July 1, 2011

Food Waste Friday: Seriously

Am I really serious about reducing our food waste, and saving us money by using our expensively-bought groceries judiciously?

The short answer is yes.

The shorter (but longer) answer is no.

Sometimes, I'm not serious. I have proof:


This is what was hiding in my fridge last week - I mustered the energy to tackle it on Sunday, as the bread was rising (it was a floury, bread-doughy finger, for those of you dying to know. Not an alien). The shame of it all made me get my act in gear and not waste any er much food this week, but I'm counting this stuff twice.

Because it's worse than just one post can pay tribute to.

This is the most food we've wasted since we started watching out for it, and - by golly - it's embarrassing.

Which is the point, I think.

Here's what we wasted between Sunday and today - although, by the smell of them, they've been sitting neglected for far longer than five days:


For various reasons, it was important to me to stay far, far away from the rotten bag of potatoes. Who even wastes potatoes, is what I want to know.

See what I'm getting at? Yes, I clean out my fridge every Thursday (uh, except last Thursday). And I certainly buy fewer groceries and plan the crap out of them so they don't go to waste.

But lately, the "watching out for things to use quickly during the week" bit has beaten me up a bit, partly because I'm not here during the day, which leaves less time to root through things, but partly because some days, I'm just not that serious about it. I could easily throw together a work lunch with a bit of creativity and whatever's in the fridge and needs to be used up, but I often don't.

I could very easily use the excuse that I'm now working full time, and am tired, and have other - more important - priorities. It's all true. But it seems pretty lazy. And I have a hard time letting myself off the hook, when wasting food boils down to throwing money away (not to mention the fact that it's wasting food).

Enough navel-gazing for one day, I think. Hey, at least it's not weird poetry to Terry Pratchett, right?

Today, the fridge looks like this:


And wasting all that food last week motivated me enough that I even attempted some food rescue: from pork tenderloin, lemon saut├ęd cabbage, a lemon whose zest was gone and who was looking forlorn, and some basmati rice came this:


And it was good.

(Don't forget, Food Waste Friday is graciously hosted by Kristen over at The Frugal Girl)