I am a frequent reader of several blogs. Two of them, The Frugal Girl and Simply Being Mum, are chronicling their efforts to reduce and/or eliminate food waste in their households. I have read their posts with increasing discomfort for months now. I want to do the same, but I don't care much for change. I'm also bizarrely defensive about my grocery shopping habits. I get a little hostile if Doug tries to suggest that I should get a different brand of vegetable broth or buy a few less apples.Well, I'm finally going for it! I am putting my own boundaries around it (naturally - since when do i ever do exactly what i'm told?), but I think it will be revolutionary around here. Once I have the routine figured out and the fridge cleared of all current crap, I will begin taking photos of any food that I end up throwing away. I will post those photos here and use my readers as my priests as I confess my wastefulness. (For the record, these Candy Corn Cookies are not being thrown out. They are just cute.)
Step 1: I am only buying the ingredients for one meal at a time. Too often have I bought produce several days ahead of a planned meal, only to find it rotted by the time I was ready to cook.
Step 2: I will not cook a new meal until the leftovers from the previous meal have been consumed. Too often have I found fuzzy leftovers in the fridge that I don't even remember cooking!
Step 3: I will not cook food that I do not intend to eat. This one is actually a bit difficult for me because there are (quite) a few things that I don't eat, but I know that Doug loves them. However, this leaves Doug in the position of having to eat all of the leftovers by himself. Too often have I thrown away food that only went bad because one person could not consume it quickly enough. I do recognize that I could just cook small portions of those items and I might do so from time to time.
Step 4: The children will be served leftovers. This one might seem like a no-brainer (ew. i just remembered how much i hate that phrase...), but here's what Leftover Night looked like in the Peeler house prior to this week: Doug - leftovers; Angela - maybe leftovers; Eli - frozen pizza; Lila - frozen burrito. The kids didn't eat the food when I served it the first time, so I didn't make them sit in front of it a second time. Well, that rationale is breeding poor eating habits and a (greater) sense of entitlement. Too often have I allowed my children to eat processed and non-nutritious food because I wanted to avoid an argument.
This may seem excessive or fanatical, but I'm not kidding when I say that one person (or maybe two people) could be sustained by the food that we throw away in this house. I can't stand it anymore. I will not throw out food that another person would literally kill for! I welcome anyone who wants to join me in this journey...