My cup runneth over!

Whoa! My refrigerator and freezer are packed!

My cup runneth over!

 

 7/6

A 1 lb pack of of ‘angelicots – nature’s juiciest apricot’, Los Alamitos CA. There’s 5 left. One of them has obviously *gone south*, but the rest look OK.

In fact they are better than OK, they are actually ripe and juicy. One a day for the next 5 days for me. Yummy.

7/10

I go to the transit center bus stop every AM, I see old people cruising all the trash cans for recyclables, I cruise ’em too, but i am looking for newspapers. But yesterday i saw an apple… a hole in the side, and in the top, both about the size of a pencil. I grabbed it anyway, washed it off at work, sliced it up leaving out the bad parts. still many good parts. A crunchy vitamin C rich snack, thru the morning hours.

7/12

Once again, it’s the ‘all in one bag’ wasteful household thing.

•Wheat crackers 1/2 a box, still crunchy.

•A couple of Yoplait single serving yogurts, dated June 3. If the foil on the top was bulging? (indicating decay!), i wouldn’t touch ’em, but it’s not, so since they’re blueberry and I’m from Maine, blueberry ground zero, they are mine.

•A 2.5 oz pack of white tuna. Tuna salad sandwich sometime soon.

•A small container of raw almonds.

•A fistful ( at least 12) of Roundtable Parmesan cheese packets, and 2 foil packs of soy sauce.

•Finally a 3.5 oz pack of Thai peanut sauce mix. Use by date: 1/20/26.

Yes, it’s dry, it requires some cooking, some coconut milk according to the instructions. But rules are made to be broken, and instructions can be.. uh modified, to one’s own purpose, can’t they? I will use this as i wish, adding as bit of the powder to rice on an ad hoc basis.

I have come to read ‘ingredients’ on any processed foods, scrupulously. I am the guy in the middle of the supermarket aisle, reading, not shopping.

Alotta times, the ingredients list is a bunch of gooble-de-gook, words you can’t even pronounce. I have always said: “if you can’t get the word out of your mouth, why are you putting this *into* your mouth?”

As for the Thai sauce peanut mix?

Sugar, peanuts, spices (kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, onion) modified tapioca starch, dextrose, hydrolyzed soybean protein… and a few minor preservatives. Not bad.

There are however some ‘foods’ that are not ‘foods’. Not really.

My post appendicitis/peritonitis GI system is rather sensitive and ‘grumbles’ at any crapola.

I recently cruised my local Safeway half-off rack, and came upon some “classico pizza sauce” – an 8 oz jar, white sauce, i thought would be pretty benign.

Water, soybean oil, cream, spices,… and less than 2% other stuff.

Don’t know what about this would kick back at me, but it sure did.

Upon further label reading, it’s not much of a ‘product’ = not real(ly) food. Maybe that was the problem. Nothing real here, please move on.

•Last but not least, a 5 oz bag of ‘Judy’s Breadsticks – Coffee Twigs’. What the hell are these, i ask??

Organic whole grain wheat flour, barley malt, coffee beans, cane sugar, olive oil, yeast, sea salt, pure vanilla.

‘Divine dipping sticks’ they say. ‘Dip them in what?’ i ask…

I used to work with a guy from Colombia, take over the evening shift from his day shift in a photolab, he rode home on a bike – as i was making the evening shift’s coffee, he would grab a half dozen raw beans, pop them into his mouth, and chew. That’s taking it ‘straight up’, isn’t it? Maybe these sticks are much the same. I’ll give ’em a try.

7/13

Took out my plastic/metals recycling, the container was pretty full, what was on top?

(I guess who ever tossed this stuff was trying to do the right thing, but i think you’re ‘sposed to empty the containers of food before you add them to recycling bin, right?)

•1/2 big jar of red tomato salsa. Can’t tell ya how long it’s been since I’ve had to buy any salsa, this goes right to the freezer. 

•A small jar if sriracha mayonnaise, it’s just the right temperature for me, a nice amount of heat, but not overwhelming. For me, sriracha sauce is overwhelming, a drop goes a loooong way!

•A small bottle of Crema Mexicana – mexican style sour cream. Don’t know what I’ll use it for, but i’ll take it.

•A small tube of anchovy paste – perfect to spread on the wheat crackers i found just a few days ago.

Oh, all the above well within best buy dates.

7/15

Yesterday there was some furniture by the dumpster. Today? I went to the safeway for 11$ worth of stuff, and got more than that out of 1 bag. ‘Moving out’ works well for me, when it’s someone else moving.

All this stuff was still frozen.

• 2 salmon patties

• 1/2 dozen breaded chicken strips

* 1 salmon fillet, a few oz.

• 12 oz bag of brown rice, precooked, only neds a couple of minutes in the microwave.

• 15 oz bag of sweet potato fries – perfect addition to that lunch time sandwich.

• 1/2 dozen tamales – don’t know if they are chicken, beef or pork, they have been re-wrapped in a ziploc bag. Guess I’ll find out, any of them is fine.

• 1/2 dozen strips of bacon, again, rewrapped in zip-loc. I just hope it’s not apple-wood smoked, i don’t like that.

• 1/2 dozen angus beef patties, a bit freezer burned, but nothing that a bit of barbecue sauce won’t cure.

• A huge bag of frozen chicken legs. I don’t usually eat chicken, it’s ‘sposed to be the dirtiest meat, but if i make a good chicken soup w/ it come the supposed el nino winter we are hoping to get, they’ll be just fine. Boiling kills anything bad.

• Basil pesto sauce 7 oz.

• Matinara sauce, 15 oz, half full.

Both these two go right to the freezer.

On the way back to my apt, i take a look in the trash can beside the elevator on my way up, just on a hunch. Just a hunch, mind you. My hunches are good, whaddaya fuckin’ know.

There’s a take-out bag – feels like more than napkins are being tossed out, and upon further inspection? 

Eeee-yeah!, i was right. A big bunch of french fries, two small containers of red salsa, some lettuce and tomato slices (i can tell it’s all still fresh cause the lettuce has a crunch to it) and some corn tortilla chips.

One thing i have noticed? people who buy ‘take-out’ are really wasteful. What they don’t consume immediately? they toss out. Dumb. Stupid!

I can easily see how some people could survive on what they find others tossing out.

Easily. 

Without boring you w/ my personal finances, i can see my checking acct balance rise – more coming in than going out – thanks to my diving endeavors.

And i must repeat – i am not diving that deep, i am only scratching the surface.

And i am only diving a little bit into the whole issue of our waste.

7/19

• 1/2 loaf of whole wheat bread – straight for the freezer.

• A full pack (6 count) english muffins.

• 1 lb  spinach chicken sausages, 5 of ’em. with chardonnay wine! 

• Half a bag of lettuce mix.

Everything is within dates, or just past them. remember folks, these dates are for the retailers benefit – they don’t mean “toss this out by this date – after that, it’ll kill ya”.

Hey! It’s not a dumpster, it’s a deli!!

7/23

I usually give the trash cans at the bus transit hub a quick look-over on my way to work, hoping for a newspaper. Especially a New York Times or Wall St Journal (not many people out here read these, methinks.)

This AM, no newspapers, but a really big bag of french bread rolls, about 7-8″ long, sub sandwich size, about 8 of them. Perfectly fresh, perfectly good. Three is all i can fit in my much smaller bag.

Niiiice!

7/25

Not much in the way of food, but a few handy items:

• a mostly used roll of paper towels. I never buy these, a sponge or small towel does the job just fine.

Once again, the price is right, i take ’em.

• a small bag that musta come from ‘take out’ – alotta napkins, and more than a fistful of tortilla chips.

What is it about ‘take out’ that inspires waste?? ….easy come, easy go?

Later 7/25

….I take out my non-organic trash, it’s in a brown paper shopping bag, i empty it, 

and then, lo and behold! i refill it!

All from one wasteful household!

• 1/2 dozen brown eggs

• 24 oz of feta cheese crumbles, mostly full.

• Hummus – 16 oz container, mostly full. Guess i need to buy some crackers for this.

• plain yogurt, 32 oz, mostly full.

• a vinagrette salad dressing 16 oz, mostly full.

• cream cheese, & string cheese, plenty of both.

• part of a ‘wrap’ sandwich.

• a tub of what appears to be mexican cheese and tomato salsa. Add to eggs? or whatever else.

Maybe to those tamales i found recently?, yeah, that’s the ticket!

*EVERYthing* is within ‘BB’ dates.

Why is this deemed trash??

The bag i took up to the apt. was MUCH heavier than what i emptied.

Bully for me!

(I make as little trash as possible. I have 2 shopping bags on the floor by my humble kitchen – one for metal/plastic recycling, one for paper.

I put the organic garbage in a bag stuffed in a large Folgers coffee plastic can. It takes while to fill it up.

(Still a ‘waste not, want not’ kinda guy.)

7/31 – Friday

In the AM on the way to work, i check trash cans at the bus stop/transit center for newspapers. Once again.

Today, i see a copy of ‘Navy Times’ – since i am not a vet, i’ll give that a pass.

But underneath it, is a 9×9″ carry-out container that used to include a full meal. There’s still some broccoli, mashed potatoes, a small container of sauce of some kind, and a burger size patty of meat – probably chicken?

I scoop up the potatoes and meat.

I tried some of the potatoes for lunch, at work. They pass the taste test.

Later….

Went over to the Safeway for a few things, spent more than i was intending, but wen i see 1 lb bacon usually 5$ for half price? well that’s when you spend now, and freeze for later. Chickens are being treated more humanely, as a result, eggs are twice what they were a few months ago. Ouch! So for only a few items, i spent 23$.

What was waiting for me in the dumpster deli?

Almost as much in value, let’s do the math…

• 35 fl oz jar of 4 bean salad – probably 5-6$

• 2 small/partially full containers of bread and butter pickles – probably 2-3$ each.

• 24 fl oz jar of Klausen kosher dills – probably at least 4$.

• Brianna’s Homestyle French dressing, 12 oz, very ‘artisanal’, probably at least 3$.

(Had you noticed that anything labeled ‘artisanal’ costs more?)

• Half a large jar of mayo – a couple of bucks worth.

• Half a 16 oz bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce, a buck or two.

• A small jar of blackberry preserves, 1/2 full, 1-2$

(I remember picking blackberries off the wild vines behind our house, growing up in Maine.

Besides being tasty, it will bring back memories. 🙂 )

Sooo…. total $ value? – about $20+ – just what i spent at the Safeway.

Isn’t it funny how life works out sometimes?

Not a bad haul, and it was all still cool to the touch, not long out of the refrigerator, all well within ‘best by/sell by’ dates.

8/1 Saturday

Step out for a few quick errands, dumped my paper recycling, checked the dumpsters, of course.

I see a medium sized container w/ with looks like beef cubes in sauce. Passes the smell test. I leave the bag I used, will get it on the way back in.

And on the way back in?… another bag on top of what i left, FULL of veggies:

• a whole eggplant

• several unopened bags of baby carrots, and a few full grown carrots.

• a bundle of celery, the outside pieces are a bit brown, but the heart is fine.

• a bag w/ some roma tomatoes, some look a bit ‘gone’, but w/ a knife, there’s plenty left that’s good.

• a few slices of cheese – the kind that’s really bland and processed. Here’s where the sriracha mayo comes in handy, it’ll perk this cheese up nicely!

• The usual few packets of carry out condiments, always come in handy.

It’s not a dumpster, it’s a produce market!

What’s amusing about these finds is that the cosmos (to say nothing of my fellow apt. dwellers) seems to be looking out for me. Earlier in the week i had bought a huge head of lettuce almost as big as a volleyball, and a cucumber intending to make alotta salad all week, it was a hot week, mid 80’s, almost 90 by midday, salad weather for sure, no hot sandwiches. But lettuce and cucumber alone is… a bit boring. The feta cheese crumbles (found mid week) helped a lot.

And with this new stash? I will make a big bowl of tasty salad, lasting for days.

Interesting links for the month:

Trash Tourism!

Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:16pm EDT

One man’s trash is another man’s tourist destination in New York.

By Barbara Goldberg

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/10/us-usa-trash-tourism-idUSKCN0PK1B120150710

——————————–

A ridiculously overloaded page in my browser, maybe yours will do better:

http://widerimage.reuters.com/story/recycling-technology

——————————

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-homo-sapiens-became-the-ultimate-invasive-species/

———————-

http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-foods/top-10-toxic-foods-preservatives-additives/

Whoa! My refrigerator and freezer are packed!

My cup runneth over!

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