Thought for Food – My food waste challenge part 2

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Waste not, want notWell, I should first say that I did not achieve my goal. I did throw some food away, despite my best efforts.

However, I do think it was a worthwhile exercise, and I am trying again this week.

What I did realise is this:

  • It’s as important, if not more, to shop sensibly as it is to cook sensibly. Make a list and don’t buy things you *mean* to eat.
  • You need to be fully aware of what you have in your fridge and when it is going to go off.
  • You need space in your freezer, or you need to make space! (and not by binning stuff)
  • Have a stack of pots to store food in!
  • Have a range of recipes that let you use up left-over veg. I’m definitely going to be looking into what to do with over-ripe tomatoes, stale break etc.
  • Batch cook to use up ingredients and make future meals.
  • Just because a tomato is a bit squashy or wrinkly doesn’t mean it tastes bad!

I found myself taking more care about what I ate and being less fussy about best before or use-by dates. I used my nose or taste-buds to decide if something was usable or not and found the results surprising. I definitely threw away less because I felt I had to report back!

The biggest downers for me were failing on my first birthday cake attempt, which has lead to a stash of biscuit-like cake that tastes great, but, wasn’t right for the birthday… Would make a great trifle base!

We also found some sort of teeny tiny beetle living in most of the dried goods and a lot of that had to be binned. I was mortified as the bin went from half full to overflowing in an hour. The solution? More Tupperware and less open packets of dried goods to tempt the bugs!

Overall though I think it went well. I even managed to get the food just right for the birthday party, so there was no waste at all from that, just two cupcakes and some birthday cake.

So far this week I have stocked my freezer to overflowing, saved all meal leftovers for lunches, used up a very mangy looking aubergine and a wilty lettuce and rescued my dying basil plant! Oh, I also reduced my weekly shop by about £20 thinking carefully about what I needed and planned to cook!

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