My sweet friend, Rachel brought me a little treat and a copy of Whole Living magazine to read while recuperating. I hadn't heard of it yet but just seeing that it was a Martha Stewart publication, I knew I would love it. Martha just gets it and I have loved every one of her cookbooks. This magazine was one of those that you read from cover to cover and it actually had articles to read instead of just ads! I LOVED it and instantly sent in the little card for a subscription. You even get two for one right now so you can send one to a friend for free.
There were a couple articles in there that really sparked my interest. One in particular was about waste. It began with the quote:
"As a nation, we throw 40 percent of our food, most of it perfectly edible, into the trash."
That is A LOT of food. The article states that the average family of four throws about $1600 per year of food in the garbage. I am sure we could all use a few of those dollars here and there. The article not only touches on the waste that could feed others, it also talks about the waste that fills our landfills and creates methane gas.
I know I have blogged about this before but I will do it again. For me, food is sacred. We need it to sustain life. It heals us. It nourishes us. I hate having to throw away food that was grown just for me, especially food that I grew. I do think about the fact that others are hungry when I am throwing excess away. I do my very best to use up the little scraps in the fridge. There is so much you can do with the little pieces but you have to take regular inventory of what is hiding behind the eggs and milk so you don't end up with containers of "green" stuff that is now inedible. Produce is a huge source of waste. It is real easy to forget about the last carrot or apple in the fridge. Even if it is a little bruised, it is still edible. I cleaned out my fridge the other morning and had a little pile of "odds and ends" in the vegetable drawer.
The carrots were a little on the ugly side but still firm up top. I had a little piece of potato, onion and zucchini. I could easily throw this in a soup stock with a few more ingredients and have a soup or grate it up and put it in a taco or omelet mixture. Or, I could let it go a couple more days and have to throw it in the compost bin. There is part of a dinner there that would save me money if I just took the time to check the fridge and use the odds and ends. I paid for those. I surely wouldn't go around throwing dollars in my compost bin. I hadn't checked my fridge in a couple weeks and was sad that I had to throw away black beans, kefir, raw goats milk, old applesauce and a few other things. I needed this article to remind me to be a little more diligent.
Go check your fridge, ladies. Look behind the yogurt and leftover dishes. What did you find? Can you use it in your dinner tonight? Get creative. You may have one tablespoon of jam left that could go into a dressing or 1/4 cup of plain yogurt that could be in a marinade. One bruised apple could go in a muffin recipe. Celery tops are great in soups. Almost anything can go in a smoothie! Freeze the leftovers that you aren't going to eat the next day and blend up the kale that is about to go bad and freeze it in ice cup trays for smoothies.
Waste not, want not.