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Posted on Oct 28, 2013 in How to simplify, Resources | 5 comments

Simplify your life: don’t waste

Photo credit: PAVDW

Photo credit: PAVDW

I spent the evening tonight at a party to celebrate the anniversary of a local restaurant.  Not only were the owners and staff there, but the farmers that provide the food as well.  It was not a fancy restaurant that serves miniature zucchini and  beef from cattle named after the owners, and massaged daily with almond oil while gentle flute music plays.  The ingredients were pretty simple, simply prepared, and mostly vegetarian.

With the respect for the food and those that grow it that the owners showed in their menu, I was surprised to see them in a video presentation, smashing squashes and pumpkins on the farm with their kids.  I guess they were not good enough to serve in the restaurant?  Maybe those squashes were going straight to a pig’s feeding trough?  Maybe they were collecting the seeds for next year’s crop?

That video, along with the expensive groceries I bought for yesterday’s post made me think about something I was taught as a child.

Don’t waste food.

I have always thought that this rule brings unnecessary guilt about eating.  I know the feeling of opening the fridge when it is time to pack my lunch, and stealthily taking the strawberry yogurt from yesterday’s trip to the store when there is still a honey/vanilla one from last week.  Maybe it will turn into a flavor I like better if I ignore it long enough.

So, if I spend more money on food that is fresher, less processed and grown on this continent, I will think more carefully about wasting less.  Buy only what I need and using it, even if I have to make biscuits out of that yogurt.

Need a recipe to use up what you have?

You can search for recipes by ingredients here and here.

Any advice on how to waste less food?


Photo credit: Mr. T in DC

Photo credit: Mr. T in DC

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  1. Hi Tracy, I find that the more perishable foods are the ones in danger of being wasted. Since I am retired and perhaps have a bit more time, I tend to buy the perishable foods in smaller quantities.

    It also helps to freeze leftovers (if they freeze well).

    Another thing I often do is to assess what’s on hand (especially if its perishable) and create a meal out of it. I like your links that look up recipes by ingredients.

    There is so much food waste in our country. I’ve heard of organizations that try to remedy this – by picking up leftovers from restaurants, or by picking up foods that grocery stores want to give away – and carting it to places that can use it. I believe I’ve read that there’s plenty of food to go around – distribution is the real problem.

    Anyway, I appreciate your post. We all need to think about this!

    Best Wishes,

    • Hello, Just a follow up – apologies for calling you “Tracy” – was mixing you up with someone else! Sorry!

      Regards, Carol

    • Thanks for reading! If I was better at keeping track of what I have, it would go a long way to prevent waste. It’s those forgotten items that get pushed to the back that don’t get used. Maybe a daily scan of what is in the fridge would help remind me to use things up before they turn scary.
      PS, I answer to many names!

  2. Nice post Tracy :)

    I tend to not waste food simply because I usually don’t have any to waste!! As a bachelor I tend to buy what I need to eat on a daily basis and I’m also very fortunate to have a lot of friends who invite me for dinner on a regular basis :)

    Take care and all the best.


    • Lyle,
      Sounds great. Let me know when the next dinner is on!

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