Not Wasting Food

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Doroghazi
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Not Wasting Food

Post by Doroghazi » Wed May 02, 2018 3:20 pm

The USDA says that approximately 20% of the food we purchase at the supermarket is eventually wasted. Aside from cleaning your plate, what suggestions do you have.

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Pajamas
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by Pajamas » Wed May 02, 2018 3:21 pm

Eat leftovers or freeze them for use in soups or later.

Make an effort not to buy too many fresh groceries and to eat them before they spoil.

raveon
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by raveon » Wed May 02, 2018 3:22 pm

Eat less.

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Alexa9
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by Alexa9 » Wed May 02, 2018 3:25 pm

Eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch everyday and ration your meals. Plan your cooking dinner carefully. Freeze meals right after cooking to save them (say if cooking 4 servings and cooking for 2 people). Eat foods that don't go bad quickly right away. Buy frozen fruit and vegetables (usually high quality and fresh).

bloom2708
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by bloom2708 » Wed May 02, 2018 3:27 pm

Home probably makes up 1% of the 20%+ wasted.

I was in Costco in the salad section. A huge stack of packaged salad was 1 day before the Use by date. I can't comprehend how much food is tossed by grocery stores.

We have a good cafetieria at work. They have a ton of food. If it doesn't sell, it goes in the garbage. It is kind of sad. They have to toss it. I often said they should package up leftover cartons and sell it for $1. People could take it home.

Some companies bring certain dated foods to homeless shelters. But if it is spoiled or fresh produce past expiration, it is tossed.

My assumption is 20% is low. What can I do? I do not know.
"We are not here to please, but to provoke thoughtfulness." --Unknown Boglehead

fposte
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by fposte » Wed May 02, 2018 3:27 pm

Figure out what your own path to waste is. Is it buying for eating patterns you don't have but think you should? The fact that you can't buy less than a head of lettuce or a bunch of parsley but your household only uses a bit at a time? Unidentified Frozen Object syndrome? Apply reality for the first, recipe usage for the second, and better labeling/faster cycling for the third, and so on depending on the problem.

N10sive
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by N10sive » Wed May 02, 2018 3:28 pm

Shop more often but buy less. I was really bad at wasting food, probably 40% of my fruits/veggies would go to waste because I shopped once and bought a ton of food then it would spoil. This way requires a bit more time but has worked for me. Other ways is to freeze a lot of your food if its about to spoil(meats primarily).

Lately I have bought more frozen vegetables and buy less but shop more for the perishable items. Having less food in my apt requires me to eat whatever I have. I have wasted less than 1% probably of my food this year.

Sticking to a strict list and planning out your week helps a lot I imagine, but I am not that well organized.

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Smorgasbord
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by Smorgasbord » Wed May 02, 2018 3:30 pm

At least twice a week I eat rice & beans, and twice a week I eat oatmeal. It has been a very long time since I've had leftovers that didn't go well into at least one of those meals.

Back in Grad School, I would often do my part to reduce food waste (and get a free meal) by walking around the upper floor of our student union around 7:30 in the evenings. Companies recruiting on campus would almost always bring pizza and cookies for 6:00 presentations and leave them to be thrown out. Sometimes, I would walk out with 40+ giant cookies and five pizzas. :D
Last edited by Smorgasbord on Wed May 02, 2018 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

barnaclebob
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by barnaclebob » Wed May 02, 2018 3:32 pm

Plan meals in advance especially when buying very perishable stuff.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Wed May 02, 2018 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dm200
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by dm200 » Wed May 02, 2018 3:38 pm

Many frozen fruits and vegetables are as nutritious (or more so) as fresh. With frozen, you can just prepare and eat exactly what you will eat. No waste.

I freeze bread and only defrost the slices I eat at the time.

I also eat almost 100% of any meal leftovers at the next meal.

Foods such as nuts and dried fruit keep well without refrigeration.

Do not worry very much about "best use by" and "expiration" or "sell by" dates on canned foods.

S&L1940
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by S&L1940 » Wed May 02, 2018 3:58 pm

Food pantries and soup kitchens will appreciate whatever you can donate
a simple Google search will offer up the locations in your area
someone posted that restaurants and supermarkets have foodstuff ready to be trashed and are responsible for much of the waste
A simple call by commercial sources can bring someone by (even on a regular basis) to pick up food stuff

We buy at Costco and look for frozen fish that is packed in sealed individual portions
We separate prepared frozen food (like lasagna) that are packed in bulk to serve six(?) into single serve portions and freeze them
sometimes it is a chore but most homes usually have a knife to cut into frozen food
even baked goods go into the freezer, bread is delicious after we pop it into the oven
ice cream is not a problem, we eat straight from the container...
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

123
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by 123 » Wed May 02, 2018 4:08 pm

We freeze bread and baked goods that are not eaten the same day we buy them. We use a lot of frozen vegetables because we can buy large packages and generally their cost is lower than fresh. We buy fresh vegs in season but we plan on one or two uses of frozen vegetables each week so we don't overload on fresh stuff that will spoil, this flexability lets us go out when we want without facing throwing stuff out.

It's hard not to have waste if you only go shopping once a week, we go twice a week usually.

About half the meat/fish/chicken we buy is frozen, or if we buy a large package we freeze part of it. Having stuff frozen just adds a lot of flexibility in the dining and shopping schedule. Stuff usually easily thaws in the frig if taken from the freezer the day before. It is really all about planning.

We eat a lot of salads and have found the 1 pound plastic boxes of salad greens work well for us. To keep the salad greens from spoiling early due to moisture in the container in the refrigerator we put 2 or 3 folded paper towels over the greens and store the container upside down in the refrigerator. The paper seems to absorb the moisture. Changing the paper every two days keeps the greens dry.

We usually cook enough for two meals so we tolerate leftovers well, makes it easier on the cook as well.
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dm200
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by dm200 » Wed May 02, 2018 4:18 pm

Of course, do not be so "obsessed" with not wasting food that you risk eating something that might harm you (spoiled) :)

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dm200
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by dm200 » Wed May 02, 2018 4:20 pm

I grew up on a family farm and we at all meals at home - Whatever was not eaten at one meal - however much or little - was always, in one way or another, eaten at subsequent meals.

One, of many, shocking things I learned when going off to college was that it was common for families to just throw out food left from a meal that was not all eaten at that meal.

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JPH
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by JPH » Wed May 02, 2018 4:41 pm

Doroghazi wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 3:20 pm
The USDA says that approximately 20% of the food we purchase at the supermarket is eventually wasted. Aside from cleaning your plate, what suggestions do you have.
I don't see cleaning your plate at a solution to the waste problem. If I make the extra effort to always clean my plate and the food ends up on my waistline, I would rather have it in the trash.
While the moments do summersaults into eternity | Cling to their coattails and beg them to stay - Townes Van Zandt

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dm200
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by dm200 » Wed May 02, 2018 4:42 pm

JPH wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 4:41 pm
Doroghazi wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 3:20 pm
The USDA says that approximately 20% of the food we purchase at the supermarket is eventually wasted. Aside from cleaning your plate, what suggestions do you have.
I don't see cleaning your plate at a solution to the waste problem. If I make the extra effort to always clean my plate and the food ends up on my waistline, I would rather have it in the trash.
Sure - but the objective would be to not cook or prepare food that would not be eaten or could not be eaten at a subsequent meal.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed May 02, 2018 4:45 pm

Buy 20% less.

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dm200
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by dm200 » Wed May 02, 2018 4:46 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 4:45 pm
Buy 20% less.
The long lived elderly of Okinawa have a saying "Eat until you are 80% full" :)

BradJ
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by BradJ » Wed May 02, 2018 4:52 pm

My family does the "empty cupboard" budget technique, which saves money and reduces food waste. We buy groceries every Sunday, buy only what we need (usually the same thing over and over again), and hardly ever buy any specialty items. By Friday or Saturday, the house is void of any type of food past snacks or canned vegetables. It isn't perfect, but it helps us have a steady grocery bill and have little food waste.

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FGal
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by FGal » Wed May 02, 2018 5:00 pm

I barely waste anything, and that is including the tops and bottoms of veggies and poultry bones. I save chopped bits/ends of onion, celery, carrots and such in a freezer bag and when I have a full bag, I dump it into my slow cooker with a dash of salt and pepper and maybe some thyme or rosemary and then set for about 12 hours and create the most amazing broth. I use it for making soups, chicken and dumplings, mashed potatoes, etc... it turns into this gorgeous golden broth that is so full of flavor that I am disgusted with using any store bought broth in a carton or can now - it's like freaking saltwater to my tastebuds. My soups and dishes that use broth are usually scarfed down and there are no leftovers unless I make a HUGE batch.

I freeze bread and cheeses (shredded mostly, as block cheese gets a bit weird when frozen so is only good for mixing into dishes not eating alone). I also freeze butter, most meats, sauces, etc. Like I had a can of chipolte chilies in adobo sauce, I only needed a tablespoon, so the rest gets blended up into a fine paste, portioned out and popped into the freezer. I thaw out a bit as needed and never waste a drop.

If I know we're going to get tired of some dish before we reach the end (like beans or something) I'll go ahead and portion it into a freezer container and put it back for a few weeks or months later. I can make bean tacos, refried, chili, or soup out of it eventually. And it's nice to have a few easy to reheat and eat things that are made from scratch instead of some garbage boxed/frozen meals full of sodium and fat.

I use stale bread in bread puddings or make croutons or french toast or sage stuffing out of it.

I use up bits of meat or veggies in things in egg scrambles or fritattas, or soups.

If I have a bunch of celery or onion that is going to go bad, I dice it then put it into small containers and freeze it for use in soups or scrambles (again, freezing changes the texture as the high moisture content will cause the veggie cells to burst so you end up with slightly soggy onions or celery, but that works just fine for a quick saute and then adding to a cooked dish for the flavor).

I guess it makes a difference in that I love to cook and grew up with a father that lived through the depression aftermath so wasting food is just so horrible to me. I love making good food, and I love saving a buck, so it works out really well in my house.

michaeljc70
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed May 02, 2018 5:07 pm

I really try not to waste food. When we throw food out, it is often because veggies went bad before we thought they would. Occasionally we overlook something and it slips to the back of the fridge. I am pretty good at incorporating leftovers into other things or eating them as is. I try not to make extra of things that we don't like reheated. There are also things we commonly throw out because it is more cost effective to buy a bigger quantity than we need even if we don't use it all. An example of this is Greek yogurt and a gallon of milk. It costs almost as much for a 1/2 gallon of milk and we usually use 75-100% of a gallon so it just makes sense to get the gallon.

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bengal22
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by bengal22 » Wed May 02, 2018 5:10 pm

We only buy Ice Cream.
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley

DesertDiva
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by DesertDiva » Wed May 02, 2018 5:12 pm

I don't plan meals as well as I should. When deciding what to eat, this is my decision path: 1) fresh before frozen; 2) frozen before canned/shelf items; 3) canned/shelf items are last. Before running out to the grocery store for dinner items I see what I can create from existing supplies.
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stoptothink
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by stoptothink » Wed May 02, 2018 5:14 pm

In all likelihood, the quickest and most accurate way to evaluate someone's health, without seeing or talking to them, is to look at their garbage can.

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/articl ... ne.0195405

Come Tuesday night (trash bins are picked up on Wednesday) several of my neighbors are headed up the street to the neighborhood trash bin because their can is filled to the brim. Similarly, it is kind of part of the routine that every other Sunday evening (our extended family all gets together for dinner at my mom's) I go through my mom's fridge and pantry and toss all the rotted food. I'll be honest, I don't really know any different, it is just how I've always done things, but my family of 4 can pretty easily go an entire month and not fill up our garbage can. Diet based on whole foods that require little or no packaging and planning; it isn't rocket science.

TerryDMillerMBA
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by TerryDMillerMBA » Wed May 02, 2018 5:28 pm

My grandmother fed family, friends, frienemies, and enemies. Wasting food is a sin.

downshiftme
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by downshiftme » Wed May 02, 2018 6:03 pm

I have to pick and choose my battles. I'd rather waste 20% of the fresh groceries that I buy than rely on frozen prepared foods or eating out to avoid wastage. If having a little more waste is part of the price for eating a healthy diet with more fresh fruits and vegetables, then that is a price I am willing to pay.

On the other hand, for what it's worth I don't actually waste much. I freeze leftovers and they make good lunches.

Cleaning my plate is the worst solution. I need to pay attention to my diet for heath reasons, so eating extra to have a clean plate or satisfy a childhood exhortation is a poor choice for me, and worse than wasting food since it arguably shortens my life.

jehovasfitness
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by jehovasfitness » Wed May 02, 2018 6:24 pm

Doroghazi wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 3:20 pm
The USDA says that approximately 20% of the food we purchase at the supermarket is eventually wasted. Aside from cleaning your plate, what suggestions do you have.
As a fitness professional I would advise against cleaning your plate mantra

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Wed May 02, 2018 7:01 pm

Never, having thawed food you bought on sale then froze to keep your overall costs lower than they would have been if you didn't buy on sale, find yourself feeling too ill to cook.
PJW

Doroghazi
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by Doroghazi » Wed May 02, 2018 7:09 pm

jehovasfitness wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 6:24 pm
Doroghazi wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 3:20 pm
The USDA says that approximately 20% of the food we purchase at the supermarket is eventually wasted. Aside from cleaning your plate, what suggestions do you have.
As a fitness professional I would advise against cleaning your plate mantra
Yes, I agree! If you can clean your plate, do it. But if you took too much in the first place, it is better not to eat it. The issue is serving size.

mouses
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by mouses » Wed May 02, 2018 7:26 pm

Pretty much the only thing I waste is fresh lettuce. I buy it, then never, well almost never, get around to getting it out of the nuclear bomb proof plastic wrap. I don't buy the packages of ready to eat lettuce because they look highly dubious.

But I buy a lot of frozen food, and I wonder how much of that is lost in the manufacturing process. I am trying to actually cook more for reasons of health and economy.

I freeze bread then warm it up in the microwave or toast it. I keep a lot of stuff in the refrigerator to extend it's lifespan, even though technically it doesn't need to be refrigerated.

Singlemoi
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by Singlemoi » Wed May 02, 2018 7:31 pm

I live alone, so my situation might be slightly different than yours.
I do eat most of my meals at home.
I cook from scratch all of my meals.

Unlike others, I actually buy in bigger quantity than I would ever eat in one or several sittings, but I do so on purpose so that I can save time in the daily prep. I buy several pounds of meat and make huge potroast, then cool, apportion (I weight it, but purely so that I don't overeat ) and freeze it. It's just as easy to prep 2-3 chickens to roast as it is to roast 1.

Just like someone already mentioned, I save the roasted bones and veggie scraps and then make them into a broth, strain, apportion and freeze. Then, if I need to "save" some fresh veggies into a soup, I have a home-made broth ready for it.

When I ate bread and dairy (I don't now), I would immediately apportion a loaf and freeze it. Then take out only that, which I would eat in a day. It defrosted beautifully. Ditto for cheeses and butter.

I freeze fresh squeezed lemon juice into an ice tray. This way, no lemons go to waste and I have fresh lemon juice without preservatives for my lemon water or tea.

My lunches are typically a huge salad with protein, so I'll buy a few bags of greens weekly and eat those that will wilt first (like mixed leafy greens,spinach) , then next few days I'll have something with romaine or shredded cabbage. I wash all veggies that go into salad on a weekend (radishes, celery, kirbies, scallions, fresh herbs, etc.) and either pre-cut them or store them in a way so they don't wilt. This little time on a weekend makes things supremely easy for the weekday. Making a salad (or a stir fry) does not seem overwhelming because all I have to do is cut the veggies, and take an already pre-portioned meat out of the freezer the night before.

I agree with those who recommended buying frozen broccoli, cauliflower, etc. It makes it easy to steam, throw in the soup, stir fry and it is typically as nutritious as the fresh one.

So, my big things are:
1. Wash, wrap, package veggies as soon as they get home.
2. Apportion meat and freeze it or cook it in bulk , apportion and freeze.

bovineplane
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by bovineplane » Wed May 02, 2018 7:48 pm

Best thing we ever did was learn to cook by making a grocery list based on recipes we picked out. Wife and I were tired of grocery shopping without a plan and seemingly still going out to eat most nights. We buy 5-6 meals per week. Allows us to grocery shop once per week. We buy fresh. Helps limit impulse buys and the never ending "what do you want for dinner tonight" questions. We leave the recipes we picked out so when we get home from work we are ready to cook. Cut our grocery bill down. Eat a bit healthier.

Doroghazi
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by Doroghazi » Wed May 02, 2018 8:16 pm

dm200 wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 4:46 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 4:45 pm
Buy 20% less.
The long lived elderly of Okinawa have a saying "Eat until you are 80% full" :)
Your answer sounds overly simple but is correct. Buy less, and esp smaller serving size. You can always eat more.

jehovasfitness
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by jehovasfitness » Wed May 02, 2018 8:38 pm

Doroghazi wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 7:09 pm
jehovasfitness wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 6:24 pm
Doroghazi wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 3:20 pm
The USDA says that approximately 20% of the food we purchase at the supermarket is eventually wasted. Aside from cleaning your plate, what suggestions do you have.
As a fitness professional I would advise against cleaning your plate mantra
Yes, I agree! If you can clean your plate, do it. But if you took too much in the first place, it is better not to eat it. The issue is serving size.
Yes and no to a degree. A good book on this is Mindless Eating. It will change your view on many aspects of our obesity problem

cheesepep
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by cheesepep » Wed May 02, 2018 8:52 pm

Pretty much eat all parts of the veggies/meat that you eat. I was at a restaurant yesterday watching a "chef" prepare food. It was so bad that he threw away much of the veggies and meat just to get to "the good stuff." For example, tossing the fish skin or the sides of the fish just to make it have the perfect shape, or not using the ends of the tomatoes. It was just so much waste just to make the food like pretty. People often toss the chicken giblets; they are still good! Learn how to cook them!!

mouses
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by mouses » Wed May 02, 2018 9:12 pm

cheesepep wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 8:52 pm
Pretty much eat all parts of the veggies/meat that you eat. I was at a restaurant yesterday watching a "chef" prepare food. It was so bad that he threw away much of the veggies and meat just to get to "the good stuff." For example, tossing the fish skin or the sides of the fish just to make it have the perfect shape, or not using the ends of the tomatoes. It was just so much waste just to make the food like pretty. People often toss the chicken giblets; they are still good! Learn how to cook them!!
I really wish supermarkets did not insist on perfect looking produce. I would be perfectly fine with oddly shaped apples, etc. That policy must cause a lot of waste.

an_asker
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by an_asker » Wed May 02, 2018 9:17 pm

raveon wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 3:22 pm
Eat less.
Buy less and take more care of what you buy.

fposte
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by fposte » Wed May 02, 2018 10:38 pm

jehovasfitness wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 8:38 pm

Yes and no to a degree. A good book on this is Mindless Eating. It will change your view on many aspects of our obesity problem
I loved Mindless Eating and Slim by Design, and I was really disappointed when it came out that Wansink was knowingly cooking (pardon the pun) his research results. There are various articles about this; here’s one.

jlawrence01
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by jlawrence01 » Wed May 02, 2018 11:12 pm

I think that if you examine the amount of food produced and how much is actually consumed, you will probably find that the amount of waste is approximately 40%.

In the "old days" most grocery stores would carry approximately 100 SKUs of fresh produce. Nowadays, that can be as much as 500 SKUs and that requires a lot more produce "know how" to get that right.

One of our local organizations in Nogales, AZ rescues millions of pounds of high quality produce and distributes it to many agencies in the Southwest. In Tucson and Phoenix, they sell 60# of produce for $10 with no income qualifications. The expectation is that the participants will distribute the produce to their family and friends. This is product that would be dumped at the local landfill.

http://www.borderlandsproducerescue.org/

Doroghazi
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by Doroghazi » Thu May 03, 2018 7:52 am

mouses wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 9:12 pm
cheesepep wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 8:52 pm
Pretty much eat all parts of the veggies/meat that you eat. I was at a restaurant yesterday watching a "chef" prepare food. It was so bad that he threw away much of the veggies and meat just to get to "the good stuff." For example, tossing the fish skin or the sides of the fish just to make it have the perfect shape, or not using the ends of the tomatoes. It was just so much waste just to make the food like pretty. People often toss the chicken giblets; they are still good! Learn how to cook them!!
I really wish supermarkets did not insist on perfect looking produce. I would be perfectly fine with oddly shaped apples, etc. That policy must cause a lot of waste.
That is a great point. I wonder how much is wasted to improve "the presentation".

Jags4186
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by Jags4186 » Thu May 03, 2018 8:14 am

I work in the food industry. You'd be shocked how much product is thrown out. Where I work now for example, we keep retained samples of every single item we make through it's entire shelf life. We have 100s of pallets of perfectly good food that sits in racks for a year in case a customer complaint comes in. At the end of the year it gets dumped for being out of date. I work at a comparatively small food company (It's no where near the size of a Kraft or Mondelez).

BeerTooth
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by BeerTooth » Thu May 03, 2018 9:17 am

stoptothink wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 5:14 pm
In all likelihood, the quickest and most accurate way to evaluate someone's health, without seeing or talking to them, is to look at their garbage can.

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/articl ... ne.0195405

Come Tuesday night (trash bins are picked up on Wednesday) several of my neighbors are headed up the street to the neighborhood trash bin because their can is filled to the brim. Similarly, it is kind of part of the routine that every other Sunday evening (our extended family all gets together for dinner at my mom's) I go through my mom's fridge and pantry and toss all the rotted food. I'll be honest, I don't really know any different, it is just how I've always done things, but my family of 4 can pretty easily go an entire month and not fill up our garbage can. Diet based on whole foods that require little or no packaging and planning; it isn't rocket science.

That article contradicts your anecdote..."Higher diet quality was associated (P<0.001) with greater food waste"
yes, a whole foods diet reduces packaging waste and plastic use, which is a noble goal itself, but this study indicates fresh fruits and vegetables consumed at home actually increase food waste, which makes sense compared to processed, preserved food
Last edited by BeerTooth on Thu May 03, 2018 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

michaeljc70
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu May 03, 2018 9:19 am

cheesepep wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 8:52 pm
Pretty much eat all parts of the veggies/meat that you eat. I was at a restaurant yesterday watching a "chef" prepare food. It was so bad that he threw away much of the veggies and meat just to get to "the good stuff." For example, tossing the fish skin or the sides of the fish just to make it have the perfect shape, or not using the ends of the tomatoes. It was just so much waste just to make the food like pretty. People often toss the chicken giblets; they are still good! Learn how to cook them!!
Chefs/restaurants waste as little as possible as it affects their bottom line. They are most likely putting those 'scraps' in a soup, stew, terrine or some other dish.

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dm200
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by dm200 » Thu May 03, 2018 9:56 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 8:14 am
I work in the food industry. You'd be shocked how much product is thrown out. Where I work now for example, we keep retained samples of every single item we make through it's entire shelf life. We have 100s of pallets of perfectly good food that sits in racks for a year in case a customer complaint comes in. At the end of the year it gets dumped for being out of date. I work at a comparatively small food company (It's no where near the size of a Kraft or Mondelez).
Yes - I often see the grocery dtore produce folks going through the fruits and vegetables - throwing out a lot of stuff.

Doroghazi
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by Doroghazi » Thu May 03, 2018 10:02 am

dm200 wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 9:56 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 8:14 am
I work in the food industry. You'd be shocked how much product is thrown out. Where I work now for example, we keep retained samples of every single item we make through it's entire shelf life. We have 100s of pallets of perfectly good food that sits in racks for a year in case a customer complaint comes in. At the end of the year it gets dumped for being out of date. I work at a comparatively small food company (It's no where near the size of a Kraft or Mondelez).
Yes - I often see the grocery dtore produce folks going through the fruits and vegetables - throwing out a lot of stuff.
The number of 20% that I gave is the % wasted we buy from the supermarket. This makes up only about 1/3 of the total wastage. Of the total amount of food available for harvest, about 40% is wasted.

Rupert
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by Rupert » Thu May 03, 2018 10:07 am

Most wasted food is produce. Have a few dishes -- soups, stews, etc. -- that end-of-the-week leftover produce can go into. Wilted greens and turning fruit make great smoothies.

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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by stoptothink » Thu May 03, 2018 10:19 am

DesertDiva wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 5:12 pm
I don't plan meals as well as I should. When deciding what to eat, this is my decision path: 1) fresh before frozen; 2) frozen before canned/shelf items; 3) canned/shelf items are last. Before running out to the grocery store for dinner items I see what I can create from existing supplies.
I wish people would understand that frozen is usually more "fresh" than "fresh". Unless you are buying from known local sources, that "fresh" produce you are buying is likely quite old. Frozen fruits and veggies on the other hand are generally flash frozen. From a nutritional standpoint, you are likely better off buying more frozen fruits and veggies, and it certainly cuts down on waste.

fposte
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by fposte » Thu May 03, 2018 10:21 am

Here is an interesting article from The Atlantic about the problem.

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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by TSR » Thu May 03, 2018 10:29 am

FGal wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 5:00 pm
I barely waste anything, and that is including the tops and bottoms of veggies and poultry bones. I save chopped bits/ends of onion, celery, carrots and such in a freezer bag and when I have a full bag, I dump it into my slow cooker with a dash of salt and pepper and maybe some thyme or rosemary and then set for about 12 hours and create the most amazing broth. I use it for making soups, chicken and dumplings, mashed potatoes, etc... it turns into this gorgeous golden broth that is so full of flavor that I am disgusted with using any store bought broth in a carton or can now - it's like freaking saltwater to my tastebuds. My soups and dishes that use broth are usually scarfed down and there are no leftovers unless I make a HUGE batch.

I freeze bread and cheeses (shredded mostly, as block cheese gets a bit weird when frozen so is only good for mixing into dishes not eating alone). I also freeze butter, most meats, sauces, etc. Like I had a can of chipolte chilies in adobo sauce, I only needed a tablespoon, so the rest gets blended up into a fine paste, portioned out and popped into the freezer. I thaw out a bit as needed and never waste a drop.

If I know we're going to get tired of some dish before we reach the end (like beans or something) I'll go ahead and portion it into a freezer container and put it back for a few weeks or months later. I can make bean tacos, refried, chili, or soup out of it eventually. And it's nice to have a few easy to reheat and eat things that are made from scratch instead of some garbage boxed/frozen meals full of sodium and fat.

I use stale bread in bread puddings or make croutons or french toast or sage stuffing out of it.

I use up bits of meat or veggies in things in egg scrambles or fritattas, or soups.

If I have a bunch of celery or onion that is going to go bad, I dice it then put it into small containers and freeze it for use in soups or scrambles (again, freezing changes the texture as the high moisture content will cause the veggie cells to burst so you end up with slightly soggy onions or celery, but that works just fine for a quick saute and then adding to a cooked dish for the flavor).

I guess it makes a difference in that I love to cook and grew up with a father that lived through the depression aftermath so wasting food is just so horrible to me. I love making good food, and I love saving a buck, so it works out really well in my house.
This is awesome. I am not as extreme as you are, but I do the whole "save the veggie ends and make broth" thing, and you're absolutely right -- no going back. You're inspiring me to do more here.

DesertDiva
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Re: Not Wasting Food

Post by DesertDiva » Thu May 03, 2018 10:38 am

stoptothink wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 10:19 am
DesertDiva wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 5:12 pm
I don't plan meals as well as I should. When deciding what to eat, this is my decision path: 1) fresh before frozen; 2) frozen before canned/shelf items; 3) canned/shelf items are last. Before running out to the grocery store for dinner items I see what I can create from existing supplies.
I wish people would understand that frozen is usually more "fresh" than "fresh". Unless you are buying from known local sources, that "fresh" produce you are buying is likely quite old. Frozen fruits and veggies on the other hand are generally flash frozen. From a nutritional standpoint, you are likely better off buying more frozen fruits and veggies, and it certainly cuts down on waste.
I agree. However, if I have fresh food in the fridge, I prefer to use it first since it isn't going to last as long as frozen, thereby reducing waste.
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