• Flour Tortillas, ‘Burrito Grande’ – 13″ diameter, 27 oz., 8 count, dated 1/7/17.
• spring mix salad, carryout container ( add mucho bean sprouts!)
• Frozen chicken filet
• 1/3 Cottage cheese, Feb 13/17
• circular pizza cutter/knife
Slim pickin’s for the next week, a jar of Italian tomato sauce, a big bag of baby spinach leaves, a whole loaf of Whole grain oat-nut bread, unopened.
Except for … a whole chicken carcass.
I pick off all the good meat ( there’s plenty!) and boil the carcass for soup stock. That made one really good rich soup.
A nice find that goes great w/ the tomato sauce and spinach – two carry out containers, one w/ spaghetti that looks kinda boring, the other w/ what initially looks like lasagna.
Upon further inspection it’s 3 breaded chicken filets, w/ a good sauce and cheese. These two are a a pair – scoop out a bed of spaghetti, add sauce, add a chicken filet, top it off w/ lots of parmesan. I be a-speakin’ a bit of italiano before the week is over.
• A few pizza boxes in the dumpsters, one of them yields 3 slices of ham pizza, not very exciting – but i have lots of tomato sauce and meatballs. Pizza is a culinary blank slate, a starting point.
• 2 qt bottle of tropicana OJ 1/3 full – dated Jan 8. If when you open it up, you hear a ‘pffft’ sound, it’s gone. No ‘pffft’ – it goes back to the apt.
• 3 eggs, dated Jan 10 – they all pass the ‘sink or float in a glass of water’ test.
• small jar of salsa con queso, 1/3 full
• 7.5 oz bag of ‘mini yellow rounds’ tortilla chips – a great combination w/ the salsa conqueso, to be sure.
• one interesting snack item: chocolate coated toasted coconut chips, 1.4 oz bag.
• 8 oz container of crumbled blue cheese – dated? 4/17 – absolutely yummy!!
A good weekend!
• Several kinds of cheese, partially used, not off the shelf standard cheeses, but different deli type cheeses.
• What’s left of a bunch of celery, a little bit rubbery, but still good.
• A 20 count pack of small super soft flour tortillas.
• A whole white cabbage, some of the outer leaves are brownish, easy to peel them off. I made a big batch of cole slaw with the (free!) carrots I’ve been working on.
• several small carry-out containers from ‘Pollo Loco’ – pico de gallo and baked beans.
• half a red onion – the bottom of the bulb was sprouting roots, easy to cut off, i got half an onion 🙂
• a most curious item – ‘Dorot’ crushed garlic cubes, to be kept frozen, in a sort of ‘blister’ pack.
Why anyone here would buy this, i have no idea. I am not far from the self proclaimed garlic capital of the world, Gilroy Ca. Why buy garlic packed in Israel? Because it’s kosher and halal?
• Last but not least, a small cellophane pack of cannabis! – i know that’s what it is cause there’s one lonely seed, which i recognize in a heartbeat, having sifted alot of them out in the 60’s and early 70’s. And grown it in the 80’s and 90’s. It even has a very small stamp indicating ‘CA Tax Paid’, with the California bear on it. I guess it’s medicinal, i was thinking about going that route for my bad back and insomnia – this will make for a good trial, looking forward to it.
• !/3 bag of potstickers
• half a dozen sausage egg & cheese biscuits. A blank slate – add mayo, mustard, some more cheese…
The orchids i rescued 6 months ago have regenerated, beautifully!
A big bag of canned soups!
I can’t believe it, who the hell doesn’t like a nice warm bowl of soup for lunch on a winter’s day, especially like those we’ve been having here in No. California lately?
2/18 & 19
Loads of goodies!
• Frozen pizza, ‘Trader Giotto’s’, spinach and ricotta. Doesn’t look like there’s much ricotta on it though.
• a four pack of sausage, looks like turkey, light colored meat.
• I found several mesh/net bags of onions, red and yellow, these keep for a long time, but i don’t take but a few.
• package of Special K flat bread breakfast sandwiches, 2 left.
• 2 boxes of Milton’s crackers, 1 garlic and herb, the other ‘everything’ – between the 2, it’s a whole 8 oz box.
• a container of what looks to be noodle soup, turns out to be chicken, thick and rich. 🙂
• package of butternut squash ravioli – i like ravioli, and butternut squash, never tried the combination.
• an 18 count carton of eggs, 2/3 full – turns out they are all hard boiled, so i can’t fry them for breakfast. Egg salad here we come. and i smashed up one and added it to some vegan mayonaise, so it’s not so vegan, but it tastes whole lot better.
• 18oz container of blueberries, 1/4 full, from Chile – that’s a lot of travel effort to waste.
I always take a look at the trash cans at my bus stops, mostly for newspapers or magazines. In the AM, there are many many coffee cups, at times there’s a good newspaper, but it’s coffee-soaked.
Today as i walked up to one can, a fellow was walking away, having just tossed a cardboard container. It landed upright, i could see what was there. It was the last of a breakfast burrito. Looks like the guy had eaten the ‘good’ parts (meat, potatoes, cheese, salsa, whatever), and just tossed the tortilla wrap and all the rice.
What a waste!
In the PM, further out in suburbia, the pickings are pretty slim, but not today. Beside the trash cans was a big plastic bag w/ a ‘Target’ logo on it. Taking a peek, it looked like there was some good stuff to be had here.
• Salsa – 15 oz jar, 1/3 full. It’s mild, but i can add some of the hot (that’s too hot for me) and make it medium.
• Small pack of Hormel roast beef slices, deli style, not much but there’s a couple of sandwiches in there.
• 2 lean cuisine frozen dinners, mesquite chicken and turkey tetrazinni. No mo’ room in my freezer, but the frig should work fine.
• a 12 oz Tai Pei orange chicken meal, should keep fine in the frig, probably doesn’t really need to be frozen, except for long term storage. It comes in a rather square box, would remind you of guess what? – chinese carry out!
• A big hunk of turkey loaf, unwrapped, could use a good wash, but chances are 99% it is just fine.
• Philadelphia cream cheese (8 oz) – 1/3 left. I still have some celery sticks to add it to, w/ some paprika added.
• 1/3 a bag (4 oz) of lentil chips, ‘halal’ and ‘kosher’ – not that i care about that but people who eat lots of lentils (middle easterners) may be Jewish or Muslim, and to them, it matters.
• Finally, two oranges and two hard-boiled eggs.
Why does someone forget/leave behind this much good stuff??
Why does anyone toss out half of their breakfast burrito???
• Mango juice! half a big bottle!!
* Cottage cheese, half full.
• basmati brown rice, half a 32 oz bag
• small container, black olive slices
• many packets of ‘take out’ ketchup, perfect for taking to work where my inconsiderate boss fills the whole (small) refrigerator, i couldn’t possibly add a bottle of ketchup. But when you have F.Fries, they want ketchup now, don’t they? So i take a few of these when i have F.Fries.
• tub of chicken salad, seems to be homemade, plenty of sweet pepper bits mixed in. Needs some mayo though, it’s kinda dry.
• very small tube of aloe vera moisturizer, not even opened, the seal is still intact.
• the best item: 1 pint (half full) of ‘Caribbean coconut gelato’ = milk, sugar, cream, coconut, carob gum, vanilla, dextrose. Excellent with a mixed drink (vodka and OJ for instance) or coffee.
I go to the Safeway early AM for the few things i need to actually buy and on the short walk home, i think ‘it would be nice to have some pizza for lunch instead of the usual sandwich’.
And also: ‘I’ve found many chicken carcasses, half eaten, good for boiling for chicken stock/broth… i wonder if anyone is dumb enough to throw out an entire baked chicken?’
My wishes/thoughts are confirmed! More than half a pizza is in the paper recycling (hellooo! the box is recycleable, the pizza is NOT!)…
and much, much more is in the trash…. including…(whaddaya fucking know!) a whole baked chicken!
And a whole lot more!!
And now for the links and editorial stuff:
I ask you: Is this how we want to be measured?
“the great American squandering of produce appears to be a cultural dynamic as well, enabled in large part by a national obsession with the aesthetic quality of food.”
Long and rather technical/scholastic:
“The availability of low-price food products and a weakened personal connection with our food system has resulted in new generations of Americans who don’t see wasting food as a problem. We need to change that way of thinking.”
“weakened (our) personal connection with our food system” = that’s the key phrase here.
Kids who grow up in suburbs on 1/8 acre lots, postage stamp backyards, can’t have this experience.
I am glad for my childhood experience in a small Maine town, a big garden behind the house, all three of us kids had to help the whole way – planting, watering, weeding, and late in the summer when mom said ‘go out back, bring me a few tomatoes, some green beans and broccoli’ we knew we were ‘connected’. Well, maybe not then, but now, decades later, i get it, am glad my mom & dad knew how to teach, without saying a word.
Maybe I’ve posted this link before, but it bears repeating:
“Why must a third of American farmers work a second job in order to make ends meet? Why do American farmers toil for months to grow grain and raise animals for our dinner plates, when the United States Department of Agriculture estimates that up to 40 percent of food is thrown into the garbage? Why are we fermenting 40 percent of our biggest crop into fuel for our cars while our planet is still home to 795 million undernourished people?”
I’ve driven down Rte 5 and Rte 99 thru CA’s central valley, and there is not a town that doesn’t look dirt poor. Those are the people who harvest most of the food on your table.
Once again, to go back to my childhood, i was driven past many homes on rural roads, most of them had a garden visible, and it wasn’t flowers ( unless it was cauliflowers) it was food.
‘We are what we eat’ is an old saying.
Perhaps it needs a revision: we are what we throw out in some reverse convoluted way.
I’ll be back for sure, because there ain’t no end to it!