Day two of creating zero food waste

Filed in Blog by on May 26, 2009 3 Comments
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Vegetable soup - a perfect zero waste meal

Vegetable soup - a perfect zero waste meal

Yesterday; after the shock of last week’s food waste mountain confession, we began the first day of a zero waste food week. It all ran smoothly and we didn’t create anything for landfill. The fish pie was gratefully eaten, grapefruit was wolfed down and there wasn’t so much as a crumb to put out for the birds by the end of the day.

I’ve been planning today’s fare and it seems pretty straight foward too.

We’re having fruit and yogurt for breakfast, some vegetable soup and bread for lunch which needs using today and Little Miss Green remarked that she would love some tuna and chips for tea with baked beans and sweetcorn. I told her that she could kind of have that: she needed to finish up some sardines instead of opening a fresh tin of  tuna. It was met with approval.

I don’t think she would dare argue – she was as aghast as I was about our food waste mountain last week.

The thing I don’t get about myself is that when I put my mind to using up leftovers, it’s so straight forward. In many ways it’s easier and quicker than preparing stuff from scratch. Or maybe it isn’t. Perhaps it is easier to open a fresh tin of something than scrape something from a covered dish into a saucepan; I don’t know.

I’m really confused about the whole thing. Using up food waste is a habit that, despite a year of knowing better, I’ve not yet mastered.

I can do it on paper, I know what I should do, I know how to do it, I’m creative in the kitchen, but, but … I don’t know – perhaps I inherited a lazy and disorganised gene from somewhere. Perhaps it is a rebellious gene that loves nothing better than to create mischief and mess.

I felt kind of virtuous yesterday, sorting through the fridge, preparing meals from leftovers, creating food food, planning ideas for today – it feels really good; so why do I keep sabotaging my efforts and slipping back into less aware actions?

Is it a habit, a kind of auto-pilot thing to make new food each time rather than check what you already have which needs using up? Why am I potentially so wasteful?

Any psychologists out there!?

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About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (3)

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  1. Well done on using things up rather than opening up new.

    We will be having salmon fishcakes with vegetables for dinner today, this will be using up the remains of the fresh salmon which we had on Sunday, I will just have to cook some potatoes for the mash to make the fishcakes, and some veg.

    Whilst I had the oven on this morning baking some bread I made a batch of “Millies Cookies” using some white chocolate chunks I had in the baking cupboard, these did produce some landfill waste but it was worth it.

  2. greenlady42 says:

    We are all human. There are just some things we have to keep striving at and accept that we have to be satisfied with our best efforts instead of perfection, and the main thing is to try.

    I actually like leftovers more than the finished thing some time ! so, often I do plan ahead and think mmm I could use that with this, put that in a such and such etc and enjoy it and look forward to the food thrift aspect. Other times, life gets in the way – unexpected things crop up work or personally, I feel tired or unwell or out of sorts, I don’t want to eat or want something else and not what I have already in – and waste food accidentally or occasionally even almost deliberately – almost like a self punishment.

    This week is swings and roundabouts. I’ve made a lovely potato salad out of yesterdays leftover cold boiled spuds. But I also horror of horrors had to chuck some strawberries out that had turned to moudly mush 🙁 not so much because I forgot about them, more because I kept saying to myself ” they’re a luxury and you don’t deserve them today, have them tomorrow “. Sigh !

  3. Mrs Green says:

    @Maisie Dalziel: Thanks Maisie. Salmon fishcakes are always welcome here. I tend not to make them too often because of the shaping of them – it’s a bit too fussy for me. Perhaps I shoujld just put it all in the pan like bubble and squeak and serve slices of it.

    @greenlady42: Greenlady, I prefer lots of things the following day too – especially things like curry, stews and soups. Bad luck on the strawberries; you’ll have to remember that you are worth it 🙂 I’ve heard that storing them in an old screw top jar helps to prolong their life – never tried it, but I will next time and see if it works.

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