March 15, 2014
This (food waste) is a topic well worth exploring, and many others are way ahead of me.
National Resources Defense Council – http://www.nrdc.org has an excellent examination of this whole issue. I will post just one page of this report, click on the link below to read the whole thing.
You will notice that the biggest waster?… is the american consumer!
The basic facts:
Food consumes 10% of US energy, 50% of US land, 80% of US water, 40% of the food goes uneaten. We are throwing out 165 Billion$ a year.
Some good suggestions on the ‘waste not want not’ thing, using what you have to the max:
One more thing: I know someone in So. Carolina, living a rural place (my sister). She tells me that no one turns up their nose at roadkill. If there’s a dead deer by the side of the road? Someone will pull over and check it out. If it is a ‘fresh kill’? It gets thrown in the trunk, taken home and whatever neighbor/friend knows how to carve it up will be invited over. One and all, and probably some neighbors, will have venison steaks to last a while.
Waste not, want not. I guess this will be the mantra of this blog.
And I should also emphasize that nothing i have found yet, and eaten, has made me sick, and I have a rather fussy GI tract thanks to some intestinal problems that nearly killed me 8 years ago.
And what’s wrong with a bit of foraging?
Think about it, how did early humans survive? Walking constantly, always looking, foraging, for edibles – nuts, berries, vegetables, small game, shell fish, fish.
And how do coyotes or wolves survive nowadays?
The same way, constantly foraging.
Humans aside, that’s how most of the animal world works.
We are lucky, we are at the top of the food chain – Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Safeway. It make us lazy.
Enjoy what you have, and use it all.
My neighbors get stupid again.
At top left, a big tub of KFC coleslaw. Yummy! I would never go to KFC, but if someone dumps it in my lap for free? OK, i am there.
Top rt., a rather large ‘heel’ of a loaf of bread. You can see the slight mold on the side… but once you cut that off (you do have a knife, don’t you?) it is AOK.
What’s the matter with this person, are they afraid they might cut themself if they used a knife?
Bottom left – Chinese take out – wasn’t there an hour ago, passes the smell test, took it home, add a few veggies, dinner is done.
2/13, above – a take out dinner – turkey, stuffing, mac & cheese, some veggies. The veggies are too far gone but all else is AOK.
2/14 – a perfectly good ear of corn, looked like it had been partially cooked, and then tossed out – why? With a little milk, sugar ( always brown, i never buy white, the brown tastes better, more like the cane it came from), it will make a nice batch of creamed corn.
2/15 – a 3/4 box ( 12×12″, 1Lb.)) of DeGiorno Pizza sticks. Anyone who throws away pizza, in any form, unless it has tuned green (=Moldy) needs a ‘check-up from the neck up’.
What I do with a lot of prepackaged ‘meals’ is use them as a starting point, adding *whatever* to make them better.
So this diGiorno thing which is alot of bread, very little cheese & pepperoni – I got some onions, tomato, alfredo sauce, and parmesan cheese. Then!.. it becomes much better.
Oh, yeah, I steamed some garlic in the microwave to add to it, too.
But the DiGiorno pizza sticks illustrate a reason why some food gets tossed.
The photo on the box probably shows a doctored and untrue image of the product, which inspires a purchase. When the product doesn’t live up to the photo?… that’s when the ‘delete’ key gets hit.
“If you go to the supermarket and buy a package of food and look at the photo on the front, the food never looks like that inside, does it? That is a fundamental lie we are sold every day….”
That’s why it gets tossed out – Duh!
I worked as advertising art director many years ago, I know that deception is commonplace.
A hunk of cheddar cheese (1/4 lb.?), a bit white/moldy on the outside, w/ a bit of knife work? Just fine.
And half a 16 OZ bottle of ‘Salsa Tatemada’ – (green tomatoes, etc…various peppers, but in small amounts), never tried this one, but once i had a spoonful, i am a believer, this is a good one. Flavorful, but not overwhelming.
A box of Red Baron pizza, 2 singles. Just bread and cheese, no tomato sauce, but once again, improvisation to the rescue!Add some tomatoes, onion, maybe a bit of Alfredo sauce.
A small container of feta cheese, an equally small container of hot sauce. Don’t know why anyone would toss out either of these.
While we are on the topic of food, here’s something to consider:
This one deserves waaay more than just a link – it deserves your full and complete attention. Read ALL of it, to the very end. And then twice before you make that tuna cheddar melt sandwich.Maybe just make a grilled cheese sandwich instead? Here’s just a quick sample, the introduction:
By Fen Montaigne – Published March 2, 2012
No more magnificent fish swims the world’s oceans than the giant bluefin tuna, which can grow to 12 feet (3.7 meters) in length, weigh 1,500 pounds (680 kilograms), and live for 30 years. Once, giant bluefin migrated by the millions throughout the Atlantic Basin and the Mediterranean Sea, their flesh so important to the people of the ancient world that they painted the tuna’s likeness on cave walls and minted its image on coins.
The giant, or Atlantic, bluefin possesses another extraordinary attribute, one that may prove to be its undoing: Its buttery belly meat, liberally layered with fat, is considered the finest sushi in the world. Over the past decade, a high-tech armada, often guided by spotter planes, has pursued giant bluefin from one end of the Mediterranean to the other, annually netting tens of thousands of fish, many of them illegally. The bluefin are fattened offshore in sea cages before being shot and butchered for the sushi and steak markets in Japan, America, and Europe. So many giant bluefin have been hauled out of the Mediterranean that the population is in danger of collapse. Meanwhile, European and North African officials have done little to stop the slaughter.
“My big fear is that it may be too late,” said Sergi Tudela, a Spanish marine biologist with the World Wildlife Fund, which has led the struggle to rein in the bluefin fishery. “I have a very graphic image in my mind. It is of the migration of so many buffalo in the American West in the early 19th century. It was the same with bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean, a migration of a massive number of animals. And now we are witnessing the same phenomenon happening to giant bluefin tuna that we saw happen with America’s buffalo. We are witnessing this, right now, right before our eyes.”
2/21 – A good day for fruits.
A 6 oz pack of both blueberries and raspberries (totally untouched and perfectly good), several bananas that look a little brown on the outside, but that doesn’t mean shit – they are still fine on the inside. My Momma made great banana bread w/ old (brown) bananas.
A 1/2 lb bag of grapes, a few were wrinkled, but most were pretty good. In case you hadn’t noticed, grapes get better w/ age – it’s called ‘wine’.
Something called a ‘sand pear’ – looks kinda battered, but will be fine, for a guy who ate apples from the ground from an apple tree in his backyard 50 years ago.
And some mushrooms, i think ‘straw mushrooms’, a 1/4 pound pack.
I appreciate my idiot neighbors.
A word about the raspberries and blueberries? They are not from the US, they are ‘Produit du Chile’. So what’s the carbon footprint of that?, that someone has thrown away?….Hello?
Dumb, dumber, dumbest.
During the last week, several half finished chinese carry out dinners, w/ many condiments/hot sauces. Also a big bag of frozen chicken breast patties. These are another example of products that just don’t live up to promise, and get tossed. They aren’t the most appetizing things, but with all the sauces I’ve collected, improvisation to the rescue 🙂
Also, a big container of cooked rigatoni noodles with it’s perfect compliment, a 1/3 full jar of tomato sauce. Both items passed the smell test, and made for the main ingredient in two dinners.
I haven’t kept track of how much money I saved this month, but it was considerable.
Waste not, want not.