A famous saying for sure, and one I repeat to myself on a fairly regular basis. I have mentioned before on this site that I have a bit of a problem with people wasting food. I’m sure my daughter can attest to that. One of the many lessons I learned in my culinary career was that there is always a way to utilize food that maybe you thought was garbage. In an earlier article (here) I gave a few tips on stretching your odds and ends, now here I want to talk about how we can further the idea.
How much food do you throw out, and why did you toss it away?
Did it get shoved behind the mayo jar for too long? Maybe you just didn’t feel like finishing it, or it wasn’t your fav. Perhaps it was expired and you forgot it was there, or hidden behind last year’s(!) Thanksgiving turkey in the freezer for goodness knows how long! In any event, there are very few good reasons to actually throw food away. I think we can all remember what our parents told us about starving kids all over the world. Who knew they were so very, very right.
When trying to utilize as much as we can, I find it helps to have meal plans in place. That way we’re less likely to cook too much food. We also weigh everything we eat so that helps too. I make sure the fridge gets a once through each week, and that includes the freezer. Speaking of which, did you know that most foods last between three and six months in the freezer? That gives an awful lot of time to use those leftovers. If your leftovers in the fridge are still there three days after you put it there…freeze them, don’t throw it out. This does two things, it saves you money and it saves the planet from having to over produce for us humans. That’s a win win in my book!
So what about the pantry, do you know when those cans of beans are going to expire? In the land of restaurants we use a term known as FIFO, First In, First Out, that just simply means the oldest food is in the front and newest in the back. It really works, try it out at your place. So, what happens if you find that your pantry is overloaded and a lot of food is set to expire? My first thought is always what can I make right away, whether to eat in the next few days or freeze. You’re an inventive bunch, so I’m sure that’s pretty easy to figure. But what if it just isn’t viable to do that, then what?
Take the dried and canned food to the food bank folks, even if it’s ready to expire, people are starving out there. No joke at all, please help your fellow man/women/child.
So thats it, just a few thoughts and tips on leading a less wasteful life…at least in the kitchen anyway. Oh, and if you all have some other thoughts and tips please send them along. Learning is a privilege available to all of us, we just need to be willing to open our minds.Blue