Sunday, November 27, 2011

Waste No Food [#CTWW]

This week's challenge comes from Reduced Footprints based on this article. Recent estimates suggest that 40% of the food grown for human consumption is never eaten. This percentage is along the whole supply chain. Households throw away about 14% of food. Take your total food spending and multiply 14%. That is how much money you are throwing in the garbage.

This week, make a conscious effort to waste no food. If you need some ideas on how to accomplish this, please read the article referenced in the previous paragraph.


If you never, ever waste even a morsel of food ... WOW ... you are a hero. Pat yourself on the back and then sit back and relax in the knowledge that you are doing a great thing for the earth!

A little analysis of our wasteful effort reveals two paths for wasted food. Vegetables and fruits are composted. Cheese and leftovers that have sat in the fridge for 1 week are the main items that are tossed in the trash.  Here is a graphic that show what standard U.S. household usually throw away:

For this week, I am going to make an effort not to throw anything away. Here is my strategy:

  1. Freeze leftovers that are not consumed within 2 days.
  2. Freeze ingredients that are not used.
  3. Create meals around fruits or vegetables that are going soft.
  4. Blanch or steam vegetables that are become soft and freeze for later use in soup, stir-fry, or pasta dishes.
  5. Plan the menu and buy only what I need. For anything extra, refer to numbers 2, 3, and 4 above.
  6. Save left over chicken bones and carcass for making home made chicken stock (freeze the stock for future use).

I usually live by most of my rules, but I need to make a better effort to not throw away food. All of us buy too much food, eat too much food, and throw away too much food. Let's be more aware of what we are buying and eating so that we have zero food waste this week.

Here is a Food Recovery Diagram from the EPA.  The diagram describes what can be done with food scraps.  Food can be a valuable resource.

Food Waste Can Be A Valuable Resource

>> What tips do you have for helping me avoid throwing away food?


Katherines Corner said...

Wonderful post, I do most of it but must admit I toss the bones.Hugs P.S. added you on linked in today :-)

Anonymous said...

Great post! I am not too good at being Green...need to work on that. We do recycle by giving our scraps to the Eagles however! And I do compost....but the rabbits get most of the stuff before it gets into the compost!

Unknown said...

Katherine - if you toss the bones, but do most of it, that's a lot better than the average. Keep up the great work!

Colleen - giving scraps to Eagles and Rabbits is avoiding throwing it away. Great job!

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