Picture Food Waste is my monthly initiative to bring my food waste down to zero. I keep myself accountable and aware of my food waste by photographing whatever I have wasted for the month and tallying the loss in terms of dollars and sense. I’ll also post simple and innovative ways to save food from the trash bin and also save money too.
It’s been a long time since I updated the Picture Food Waste Series, but I sadly remember everything that was thrown away over the past few months.
December: An emergency trip home for the funeral meant that I couldn’t monitor my batch of fermented dill pickles. Two of the three jars went bad. I am super sad about this since not only was it a waste of ingredients but also a loss of my hard work! Actually those pickles are pretty easy, but I’m just lazy and haven’t made new batches yet. Cost of cucumbers: about $4
January: Some turnips and a batch of basil were lost. I need to check back to my October post on how to freeze food and store herbs! About $7 wasted.
February: February was a rough month, but that should be no excuse to waste food. A batch of radishes went bad, as well as some more assorted greens when I was too lazy to cook. I know there was more food that didn’t get used while I had the flu, but my brain fog prevented me from cataloguing it. $12 in the trash!!!
March: Again, herbs are my downfall. A batch of coriander didn’t get used soon enough. Cleaning out my fridge more regularly would help me from losing foods at the back of the fridge or underneath that whole chicken. There was also half a lemon that was moldy, but I used the other half for cleaning. Total food waste in dollars? About 7. I’ve got to get my numbers back down!
So life was crazy and upside-down for a while, but that is no reason for food to go to the trash. If I can’t freeze it or cook it right away, then my next strategy for saving food would be:
Give it away.
That’s it. Totally simple yet often overlooked. I’ve been cleaning out my pantry, and instead of seeing good food go to waste, I’ve given my friends some of the things I no-longer choose to incorporate in my diet: cold-pressed sesame oil, gluten-free oatmeal, and heirloom popcorn. I can’t throw away food simply because I’ve made a lifestyle change.
My friend and I often gift each other food before we go on trips. He recently left me some avocado and oranges. So if you have something that won’t freeze well or you won’t eat, why not look around you and see if there is someone to share it with?