Thursday, 27 March 2008

No Waste!

Welcome to my new category. I've been fiddling with the recipe index (it's almost done) and I noticed that I'm quite fond of posting about leftovers. This is really a philosophy of mine, if I may claim such a grand title for my habits. I object to wasting food! It's a waste of money. It's a waste of the producers' time and effort. It's a waste of resources - and in our water-poor continent we really should care about that. We should respect our food more.

I remember reading a year ago about a study that showed that consumer food waste in the UK totalled 6.7 tonnes. An anti-waste campaign called "Love Food Hate Waste" claims that a third of all food bought in the UK is wasted! Another study suggested that Australians wasted about $5 billion worth of food every year. I can't find this one online, and the number may be untrustworthy, but it doesn't matter that much. Waste is bad, and it's one of those things that everyone can do their own little bit about.

So what do I do? I like to cook plenty, rather than just the bare minimum for one meal. We eat leftovers for lunch. I freeze portions for later meals. I convert leftovers into something else. I choose to cook what I have, rather than going out to buy more food. If something is in danger of going off, I cook and freeze it, even if I have nothing specific in mind to do with it. Roast tomatoes and stewed apple always come in handy. Ideally I won't throw anything into the compost but peels and trimmings. In practice I'm less than perfect at this, but perfection is an unwise aim.

I do throw some things out that could technically be eaten. Things that are not very healthy, such as fat from the meat trimmings, and leftover party junk food. People will bring crap to parties - leftover chips and sugary lollies and soft drinks mostly go in the bin or down the drain. My motto here is "it's better to go to waste than to waist". Hur hur, I have made a pune or play on words. But seriously, eating something that you don't want or need is every bit as much a waste as throwing it in the bin would be. I choose the healthier option here. Mostly.

OK, off to find and add labels to all my posts about leftovers and what to do with them.


infoaddict said...

One could always find ways to cook with softdrinks ... use plain lemonade for a sort of sweet "soda bread", maybe?? And there's always Nigella Lawson's Coke-basted ham for said cola drinks :)

Me, I have the advantage of chooks and LARGE compost heaps for leftovers. Actually, sometimes it's a stretch to cook enough food for dinner and lunch, re-jigged dinner, PLUS chook feed :) (esp. if it's things like rice and pasta and stuff).

I did/do have a worm farm but I don't seem to be having much luck with it. Maybe the worms I bought weren't very healthy and I should try again ...

My default setting for leftovers is "pasta sauce" - hard to go wrong by cooking something up with enough tomatoes and herbs. Although I've also had some interesting results with "fried rice" or "risotto" :)

baby~amore' said...

very interesting I am trying to be more frugal and waste less ... glad I have a dog because my toddlers waste so much food and my teen eats so much else so we don't get many leftovers.
But still we throw out food.