Lentils in the landfill?

Filed in Blog by on February 6, 2010 15 Comments
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Mrs Green figures out what to do with her lentils

Mrs Green figures out what to do with her lentils

We’ve got an interesting dustbin demon this week which accounts for our food waste too.

Everything went well with our shopping trip. We didn’t stumble on any nuisances amongst the aisles and we didn’t get caught out by anything, unlike last week.

However, I had a bit of a dilemma when I knocked over a bag of red lentils one lunch time!

Several of the little blighters went scurrying across the floor before I caught the rest of the bag mid flight.

I swept up the offenders and suddenly realised I didn’t know what to do with them. I’m afraid I wasn’t going to cook them up and eat them – clean as my floor might be, it probably isn’t that clean. I don’t think the worms would have been too chuffed to eat them, they probably wouldn’t break down in the compost heap and we no longer have a landfill bin.

What was I to do?

They sat on the side for a couple of hours before inspiration took me by the hand. When you’re up against it, your creative juices start to flow and in a Blue Peter moment I figured I’d feed them to the cat.

No, not the four legged, furry, live kind, the home made, recycled, decidedly inanimate kind. You see, one of Little Miss Green’s Christmas presents from me was a rather cute cat who sleeps on her bed every night. I figured it was time to make ‘Sunshine’, as he is affectionately known, a brother to play with, and thus ‘lentils’ was born.

'Lentils' the cat; a loving brother for Sunshine

Of course, I could have made my very own recycled lentil lamp, but I decided against it and went for the cat instead.

I wonder how big our menagerie will be by the end of the year …

What about you – did you create any food waste this week? Hop over to Kirsten’s “The Frugal Girl” to discover what other foodies have wasted 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 (15)

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  1. Cate says:

    Hahahaha! That’s so cute, and a great idea. (Though I admit, even though our floor is less than pristine, I probably would have just rinsed them pretty well and cooked them.)

  2. Grandma Green says:

    Our council has recently issued all households with a bin for the kerbside recycling of food. Each week the binmen collect a brown caddy into which we have put any and all kinds of food: vegetable, animal and bone; cooked and uncooked. The literature tells us that these offering will be composted for use on local farms. Had I had your accident I would have put the swept up lentils into my food caddy.

    I’m sure the new cat is a wonderful character but I think your composter might accept lentils to save the creation of an entire wildlife park stuffed with spilled pulses!

  3. Ailbhe says:

    You could soak them and compost them.

  4. Vicky says:

    Ha ha – just great! love the cat!
    I think I would have soaked the lentils and mixed them with a handful of oats or other scraps, and fed them to the birds.
    I’m inspired now – I want to make a cat!


  5. Claire Brown says:

    they would have composted fine, – i’ve put whole bags of pulses into the compost bin before (when they’ve been sitting around in the cupboard for about 6 yrs and i’ve decided it’s easier to use tins) – they do break down if you compost is working right.

  6. Angie says:

    Cute cat but cant see the tail….maybe he’s a manx tee hee……….

  7. Sooz says:

    Aww, thats so cute! What an excellent reuse – I’m going to store it in my brain for next time I spill something!

  8. Linda says:

    Cute Cat.

    Just throw lentils onto the garden – and you will have lots of little lentil trees!! No, seriously they will eventually desolve into lovely humus with added fibre for your garden. (This goes for spilled rice, wheat, barley etc).

    The loose polystyrene (horror horror) that comes with some products can be broken down finely and put into “Cute Cats” as well. This makes them washable – don’t wash Cute Cats that have lentils inside!!

    Keep up the good work folks – you are very, very addictive and I have a couple more pals joining in very soon.

  9. Mrs Green says:

    @Cate: Hi Cate; I guess I could have rinsed them and eaten them. I think I was sulking to be honest; I was hungry and in a rush…

    @Grandma Green: I didn’t realise you could put raw things like that into the kitchen caddy; maybe we’ll get collections in our part of the woods soon!

    @Ailbhe: @Claire Brown: I never knew you could compost them – thank yoU!

    @Vicky: Brilliant idea about cooking them up and feeding them to the birds – that didn’t even cross my mind!

    @Angie: It’s a manx, you’re right; my sewing skills don’t extend to the tail LOL!

    @Sooz: well I hope you don’t spill anything, but at least it’s an idea 🙂

    @Linda: I never thought that you could just let them rot into the ground -I should have thought really. Duh! Hunger and sensible thoughts don’t really mix with me.
    Bring all your friends along; the more the merrier!

  10. Linda says:

    Hi again Mrs G – Lentils are just split peas. They are vegetables and naturally “rot”. Your first lady was right – you should just rinse and use – they have been throught a hell of a process to become lentils so a little kitchen floor will not harm. Pop them into your next stew or soup of left overs.

  11. Mrs Green says:

    @Linda: Thanks Linda; you’re teaching me a lot! And maybe next time I will wash ‘n’ eat 😀

  12. Layla says:

    Cute cat!

    I agree with composting or maybe even thoroughly washing and eating (not sure if we’d dare that either) Mum made me wash some frozen raspberries that fell on the floor and we ate ’em lol (we don’t have crawlies/pets anymore, so it was safer!)
    I’m thinking to grow soya and chickpeas next year too – my cousin just planted the store-bought stuff that otherwise gets cooked – maybe lentils can be grown this way too?

  13. Mrs Green says:

    @Layla: Wouldn’t it be wonderful to grow your own chickpeas – I’ve never considered that or even know if you can grow them over here…They seem to come from hot, dry countries.

  14. Jane says:

    floor clean = wash and eat; not sure = compost. I love borlotti beans and last year I found a series of great little videos and I’ve searched them out (I couldn’t find the on the River Cottage website): http://www.guardian.co.uk/seeds-of-change/video/growing-onions-borlottis

  15. Mrs Green says:

    @Jane: definitely a ‘not sure’ category around here with the floor LOL! I’ll check out the videos, thank you!

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