Food waste Friday

Filed in Blog by on July 3, 2009 8 Comments
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Yellow broccoli and moudly cauliflower for the compost heap

Yellow broccoli and moudly cauliflower for the compost heap

Well the hot weather certainly keeps you on your toes.

This week there were two casualties for the compost heap – some yellow broccoli and half a cauliflower.

Believe me, this photo does not do justice to the state these two fellows were in.

I salvaged what I could of the cauliflower, and even bravely ate some broccoli florets from around the edge; but they didn’t taste good.

Temperatures at zero waste towers have been around 28 degrees this week. The broccoli is always kept in the ‘fridge in a cup of cold water; like flowers and it will last for about 10 days. However, this broccoli had turned yellow after 6 days. This morning I turned the ‘fridge temperature down to see if it makes a difference.

I always keep cauliflowers in the vegetable box, but this week I have put the new one in the ‘fridge to see if that preserves it for longer.

I’ve done really well with food leftovers; it is definately getting easier. Little Miss Green tends to check in the ‘fridge before asking for lunch now and will even take things out from the top shelf to pick from.

With Mr Green on his high raw diet, it’s one less mouth to think about. The majority of his meals are picked fresh from the garden, so there is no waste at all.

I was annoyed about the broccoli and cauliflower, but I’ve learned a lot this week and now I am beginning to understand the difficulties people living in hot countries face.

What about you? Did you create much food waste this week?

If you blogged about it;  remember to head on over to The Frugal Girl to share the link love!

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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 (8)

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  1. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    Hot weather has some downsides, a monster ingratitude of a statement when the sunny weeks, and weeks, have boosted the Sweet Basil. One story from that is a super plant, from 13, which is twice the stalk height and twice the stalk leaf size of others while 4 are still to reach the end of that stage. My young brother is getting this one as it was set aside a month ago before the recent surge. Growing stuff is certainly a big learning experience which anyone can try.

    Back to food waste, Broccoli goes quick, while cauliflower can be trimmed. My problem is milk which goes off too easily. Reducing milk to early day usage, with cool drinks later might be the best way. New potatoes, local Ayrshires, can go off too so reduced purchased weight is advisable.

    Food waste is really just the burnt grill tray contents, seeds, egglining, minute meat/fish plate scrapings. The Bokashi deals nicely with all this. The liquid run-off from the bin is taken almost daily from the spout. Compare this to ‘winter’ where there was Zero run-off. I thought the bin was malfunctioning then but it is business as a usual now.

  2. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    The branch growth has suddenly taken-off big-style and far from being very different from the initial stalk leaves, The same characteristic cross leaf arrangement is seen on the branches, This time instead of 1 set there are 2, 1 per branch. This means that freezing is not essential. End of season will probably be the mass cutting, blanching and freezing for the colder seasons.

    Hanging the leaves, as you suggested, will be worth a try to check shelf-life. I am still spreading the pots among family and neighbours and so far the only problem was a loss of uniform coating in a pair of leaves, I wonder if white/black fly is a pest, as for roses.

  3. Sarah says:

    Now, I don’t see compost as waste exactly. Yes, I know you’d rather have eaten it but you’re still using it….

  4. Poppy says:

    Ditto Sarah. Home composting really is the lesser of the evils.

  5. Mrs Green says:

    @John Costigane: Hi John, interesting to hear about the bokashi slowing down in the winter – just like a compost bin I guess.
    Sounds like you are the King of basil growing! I’ll be interested to hear which preservation method you prefer after you have tried them all.

    @Sarah: @Poppy: Yes, you’re right. Composting is viewing waste as a resource, which is the name of the game.
    We just try to put across an honest picture of what is going on at zero waste towers and hopefully cover issues that others can relate to too.
    It also keeps me accountable for the food we have to chuck out 🙂

  6. Sarah, I compost a lot of my waste (I compost whatever CAN be composted, actually), but I do still consider it to be waste. Someone planted that food, grew it, harvested it, sent to to market, and I paid for it. So when it doesn’t get eaten, it seems wasteful to me.

    Of course, it is better to compost it than to throw it away, because then at least it serves some useful purpose.

  7. John Costigane says:

    @Mrs Green: Certainly, the over-winter storage is an issue, Mrs Green. That will be considered nearer the season end, where October is the suggested time but September may be more likely up north.

    I would like to find the ideal plant height, in terms of rows of branches. The best so far was the one I gave to the young brother, which had 3 rows developing. The newer growing plants will be set to reach 3 before any leaf removal as there are plenty of spare leaves on the initial plants. Young leaves have better flavour so that will be the priority for picking. I wonder how the older leaves taatse and whether all leaves can be used for cooking.

    On a personal note a neighbour across the street likes basil as well. I gave her a big pot to use, one of the earliest plants. Funnily enough she has copied the tips from Maisie and myself regarding liver cooking. She bought a slow cooker (unused so far), uses a milk soak and likes the slow stew for liver. Her views on other types of meat cooking will be sought. I explained about strawberries and basil and she thought it might be a good blend. I have yet to try myself.

    She has had a personal tragedy from over 30 years ago. Her eldest daughter, in her late teens, was murdered in a local wood on the way home from school. I knew who she was but I was a good deal older. This has been a terrible burden for the family with locals giving a great deal of support, of all kinds.

  8. Mrs Green says:

    Hi John,

    sorry to hear about your neighbour; that is too much to bear. Glad she has support and care from family and locals; this is what gets us through such devastating times in our lives.

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