When it rains, it pours

9/27 – someone is either moving? …or had a party, and tossed out anything the guests didn’t eat.

Here’s the take, just one bag:

– 1/2 loaf of Milton’s whole grain bread, dated 9/26.

– Most of a loaf of Trader Joe’s ‘Mom’s white bread’, dated 9/26. I am not much for white bread, but since ‘mom’ made it, (and the price is right!) how can i resist?

– 2 big slices of pizza(pepperoni etc), wrapped in tin foil. The way to check how old it is, is by bending it a bit – if the crust is still soft, it ain’t that old. Who the fuck tosses out perfectly good pizza? If it ain’t gone by dinner, it should be a goooood breakfast!

– a tub of watermelon cubes

– 2 pies! One a custard w/ lots of fruit, the other one called ‘marion berry’ pie. I don’t know what marion berry is, but it looks good, and the price is right πŸ™‚

– about 1/3 lb of sliced turkey…

– and a BIG plate of cheese slices, close to a lb.

Lunch for the next week? taken care of/ a done deal!

Last but not least, the last of a bag of ‘Kettle w. sea salt’ potato chips.

Who ever threw all this out needs as an old DJ in Wash DC put very well “… a check-up from the neck, up”.


More ‘moving out’ going on – filled a bag with the following, all still mostly frozen:

1/2 of a 14oz container of Lemon sorbet

1/3 of a 14oz container of Mango sorbet

1/4 of a 15 oz bag of sweet potato fries – yummy, for breakfast lunch and dinner.

2 sausage and egg english muffin sandwiches.

(I use things like this as a starting point, thaw them out, add mayo, mustard, maybe some mo’ cheese, some onion powder & other spices, maybe some crushed red pepper.)

1/2 loaf of frozen garlic bread

3 turkey burger patties

I like living in a 126 unit apt complex w/ many upwardly mobile young people who buy good stuff, but get moved around at their corporate employers whims. It makes for ‘good trash’.

If you think there is a larger message in that last statement, you just might be right.


A package w/ 3 of 5 chicken sausage left, best by date – 9/28.

A 40 oz bottle of Mazola ‘Corn plus'( w/ canola oil) cooking oil, barely touched.

I can guess why this got tossed out – it’s tall, taller than any of the cabinets in these apts. Maybe someone got tired of the counter space it took up?

I did some research on what the carbon footprint of this is, came up rather empty handed (most info was about carbon footprint RE corn ethanol as fuel).

But I did come across this statistic that speaks for itself:

One bushel of corn contains 1.55 pounds of corn oil – 2.8% by weight.

I hope the other 97.2% ends up in tortillas.

And consider the carbon footprint on this – alot of corn has to grown, which takes alot of water. Then it has to be processed (+ electricity gets used), then it has to be shipped, liquids are heavy, so there’s some gasoline/deisel and vehicle exhaust.


As usual, it’s one household that tosses out way too much.

In one bag, A carry-out conatiner w/ half a cheeseburger, a lot of fries, and tomato and lettuce.

BBQ potato chips, the last of the bag, but what’s so bad about that?


Several bags of various breads, bagels and and rolls. Just because one roll has some mold does that make the whole bag worthless? I think not.

10/11 – 10 AM

I pull a frozen slice of pizza from a week or so ago to defrost for lunch, walk to the safeway and back for a few things, spend $8, stop by the dumpsters…

And there’s a 25 oz jar of marinara tomato sauce, barely used – perfect to spice up the rather basic pizza slice. Funny how things work out, isn’t it? Would ‘the powers that be’ actually conspire to help me?


A small/ one serving container of Ranch dip. It’s small… but hey, it’s one more thing to add to a sandwich or salad that i wouldn’t have otherwise.

An entire loaf of Honey Oat bread – yes, the whole ENTIRE loaf.

A 10 oz bag of Kale – I’ve read about how good for ya this stuff is, but I’ve never tried any, safeway only sells it in bundles that are way too big for me, i’d have to eat the stuff morning noon and night to finish it before it spoils.

Well now I have the opportunity to try it out, without spending a dime.

(PS – i like the stuff – i looked up soup recipes, since soup is a good way to save something that’s perishable

1/4 of a bottle of tomato juice.

1/2 a jar of spanish olives, unpitted – maybe it was the unpitted part that got them the boot?


Last but not least, a whole roast chicken, only partly eaten. It’ll take some work to pick out what’s left, so what?

Manual stuff is actually a nice relief from pounding this keyboard and pushing a mouse, wouldn’t you say?

10/11 – later in the day, all in one bag!

(Many of these are only half full)

Spring mix salad – 16 oz, barely touched – plus a plastic wrapped 1/2 cucumber.

A Starbucks mocha frappucinno

Horseradish, 4 oz jar

Jalapeno Chutney, 8 oz jar

Orange Marmelade, 8 oz jar

Horseradish mustard

10 oz cherry tomatoes

Frozen peas and chopped spinach

1 oz/single servings Philadelphia cream cheese

2 oz jar of ginger paste

16 oz Tahini sauce

4 oz red curry paste

8 oz Parmesan cheese grated

a squeeze-able plastic thingey of lime juice

Olives stuffed w/ jalapeno peppers

Sun dried tomatoes, small jar

More olives! black, 11 oz.

7 oz of Hoisin/chinese sauce.

A dozen eggs, ‘sell by’ date? Sept 16, still quite OK.

My refrigerator is full, i gotta tell ya, i am having trouble finding things.

As i check the ‘use by/sell by/best by dates’ it is obvious that these are not such a good idea, they encourage waste, too many people who’d otherwise say they are independent and smart, and don’t take orders from anyone take orders from a couple of small lines of laser printed text on a package… instead of using their head, eyes and nose.

“Food expired? Don’t be so quick to toss it.”

By Alexandra Sifferlin, TIME.com

Updated 5:52 PM EDT, Thu September 19, 2013


“…. according to a new analysis, words like “use by” and “sell by” are used so inconsistently that they contribute to widespread misinterpretation β€” and waste β€” by consumers. More than 90% of Americans throw out food prematurely, and 40% of the U.S. food supply is tossed–unused–every year because of food dating…”


Another smoke break, later in the day, and more good stuff:

1 whole pineapple!

( I can now appreciate buying cut chunks as opposed to the whole pineapple – cutting this sucker up is hard work!)

8 oz mesquite smoked turkey slices

1 whole onion

4 oz jar sweet thai chili sauce

Bangkok peanut sauce

strawberries – 1 lb – a couple are moldy – BFD! I pick em out in no time.

A 1 lb tub of ‘i can’t believe it’s not butter’ …but i can believe it’s free. πŸ™‚

Something else i see a lot of? Recycables in the trash – paper and plastic that should be in the recycling cans… is not. In oh-so-cool, oh-so-green Marin county? It takes a bit of time and effort, but you gotta pass the recycling cans to get to the trash dumpsters. Once again, it’s about attitude, caring, thinking.

10/13, PM

A 10oz container of cherry tomatoes, no date on them, ya don’t need one, when tomatoes are bad, it’s obvious.

A 1 lb bag of baby carrots – sell by date? tomorrow, 10/14.

Duh!… some body is ‘following orders’.

10/14 – When i come home at 3:45PM, nothing new. When i step out to smoke at 5 PM?

In one bag:

Big conatiner of chicken/veg/rice soup, goes right into the freezer, i am still working on other things more perishable.

1/2 a cabbage – it looks wilted on the outside, but peel that off, and you got yerself some perfectly good food.

1/2 a lime

2 half finished burritos – right into the freezer.

1/2 a tomato

1/2 a dozen tortilla wraps, the small kind.

So you might well be asking ‘how do you put all these things together, for a dinner, R.D.D. dude?’

After 10 years of a mom who was an excellent cook, 6 years of boarding school, a few years of being single, then 2 wives of varied skills, another 20 years of being single, what can I put together?

Guess what, here’s a dinner that has 3 different tastes goin’ on.


The rice (at top) is seasoned w/ Thai red curry sauce, there’s some onions, a bit of zucchini and mushrooms, and is garnished w/ cherry tomatoes.

The meat(lower right)? turkey burger with some BBQ sauce.

The veggies (lower left)? …a few fat slices of onion, some snap peas, in Tahini sauce, and corn/canola oil.

Three different taste sensations at once, which i think is a good thing…?

Sure, why not.

I subscribe to the New Yorker magazine (on paper) and two regular articles about 15 or so pages in, i always read.

They are: ‘Food and drink – Bar Tab’ – about bars, of course. Its in NYC, OK?

And: ‘Tables for Two… a restaurant review’.

And one thing i get from these is that juxtaposition of tastes and sensations is paramount.

So what of my dinner was paid for? Only the few pieces of zucchini on the rice. The rest was all ‘courtesy of my (stupid) neighbors’.

I am turning into a chef of some sort?

Nope, don’t bother me, i won’t answer the phone.

One thing i keep remembering *over and over* while writing this blog is…

Growing up in a small town in Maine, with a BIG garden behind the house.

Once the soil was tilled, all us (3) kids were conscripted to plant the rows of many crops, cover them over, and water them. Waste not, want not.

>>> Links for the month:


Scroll down to the ‘sources’ at the bottom of the page – the ‘sources’ on any web page/magazine article are a good start on further research.


One of the better articles i have seen about this whole ‘waste’ problem:



A lot of very interesting and arresting statistics, and solution suggestions, on this page:



Thanks to those who are reading – i hope to drop something intelligent/informing in your lap, once a month.


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