restaurant visit, a cup cooked spaghetti with no sauce, 2 slices cranberry sauce, 3 slices of bologna and a package of deli ham that was past date. Here are the things that need to be used this week or will need to be tossed - green onions, half a bag of kale, half a bag of baby carrots, 1 pear, 1 1/2 c. pumpkin puree, 1 cup of cooked egg noodles, and some leftover Mexican food from a restaurant visit. I'm looking for ideas for using my produce and leftovers.

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    The Original Dinner Guru STEAMING 3timesoccermom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Challenge - Food Waste Fridays

    There is probably a lot less waste with those on this site than many others but it's true; the amount of food we waste is a crime.

    I'm not sure many are going to want to confess though. I almost didn't.

    In January I had to toss a $10 pack of steaks because I let them go bad and I'm still not over the guilt I feel over that - especially since we don't buy steak that often!! It wasn't intentional - things just kept happening where I didn't get a chance to cook them and then I finally had time and I opened the package with dread, knowing what I would find, and yep, they were bad.
    ....... Renee

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    Default Re: Challenge - Food Waste Fridays

    OP, this is a great topic! Unfortunately, I am terribly guilty of making food, putting leftovers in the refrigerator, and then forgetting they are there until I clean out the fridge a month later and throw out a bunch of stuff that's growing a bunch of stuff.

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    Default Re: Challenge - Food Waste Fridays

    So nobody else wants to 'fess up? I had a bad food waste week because I had lots of company and they left a bunch of food here. Here is what I threw out this week - leftover cooked egg noodles (just no room in the fridge anymore for them), one serving of vegetable soup that got left out after eating, an entire frozen pizza that nobody wanted after I cooked it, six herb biscuits, four huge breakfast pastries and 3 slices of German chocolate cake. I figured those last two things were better in the trash than on my hips. I still have tons of food in my fridge that needs to be eaten this week - leftover pulled pork, homemade tamales, leftover spaghetti, and an entire smoked chicken. I probably won't even need to cook this week. I am proud of myself that I stuck a bag of bagels and a loaf of bread in the freezer before they got bad. I have a relative that works at a bakery who brought me the pastries, bagels and bread.

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    Default Re: Challenge - Food Waste Fridays

    Oh I am so terrible about this. For some reason, DH and I always make more than all of us (DH, DD and I) can eat during one meal. I always say I am going to put those left overs up and eat them for lunch tomorrow. At least 80% of the time I forget to do that or think DH is (which results the same as forgetting) and the food stays out over night. It is either not fit to eat at that point, we don't want it or our kitties have "scavanged".

    Just the other day I threw out some left over fish. That was $3 in the garbage. Complete waste on my part. As I type there are left over fries and 1 burger from Sunday that will end up in the garbage. Just sitting in the microwave, unwrapped, unloved.
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    Default Re: Challenge - Food Waste Fridays

    This morning I tossed 1/2 a head of lettuce and a couple of days ago about 1 cup of orange juice because it had soured. A small piece of Parmesan cheese went recently too and if I remember correctly there is a piece of cornbread, part of a jar of pasta sauce and a small bowl of chili at the back of the fridge that need to be thrown out today.
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    Default Re: Challenge - Food Waste Fridays

    Thanks to teenagers and a big dog I don't have a lot of food waste and I try to make sure that if I have leftovers that don't get eaten in a couple of days that they go in the freezer. This is sometimes a good thing to have my own "frozen dinners" ready to go as I can just grab them and microwave for lunch at work - saving me from eating out! I have a special freezer shelf that is reserved for individually portioned leftovers. I have found that the rubbermaid brand countainers hold up really well for this purpose. I have shallow square ones that hold 2.9 cups and 2 cup round ones with twist on lids.

    The thing I do hate wasting the most is the meat! Before thanksgiving I had to through out a bunch of frozen turkey meat from 2 years ago that was not useable. I am learning that I should not get a big turkey no matter how cheap, because we never do eat all the leftovers. This year I got some turkey breast in gravy that was just about the right size for us to use up! Right now I have 1 hotdog and about a half a cup of chicken fajita that has to go in the trash because they aren't even suitable for the dog. The fruit, veggie, grain stuff can be composted and made into something useful - so not such a big deal to me to have to do that. Cheese almost never goes bad around here because we eat it on everything and use it a lot for main dishes - more likely than not I am needing more that what I have and running to the store for more.

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    Default Re: Challenge - Food Waste Fridays

    I religously read The Frugal Girl and also work very hard to eliminate my food waste - she has really opened my eyes to the fact that food being thrown away = money being thrown away.

    I'll report in each Friday, the accountability is good for me

    This week was a good week for us, food wise! I threw away two muffins that went bad before we could eat them and some cantaloupe and watermelon that went bad (only about one serving of each).

    I had some carrots that needed used soon, so I cleaned them up and made baby food (their original purpose when they were purchased anyways ) and I also thawed a loaf of english muffin bread from the freezer that would have started to get freezer burnt if it wasn't used soon.

    Here's to another good week!
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    Default Re: Challenge - Food Waste Fridays

    I didn't have too bad of a week because I haven't cleaned my refrigerator out yet. The pumpkin puree finally got thrown out - didn't get anything made out of it. I did use up the rest of a loaf of bread that has been in my pantry for a while - made cinnamon toast. I have some leftover cooked broccoli and some cooked mixed veggies (broccoli, cauliflower and carrots) that I was going to try an experiment with - make broccoli cheese soup and add the broccoli chunks and puree the rest of the veggies and add). I also have half a package of hot dogs and a pound of ground turkey that I was going to make into burgers and grill today (does ground turkey make good turkey burgers?). I ended up not cooking all weekend so none of my cooking ideas materialized. On Friday I came home and DH was frying fish (yum!). On Saturday we went to Red Lobster for a birthday and today we were invited to a friend's house for for dinner.

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    Default Re: Challenge - Food Waste Fridays

    I eliminated close to 100% of my food waste by meal planning and buying a juicer.

    I meal plan each week first, then shop for fresh items that I need to complete the meals for the week.

    When I have leftover fresh fruit and veggies, I juice them.

    What I want to do better at is recycling all the paper and plastic many couponed items are wrapped in.

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