Wholly Wasted!

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A recent airing of National Public Radio’s Science Friday called the Ugly Truth About Food Waste in America made my jaw drop!!!!

-40% of the food produced in the U.S. is thrown out

-That equates to $165 billion of food in the trash

-The amount of food wasted today, is 50% more than what was wasted in the mid-70’s

Are you picturing mounds and mounds of food like in Shel Silverstein’s poem, “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout?” How about a few more facts...

-80% of the water in the U.S. is used for food production

-When you throw out one hamburger it is the equivalent of taking an hour shower

-Or another visual: the annual water used to produce food fills 2 times the volume of Crater Lake (over 2000 feet deep)

Not only are we wasting food, but also precious resources like land and water. It’s pretty disgusting!!!! Not to mention, toxic. All of this food waste in landfills is creating high levels of potent methane gas. So what can we do about it????

Composting is the Recycling piece. I’ve talked about that before in several posts:

Cookn’ Up Some Compost

Spring Sprouts of Joy!

Remember to Take Your Compost Out

But how about Planning Better to help Reduce Waste?

Multi-Use

Try and plan recipes that utilize the same item during the week. Cook a chicken or buy a rotisserie chicken and use 3/4 of if for chicken pot pie and the other quarter for chicken salad. If you buy cilantro for one recipe, try and make something else that week that uses cilantro. (Quick Tip: When I buy a bunch of cilantro, I snip the end of the stems and put it in a class of water. Replace the water every so often It keeps fresh a lot longer.)

Rethink Produce

As consumers we are placing a higher demand for unblemished, perfect produce. Which can result in food going to waste even before it gets to the store and at the store. But that slightly bruised apple can make applesauce or a mouth-watering apple crisp. I purposely look for over-ripe sale bananas each week and use them in place of sugar in our pancakes, muffins, waffles and more!

Plan Your Meals

We all are busy. But taking a little time each week to plan out meals that tie to your schedule for the upcoming week can go a long way. Not only does it help you eat healthier and reduce waste but it is also a huge help to your wallet! Every time you throw something out, it is money down the drain….

Eat Down Your Fridge

So before going shopping, look through the fridge to see what you haven’t eaten or can re-purpose. I share with you a photo of not eating down the fridge well. It made me sick to throw out all these lemons!! They got buried underneath something, which resulted in me buying another bag of lemons, while these ones got soft and mushy! Uggghhh! It happens to the best of us. At least my compost pile will be happy.

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And here are a few photos of well-planned meals that got eaten down!

This week when I was planning meals I knew I had ground beef in the freezer (we’re trying to eat the last of our beef before the next half of a cow arrives!) There was a little chorizo leftover from some breakfast burritos. I also had half a cabbage to use, cherry tomatoes ripe on the vine, avocados waiting to be used, along with limes in the crisper. I cracked open some salsa from our pantry and bought taco shells and sauce. It made some fabulous, yet easy tacos.

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Lunch was set for the next day: cheddar cheese was added to the leftover meat and heated up between corn tortillas and packed up with some salsa on the side for sensational quesadillas! Even better…nothing left over!!!!!!

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How are you eating down your fridge this week?

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