What the hell happened to common sense? I just don’t get it!

Sunday PM 6/19

I went down to the dumpsters to toss out some paper recycling, not expecting too much. But lo and behold….

•  a green pepper – slightly mottled but so what?, parmesan cheese, sourdough bread (most of a loaf) black forest ham ( 6 oz, not even opened) – an entire tub of baby spinach (not even opened!) 4 brown eggs dated 6/9 – they all pass the ‘sink or swim test’ 🙂 I guess lunch for the next week is a done deal! Yahoo!

I will post again the pogo cartoon – ‘we have met the enemy, and he is us’

Pogo2

Yes indeed!! Ab-so-fucking-lutely!

These ‘sell by/use by/best by’ dates aren’t a solution, they are part of the problem!

http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/06/health/food-manufacturer-sell-by-dates/index.html

And in times when no one seems to be obliged to ‘follow the rules’ ( i am pedestrian who feels like i take my life in my hands going into a crosswalk, too many people driving too fast, not paying attention, i have nearly been hit numerous times) …. people ‘follow the rules’ w/ these silly arbitrary dates?) I just don’t get it.

7/2

OK, for one thing i have noticed over and over again – a whole lotta stuff in trash that should be in recycling. Beer cans and bottles. You just can’t get drunk enuf off beer to miss the recycling cans… can you?

And cardboard boxes! *Many*!!! Some one is moving in? I guess so. I have seen the maintenance guys cutting up massive volumes of cardboard to fit into recycling cans that people are too lazy to deal with.

In amongst this i find a few nice things – a pyrex bowl w/ lid – pyrex is oven and microwave friendly, a nice addition to my kitchenware. And another plastic storage bowl. The price is right! I’ll take it!

Also: two cans of balls – 1 can of 3 tennis balls, the other is 3 blue raquette balls. Can i use these? well, only sort of. I have a tennis ball given to me by a Kaiser Physical therapist, to put under the small of my back while lying on the floor, and roll around a bit, to ease my sciatica. I guess when that one gets flat, i got three mo’. 

The raquette balls? have such a nice bounce to them, i am reminded of a dog a i had many years ago, who would chase a ball bounced off a garage door. There’s just something nice about a bouncing ball, wouldn’t you say? Just bouncing it off the floor and catching it hones your senses.

Sometimes what you might find may open another door., or awaken a memory.

7/3 sunday

There’s a lot of cardboard boxes in the trash, but that means someone’s moving in, not out.

Nonetheless….

• A burger size cardboard container – oven roasted potatoes! a side order w/ lunch for a week!

• 1 slice pepperoni pizza – passes the ‘flexible’ test, into the freezer, lunch some day.

• 1 small jar medium salsa, chunky, absolutely nothing wrong with it. Nothing!

• 1 mandarin orange. I like these, they are easy to peel, and i play a silly game with them – i peel them while waiting for the bus, and try to peel them all in one pass, one uninterrupted hunk of rind from top to bottom. I usually win.

• several pot holders – i’ll pass on the gloved one, but take the flat one, it’s a nice colorful design pattern.

• a big bag of individually wrapped tea bags – some are herbal ( apple & cinnamon) but most are green tea which i haven’t cared for much in the past, but if i double up the bags ( 2 for 1 cup of tea) it has some *cojones*, tastes OK.

Who’d have thought the trash could be so healthy? 🙂

7/4 PM Takin’ out the paper recycling… Plenty to take home!

(the first three = partial)

• cherry tomatoes

• strawberries

• red potatoes

• one lonely sandwich dill pickle slice!

• several mostly used up loaves of bread. Why don’t people use the heels?? I just don’t get it!

•  a red pepper one slice taken – the rest… tossed out? excuse me??

• BBQ potato chips – why does anyone toss out the last of the bag???

7/10 Sunday

In the trash can right outside the Safeway front door:

3 packages of various crackers: stone ground wheat, goldfish and Ritz. Also, a cardboard container of tri-tip roast beef slices from… ‘Mollie Stone’ – another grocery store, nowhere near here. How did this end up here… and why?

In the dumpster – a 5 slice bag of smoked ham – dated 7/26/16.

Also, strewn upon the street outside Goodwill where i bought a DVD copy of ‘Shawshank Redemption’ ( a very nice film!):

A couple of 4 DVD collections – ‘thrillers’ and ‘romantic dramas’.

Neither are my cup of tea, but WTF, the price is right.

“This blog is an extension of a science project carried out by five 15 year old girls from the UK”

https://reducefoodwasteblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/11/first-blog-post/

———————-

7/15 Friday

I get home later than usual (5PM), there’s a bag full of stuff that’s still cold, a recent deposit methinks.

• 3 ‘Naked’ 100% juices, 10 oz., 2 strawberry-banana and 1 mango. Dated: July 4

• 2 small Siggi’s yogurts – Dated: 7/13

• 1/2 an onion.

• 16 oz spinach-kale yogurt dip – yummy!

• 8 oz Jalapeno hummus, 1/3 full

• 10 oz bag of shredded carrots – always liked them, and they’re good for the digestive tract.

• There were also several large jars of tomato sauce, about 1/2 full.

The dollar value of the above? I’m guessing at least 15$, maybe 20$.

Tonight’s dinner? A big bunch of the carrots, and a breaded chicken breast filet – both free! Oh, i will pep up the chicken w/ some asian style sweet chile sauce (also free). And some nicely cooked (asian style) brown rice, from a carry-out container.

Hors d’oeuvres? ..some of the stone ground wheat crackers from 7/10 and the spinach kale dip.

7/20

120+ apts in my so-called ‘community’, some one is always moving out. Today, many bags of clothes, i don’t need anymore, thank you. And bags of kid’s toys – magic markers in flourescent colors, toys of various sorts. And some silly squeaky dog toys, you squeeze ’em and they make a sound. What a hoot!

And in one bag, some food, just a few items, but very nice ones.

• two small jars of what looks to be homemade pesto sauce w/ pine nuts. REALLY yummy! I freeze one jar, keep the other handy – i have a number of frozen pizzas, pesto is a great addition to many other things too. Garlic bread & green beans for example. Or just a few spoonfuls outta the jar. The olive oil (indeed any oil) will lubricate your innards nicely.

(I’ve had a feeling for a while that there is a restaurant chef/ ‘food professional’ somewhere in the building – i keep seeing cardboard containers for ‘bulk’ of various sorts, much more than a household needs.)

• A 32 oz bag of Quesadilla (mexican) cheese, 1/4 full, dated September 2016. Yum, yum.

• Also: a half finished 1 lb bag of white flour. I already have another bag, but WTF, i’ll keep it. >>>> One day ‘the big one’ (earthquake!) will hit Ca., and i’ll be soooo much better prepared than my neighbors, you have no idea.

7/23 Saturday

A little early for much accumulation (since dumpsters get emptied on Thurs AM), but since one dumpster is full of broken up furniture ( someone’s moving out) I figure there will be goodies to be found. I was right.

In just 1 bag:

• a brick of cheese, 2.5×2.5 x 6″, in foil wrap and cardboard box, some is gone, plenty left. At first i think ‘velveeta?’. Upon further inspection ( = taste test) it’s velveeta all right… but you can improvise – add pepper, hot sauce, pesto sauce, tomato sauce, mustard. There are as many ways to ‘lively this up’ as there are condiments or spices in your kitchen arsenal. get creative! This stuff is like a blank canvas!

• 12 oz bottle coarse ground dijon mustard, 1/3rd full

• 1 Guiness extra stout beer – never been much for beer, but we’re having a heat wave, and this’ll be a nice ‘cool down’ before the usual vodka and OJ

🙂

• a 4 oz stick of butter

• Cream cheese w/ garlic and herbs, 8 oz, 1/3rd full

• ‘Classico’ tomato sauce, 24 oz, 2″ left at the bottom.

• A small box w/ 5 Keurig capsules, (the coffee maker was also in a larger box) ”dark magic – green mountain coffee”. These things are really wasteful, you got a container, plastic w/ foil top, there’s no 3 sided ‘recyclable’ notification stamped on it, so i guess it’s trash, one time use. And the machine that makes the coffee? “much ado over nothing” to quote Shakespeare.

I make ‘cowboy coffee’ – a tablespoon of grounds in a microwaveable cup, 1:45 in the microwave, pour into another cup thru a fine strainer that cost me all of $1 at an asian grocery store in SF. Great strong coffee! grows hair on yer chest 🙂

I’ll break these stupid pods open, and use the coffee the same way.

A summation of what I’ve salvaged is almost endless, here’s a few things i won’t have to buy anytime soon: Cheese, condiments, rice, lentils, potatoes, vegetables, pizza, tomato sauce, pasta, meat (i have plenty of chicken fillets) and fish (salmon fillets & lemon pepper fillets).

Bread? I have a good bit frozen – asiago, scones, & flat bread. And some Indian flat bread, ‘Naan’ i think it’s called.

Indian food? i have several big bags, curry powder, 2 kinds – rasam & sambar, many rices – basmati, red, white, wild rice mix, and several grains – Moong dal mogar & Toor dal, they look a lot like lentils.

Finding all this stuff makes me get creative, no doubt about it. And i can see the difference it makes in my checking acct. balance. Niiiice!

——————

I check out the trash cans on the way to my bus stop home in the PM, there’s a Jack in the Box and a deli just a few steps away. People often buy something to eat, but when the bus arrives (and you can’t eat or drink anything on the bus), they toss it out. So a i found a ‘heavy’ bag in one trash can – what was in it? about 6″ of a sub sandwich – nice bread, lettuce, tomato, avocado, chicken slices. I took it home and dissected it. The lettuce? wilted! = Trash! All else is good. I divided it up, into 2 open face sandwiches, added some mayo, mustard. And definitely CHEESE! Two days lunch outta 1/2 sandwich. (I like the improvisation 🙂 )

Yes, i have a small appetite thanks to some severe intestinal problems that almost killed me 10 years ago, i eat ‘small’ & sparingly.

But the first few words of Michael Pollan’s eating advice are

‘eat less… !! (exclamation points are mine)

http://michaelpollan.com/

http://pollan.blogs.nytimes.com/

American portions in restaurants/etc are way too much. That’s probably why we (americans) get some many intestinal/colon cancers – we’re overloading our systems. **Sloooow the **** down!**

7/26

A double whammy day!

In the dumpsters:

• A 3lb jar of p’nut butter filled pretzel nuggets. I’m not usually much for pretzels, but the peanut butter part is excellent – sold! 🙂

• half a loaf of nice wheat bread., and the last of some sliced turkey italian style – still good – ‘Best By’ = 6/08/16′.

• The last of a carry-out breakfast meal – scrambled eggs, with lotsa goodies and 1 + 1/2 sausage links. The wheat bread and breakfast leftovers plus the cheddar cheese slices mentioned below will make a good sandwich for tomorrow – Free!

Then when i get to my apt. door, it turns out my next door neighbor has moved out, the last moving guy strolls down the breezeway w/ a hand truck, there is a big bag of food lying there. I ask him if this is destined for the trash – answer? ‘yes! help yourself’.  I dig right into this small gold mine!

• 2 lean cuisine dinners – shrimp alfredo w/ broccoli, peas, & linguine. Santa Fe style rice and beans, sour cream, mild chile sauce.

• Gorton’s Lemon pepper fish fillets 7 oz, 4 fillets.

• Bag of breaded shrimp – about 3/4 lb? very generic packaging, no brand, no ingredients listing.

• ‘Ham and cheese egg scramble’  breakfast in less than 3 minutes thanks to a microwave, 6 oz.

• 4 Jimmy Dean breakfast biscuits – egg bacon cheese – box makes it look bigger than it is, rather deceptive packaging methinks.

• ‘Orange Chicken’  breaded nuggets, asian style –  24 oz – 1/3 full. Included is a packet of thick tasty sauce.

• Beef patties – 3lbs, 1/2 full

• Hebrew Nat’l hot dogs, 4 left out of 6; Several  2 oz. packs of Buddig sliced ham; a partially used bag of sharp cheddar cheese slices.

After finding all this, i didn’t feel guilty about buying a few used DVD’s at Goodwill for $2.50 each.

Wed PM 7/27 – The dumpsters get rolled out to the street in the early AM tomorrow, i check the status, and my, my my! They are all full, totally. Overflowing! Packaging is mostly the top layer – cardboard, styrofoam. Also a few bags of clothes, which i have plenty of, i don’t even look these over.

America? Consume, consume, CONSUME! You might have new stuff, but it comes a great cost. Someday there will be a reckoning – will it be climate change?… or something else, the oceans die, the food chain dies? 

“Ashes to ashes, we all fall down”

A guy i knew ( he dropped dead of a heart attack at 50 something, severely overweight) once said to me “He who dies with the most toys? wins”.

NO. WRONG.

The planet’s ecosystem has changed way more radically over the last 4 billion years than anything ‘climate change’ will bring our way. Do some research, it’s easy, really. It’s called Google. 🙂

7/30 Sat.

Didn’t expect much, got it anyway

• 2 half finished bags Manaschevitz egg noodles, ‘fine’ – that is to say ‘thin’.

• 2 jars tomato/pasta sauce, 26 oz, both 1/3 to 1/2 full.

• ‘Salsa Autentica’, Trader Joe’s, 12 oz, 1/2 full

• Mac & Cheese (‘wisconsin’) mix

• 1 white onion, perfectly good

• Pita chips, 1/3 full

• ‘Snap pea crisps’ 20 oz, 1/2 full – yummy!

• Dried flattened banana, 

• Mostly full pack of Marlboro ‘silver’ short cigs., i am smokin’ as i write 🙂

• …and also a Bic lighter. I guess someone is tryin’ to quit? yeah, right. I’ll be smokin’  …’til they shovel the dirt over me.

The Mac and cheese ‘wisconsin’ brings up another couple of topics – how much marketing has to do with the foods we buy. And how much hyperbole and BS there is about most if not all ‘ready made’ products.

I took the Stouffers ‘supreme’ french bread pizza to work for lunch last friday. The buyer is instructed how to reconfigure the box it comes in for microwaving, so the product sits on a silver surface, i guess to ‘toast’ the bread a bit. It doesn’t, it makes one think something is being done, but it doesn’t happen. As for ‘supreme’? There isn’t much toppings here, the pepperoni and tomato sauce is tasty but there ain’t much of it, the cheese? very little… peppers and onions? almost unnoticeable, the bread = doughy and bland. Total cost of ingredients to a corporate buyer like Stouffers? very fucking little. Cost to buy at the super market? a couple of bucks, i’ll guess – i’ve never bought one, and never will. A product that is all smoke and mirrors!

As for the ‘wisconsin’ mac and cheese? I was born in Vermont, grew up in Maine and NH, know what really sharp Vermont cheddar is, wisconsin has the same reputation. I’ll bet i will be adding a lot of pepper, salt and who knows what else to this ready-made. Including perhaps some REAL fucking cheese.

Which brings me to some thoughts/musings/writing/& a link i put together some time ago.

‘Dreadfully mediocre coffee’

By Michael Hiltzik – for the L.A. Times

March 19, 2014, 3:54 p.m.

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-dreadfully-mediocre-coffee-20140319,0,5073849.story#axzz2wYb2zu8W

(Yeah, i know it’s 2 years old, that doesn’t mean it’s not just as true as when it was written!)

“Much about the art and science of the consumer market is mysterious, but nothing’s stranger than the seeming popularity of those coffee-pod brewing contraptions sold under brand names such as Keurig.

Here’s what’s strange about them: First — speaking with the authority of a coffee devotee with my own genuine Italian espresso machine at home — the coffee they make is horrible. Second, it’s ridiculously expensive.

Keurig uses plastic and foil pods filled with about 10 grams of ground coffee each (some are less, some “bold” brews are a little more), which are placed in the brewing device, automatically pierced with a needle, and inundated with hot water. The coffee-making process is mess-free. That’s the good news, but once you’ve said that you’ve said everything. The result is typically a flavorless brew of brown hot water. The pods are discarded after a single brew, creating a detestable volume of non-recyclable packaging waste.

Keurig’s single-serve pods, or K-Cups, sell on its website in packs of 24 for about $16.50. That’s about $30 per pound of coffee; the price for some blends licensed from Starbucks can approach $50 per pound.

For comparison, at Peet’s you can get a pound of top-flight fresh Italian or French roast for $15. For the same sum, Keurig will sell you half a pound of Folgers, which you can find in Walmart for five bucks per pound.

How do you spell “sucker”? 

We’re witnessing, of course, an ancient trick in consumer marketing: slice the baloney thinner, and you can charge much more per slice. A friend of mine once calculated, based on the price of a plastic box of Tic-Tacs, that he was spending the equivalent of $16 for a pound of sugar. (A 5-pound sack of raw sugar at Wal-Mart: $2.62.)

Vermont-based Keurig Green Mountain knows that consumer acceptance of its high-priced coffee pods is poised on a knife edge. This became especially clear after key patents on its K-Cups expired in 2012. Unlicensed companies jumped into the K-Cup market, and refillable K-cups even appeared, allowing you to spoon bulk Folgers into a little basket and brew your brown water on the cheap.

Keurig’s latest strategy is to use techology to freeze out competitors. According to Chief Executive Brian Kelley’s statement on a recent earnings conference call, its Keurig 2.0 brewing machines will use “interactive technology” to accept only Keurig-approved pods. Think of it as DRM for coffee.”

(excuse me, b-b-but does anyone need ‘interactive technology’ to make coffee??? 

Helloooo! – that’s a scary thought isn’t it? ‘Digital Rights Management’… for a cup of coffee??

[[[There was a saying often repeated in the ‘flower power/late 60’s’ – tune in, turn on, drop out. You can drop the ‘turn on’ part(which is drugs) but stick with the rest = tune in (to something new) and drop out of consumer culture, as much as you can.]]]

The idea, the company said, is to ensure the system produces “excellent quality beverages, (to) produce simply and consistently every brew, every time.”

It also said it would roll out the new technology in a “consumer friendly” way. Why doubt them? They’ve got millions of customers already believing their coffee is good; to get that experience “consistently” should please the Keurig faithful no end.

Another marketing deception?

How ’bout “labeling”??

I found a bottle of ‘Log Cabin Original syrup’.

The label illustration (*nice ‘lil log cabin in the woods*) would lead you to believe this is maple syrup. 

Nope. It also also says ‘no high fructose corn syrup’. 

What is the first ingredient, in the list in small print on the back?

Corn syrup. It’s just not high fructose corn syrup. And alotta other artificial stuff. Nothing about maple syrup here at all.

I’ve tasted real maple syrup, right from the tree, many years ago – my momma took us 3 kids to a place that tapped the trees,  baked the syrup, and poured some on snowballs ( it was spring, there’s still some snow in New England then) that we gobbled up. THAT’S the real thing – the product is NOT!

Bottom line is still much the same:

As Michael Pollan has written!

BUY REAL FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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