Saturday, August 15, 2015

Me Vs Food Waste

Several of my friends, and John Oliver*, have recently gotten interested in the topic of food waste. This has gotten me to thinking** about how much food I waste. The amount is embarassingly large, mostly veggies that I buy with the best of intentions that go uneaten as those intentions die a quiet death. This is a waste of money & food, and that pisses me off.

I'm going to try to change my ways! How, you ask? The way that all the world's problems have traditionally been solved*** -- by blogging about it. I'm going to track (almost) all the groceries I buy and all I throw away. Here is this weekend's haul from the farmer's market & Rewe:
So, my rules:
  1. Any fresh food I buy gets logged, unless I forget or eat it right away. C'est la vie.
  2. Meals at restaurants, food stands, etc. don't count unless I waste a bunch, which will be logged.
  3. Any food wasted inadvertently (berries on the bottom that are already moldy the day I buy them, an egg I drop, etc.) aren't counted as waste.
  4. The non-food parts of the food (egg shells, stems, cherry pits, etc.) aren't counted as waste. It'd be great if I could compost that, but it's not currently an option.
  5. Wine and other beverages won't be listed unless they're wasted.
Here is the first meal:
  • ALL of the bacon (I only bought 3 strips, knowing I could inhale that) I bought today from the Fleisch Frauen****
  • Some fresh homemade pico de gallo (I outdid myself, it was real AND spectacular)
  • Two eggs (organic, bought last week) with the leftover green onion, jalepeƱo and cilantro from the pico.
  • A G&T on the side to use up some of the lime ;-).
Hopefully the rest of the food will be as tasty & fully consumed!

* Just for you, Steve
** Shocking!
*** For my tongue to be any further in my cheek would require surgery 
**** My name for the two women who run a butcher stand at the Rheinische Bauern Markt.


Joy said...

Good luck with your new foodie project, JT! Even as a professional chef, I've sadly wasted tons of food at home before as well. Since moving to Melbourne and starting over with a new pantry, I've decided to buy very little so I go to the market every few days. Only buying as I need it basically. This new system seems to be a bit easier and I've wasted very little food and saved more money we can use for our travels or eating out. :)

jtingermany said...

Thanks! I've definitely been more aware of it the last few days. I'm going to have to stop bingeing at the farmers market, though. There's so much great stuff, but i overdo it.

I did make homemade tomato soup this weekend, though. it was super easy and really tasty. i had no idea it was just stock, tomatoes and a carrot & an onion. Kind of ludicrously simple.

Jules said...

Have there been updates on this?

Jason said...

I recommend a nomadic lifestyle. Clearly keeps down on overall clutter and food waste.

However, before you go that route, there is the bit on non-food food parts. In the event you have bones and the like, there should be an effort to use them for stock. Maybe you can't compost, but soup is always a good second meal. To be fair, I'm not familiar with egg-shell stock, so can let that slide.

jtingermany said...

Jules -- yes, thanks for asking!

Jason, I normally make stock, but my freezer is currently full. Until I use some of the previous stock, I'm stuck. Good tip, though. Egg shells are great for compost, or so my mom tells me. Also great as opossum bait if you don't bury your egg shells in the compost pile.

TravellingAK said...

Good initiative. How is it going? I find that listening to people from other countries have helped me reduce my food waste; I have learnt to take care of bits and pieces I always thought of as waste before. Like the leaves of radishes; An Iranian mom taught me to use these in salad, and it's really tasty, kind of peppery, bit like rocket/ruccola. I stirfry them as well. All these tasty leaves I used to throw away before... And I didn't even realise it was food waste!
Still, I can do more.
Finding out what I can do with what's left once I brewed my coffee is a challenge, when I had a garden I used it for the roses (and to scare away the neighbour cats, apparently cats don't like the smell of coffee - weird animals) but now I just bin it. I tried to mix some into my pots on the balcony but I don't have enough pots.

Or I drink too much coffee.