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Saturday, 7 September 2013

Day 6 of Zero Waste Week

Yesterday's waste audit:
10g olive stones
12g tea bags
126g (two) banana skins

I don't think we'll be seeing any recipe suggestions for those.

But, of course, it's not this kind of food waste that we need to reduce!  It's the tube of guacamole, that's been in the fridge a while, that I can't eat, because it contains cream which I have an allergy to.  And probably because I can't eat it, no one else fancies it, and I couldn't hide it in soups or sauces that we were eating as a family - or I wouldn't have been able to eat those either.

What we should have done is give it away unopened to a food bank, the moment we realised the mistake.  But, when we bought it, I didn't even know we had a food bank local to us.  I've since found it that it had just opened up.

It's estimated that in the UK the average family wastes around a quarter of the food they buy, unnecessarily.  And that costs us collectively £12 billion pounds a year.

I've been having a think about the reasons behind avoidable food waste and this is what I've come up with:

1. Forgetting what we've bought.
2. Not thinking about portion control.
3. Unexpected / spur of the moment outings
4. Lack of communication between family members about plans.
5. Not reading the ingredients before purchasing something.
6. Allowing open stuff to creep to the back of the fridge / cupboards, and then not checking thoroughly before opening a new packet / jar.

This is what I'm planning to do about it...

1.a) More planning e.g looking what we've got before doing the shopping.
   b) Shopping list on fridge for when we use the last of something - if it isn't on the list don't buy it!
   c) Keeping open stuff in a prominent 'use it up' location - front of top shelf of fridge or bottom shelf of eye level cupboards
   d) Once a month rummage to bring stuff going out of date to the 'use it up' shelf.
2.  Being more aware of portion sizes, and working out which cooking dishes are best sized for various numbers of people.
3.  Planning at least two store cupboard meals per week to allow for last minute invitations/outings.
4.  Family calendar on wall in kitchen or on the fridge.
5. Taking any purchasing mistakes immediately to the local food bank or giving away to friends / family.
6.  The once a month rummage/ 'use it up' shelf will take care of this one!

By the way, the lasagne was reported to be the best veggie lasagne Junior Daughter had ever eaten, and the other meal we had today was a corned beef and lime pickle bap with a bit of shredded lettuce!  Some things are just too good not to have again.

Butternut Squash, Philadelphia and Sage Lasagne

* Source: WRAP, Nov 2011,


Kate said...

Great blog! Here's a use for the banana skins - give them to someone who has veruccas. Scrape off some of the white stuff inside the banana skin, put the white stuff on the verucca and put a plaster over it. Keep this up for a week or two until the verucca turns black and goes away

Louise said...

Hi Rosie - I've really enjoyed reading your 'use it up' blogs this week. As a self-confessed food-jar-junkie, your brilliant idea to use up the contents of half empty jars in the fridge has really inspired me to do something about my 'jar-addiction!' My fridge was housing its very own 'jam-jar-city' until I did a jar audit this morning. All the jars came out (my kitchen table looked like it was hosting its own W.I market!), some were thrown due to mould growth and the others were put back on the shelves to begin a new life - featuring in this week's meals. So, the jar of sundried tomatoes and jar of red pesto will go on top of baked cod, the basil pesto will go with tagliatelle, the Balti curry paste, mango chutney, coconut milk and chickpeas will go in a curry, the chargrilled peppers and pizza sauce topping will go on a homemade pizza, the fish sauce will go in a stir-fry and the jams, well I've made some jam, what to do with the 4jars of mustard and 7 jars of chutney? Mustard and jam tarts anyone?!!!

Anna Pitt said...

Thanks for this great tip, Kate. It sounds a much better way of dealing with veruccas than that silver nitrate stuff.

Anna Pitt said...

Well done, Louise, on using up your jam-jar-city. Your fridge sounds exactly like mine was a week ago. We've had a lot of fun inventing recipes in a determined effort to use everything up.
I found @myzerowaste's suggestion of having a 'use it up' shelf has really helped.
There'll be a way to use up chutney on my next blog post. Mustard and honey sauce is nice for chicken :)