Monday, March 14, 2011

Love The Leftovers : Lenten Carbon Fast Challenge!

Today's Lenten Carbon Fast challenge:
"Notice what food you throw away this week. See if you can reduce it by a third. Eat leftovers and shop more carefully using a list and planning your meals. The amount of food thrown away by an average household adds the equivalent CO2 emissions of 1-5 cars."
I know exactly where most of my food waste comes from: my terrible habit of putting leftovers in the fridge and forgetting about them. When I make food, I waste very little. For example, I never peel potatoes and I'm perfectly happy crocking veggies that look a little tired. But once I've prepared the food, the leftovers will often get forgotten.
Of course, they aren't forgotten forever. Every couple of months, I run out of space in the fridge, get annoyed, and spend an hour cleaning it out. This is where most of my food waste comes from, as I dispose of what has become science experiments. Some of the loss is reduced by tossing it on the compost pile, but that's still wasteful; and anything with meat products in it has to go into the trash, because I don't want to risk attracting vermin.
The great George Carlin used to say
"Leftovers make you feel good twice. First, when you put it away, you feel thrifty and intelligent: ‘I’m saving food!’ Then a month later when blue hair is growing out of the ham, and you throw it away, you feel really intelligent: ‘I’m saving my life!’"

I need a way to systematically cycle through fridge leftovers so they get eaten. I really do like leftovers; I just don't remember them.

Anyone have any ideas?


Small Footprints said...

I've been thinking about this and wondering why we have leftovers but no waste (seriously, we don't have waste). We used to ... and that got me to thinking about what we've done differently lately. I think it's that we made a conscious decision to reduce the amount we make for each meal. I come from an Italian family and making a small amount wasn't in my repertoire. But I've been learning and trying to only make enough for one meal (and moderate portions at that). So ... now ... the leftovers we have are relatively small ... perhaps enough for a light snack the next day. What I think is working is that there isn't enough leftover for an entire meal which doesn't seem to appeal to us ... but a light snack/lunch does.

Hope that helps! :-)

rewinn said...

@Small Footprints - are you suggesting cooking only as much as I think we'll eat?

My goodness - what a radical concept ;-)