Food waste Friday

Filed in Blog by on May 7, 2010 12 Comments
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nakd cocoa bars

nakd cocoa bars

After a disastrous week last week where I created a food waste mountain of our own, I’m pleased to report that this week I’ve been a reformed character.

I couldn’t have history repeating itself, so I got back to my simple system that I know works for me:

On a Sunday night I take a look inside the ‘fridge and the fruit bowl, write down everything in there that needs using up and plan the week’s meals loosely around those foods.
This week we had a couple of cooked sausages, some gravy, left over vegetables from Sunday dinner, 3 eggs, a dash of cream, 1/2 tin chickpeas and lots of salad. In the fruit bowl was nothing too scary, but there were a few bananas and apples that I made a mental note to use up each breakfast time.

These ‘leftovers’ became the ingredients for several meals including sausages, gravy, mash and vegetables, chickpea and tomato soup, egg and chips – you can’t beat that one! and hard boiled egg salad.

Regarding our dustbin demon for the week, so far so good! Thanks to one of our readers, Julie, I’ve now learned that Ryvita packaging can be sent to the Philippine Community Fund to be put to good use. Mr and Little Miss Green have developed a penchant for Nakd cocoa orange bars; which come in the usual confectionery packaging, but these too can be donated to the Philippine Community Fund to be woven into their beautiful range of products.

So there we are – a successful week both in terms of food waste and landfill.

What about you – anything to report this week?

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 (12)

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  1. greenlady42 says:

    Grats on the successes this week ! I’ve bookmarked the Philippine Community Fund for further reference – what a brilliant idea.

    Didn’t do too badly this week – 2 cooked sausages that I just couldn’t fancy eating until finally they were walking around the fridge by themselves, and some celery which was just inedible – it was within date but just the most awful celery I’ve ever encountered. I am a huge celery fan but this was the woodiest, dryest, stringiest celery ever and not even cooking helped it 🙁

    Now, the Sainsburys container thing. Yes, I am a big Love your Leftovers person, and happily accepted the free ” lunchbox ” pressed upon me by an enthusiastic checkout lady last week, even though you couldn’t have got much lunch inside it ( Wouldn’t get very fat on that, as Ma Larkin would have put it ). Come the time when I tried to get the lid off for pre-use washing, I was not so happy. It took me ten minutes and a butter knife before I could wrestle the ruddy thing off. Maybe it will be better after I wash it, I thought. Nope ! After another long wrestling session I couldn’t get the lid back ON. So I gave up, its life as a leftovers container is over & now its acting as an undertray for a couple of pots of herbs.

    Have you, or anyone else reading this, had similar trouble ? I would complain to Sainsbury’s but it seems a tad churlish to moan about a freebie. On the other hand, its plain daft to give away things to help you love your leftovers when they can’t be used as intended – I can imagine some people getting frustrated and chucking them away, creating MORE waste !

  2. What a great tip to make a list of what you need to use up. I am definitely going to start doing that. We had too much waste this week!

  3. Condo Blues says:

    I had a bunch of carrots in the fridge and didn’t want them to rubbery. I steamed a bunch of them for last night’s dinner. I got the stink eye from the dog because I cleaned cut and peeled his favorite treat and didn’t let him earn one little nibble!

    I’m a mean dog mom.

  4. Mama Monique says:

    Well… I thought of starting this project last week, but scared myself with our mountain: two bananas, one cucumber, 3/4 cup soja-yogurt and some pine nuts. Not a great start I would say (or maybe it is just the right first step?).
    Anyway, I really lóve to start with this project, so I think next Friday you will find our food waste list on my blog.

    Green greets from Holland!

  5. Mrs Green says:

    @greenlady42: Oh yuck about the celery; it’s so disappointing when something is like that. We bought some french beans last week and they were so stringy. LMG manfully ate her way through them as she loves them so much, but I’m glad I had declined them!

    Now, your story about the Sainsbury container – would you believe we had that exact same thing? Like you, I didn’t feel fit to complain about something that was free and I AM still using the container, but it was a huge disappointment. Now I feel that they may have had a bad batch; right throughout the country, which is very bad news 🙁

    @Sarah @ The Domestic CEO: Hi Sarah, thanks for leaving your comment – I’ve been commenting on your site too. Glad you like the list idea; see if it works for you and let me know!

    @Condo Blues: mean dog mum indeed LOL! Never mind; I’m sure he gets spoiled most of the time 😉

    @Mama Monique: Hi Mama Monique – welcome from Holland! I hope you join in next week; I find making myself accountable in public really helps to keep me focused (most of the time!). It’s all about awareness in the initial stages; so well done on recognising what you have thrown away this week – that’s the first step, as you say …

  6. Karen says:

    No food waste in my house this week. I have sent “Himself ” off to the caravan with the things I didn’t fancy eating. I am having a Girlie weekend. He did however leave me a share of the cucumber. Exactly 2 inches. I had eaten it before it got on my plate. Just had to go out for another locally grown one. Smells so fresh. I was also tempted to a small box of local strawberries as a treat. Very expensive but the best I have had in a long time and better than a box of choccies. Will have to pop down to the” pick your own” at Luke’s Farm , Plymouth to pick up more. Local rhubarb is very good now. I was hiding a mango hoping “Himself ” would not see it. It was in my veggie box last week and now promises to be a lovely slurpy feast.

  7. magdalena says:

    No REAL food waste here, just the mystery packet from the back of the freezer. It was only a couple of ounces and I know what it WAS, but no one dared eat it when it arrived, and I never could figure out what to do with it. All right, I avoided naming it in my own blog for fear the author of the mystery would be insulted if he/she read about it – it was smoked whitefish. “What?” you are muttering aloud, “How could you waste such a thing?” Well – it was home-smoked, and it was fish from the most polluted of the Great Lakes…a far cry from the lovely Swedish smoked wild salmon former parishioners used to make for me. I tasted it and was so disappointed. Even my Cockney-born husband, who will eat anything smoked, fried or salted, wouldn’t touch it. I’m trying to go easy on myself, since I didn’t buy it, but it seems both wasteful and churlishly ungrateful.

    There, I’ve confessed and feel much, much better now.

  8. Mrs Green says:

    @Karen: Enjoy your girlie weekend and great you have sent your Bokashi over half to finish off all the stuff you dont’ want LOL! Enjoy the mango and treat yourself to those strawberries 😉

    @magdalena: Oooo, a mystery package from the freezer 😀 We get those too. Anyway, glad you confessed and feel better. It is hard when people give us gifts that we don’t like, but there we are – it happens to all of us 🙂

  9. Karen says:

    The Mango WOW it was gorgeous. What a treat !!!!
    Trying to use up wild garlic leaves from veggie box before they go past their best. Himself steamed some with purple sprouting broccoli while at the caravan. Might put some in a rissotto. Looking for more ideas.

  10. It would seem that anything which is made up ofsimilar packaging to that of crisp packets(foil backed plastic) can go to PCF.

    Am I right in thinking this or am I way off?

  11. Condo Blues says:

    You got me! I didn’t let my dog earn those carrots but he made out the following day. My machine doesn’t beep at the end of the cycle, the door unlocks with a big THUNK! It’s his dog to find me and bark that the washing machine is done. And for that job, he is rewarded handsomely – he got a little sliver of chedder cheese. Cheese never goes to waste around here!

  12. Mrs Green says:

    @Karen: Your ideas for the wild garlic sound lovely. Apart from soup I guess they would be good in a quiche? Glad you enjoyed the mango.

    @maisie dalziel: I think you might be right, Maisie. We need to investigate further …,

    @Condo Blues: Ahhh, the handsome reward of cheese. My dog used to like grapes as a treat, but I later found out you’re not supposed to give them those 🙁

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