Sunday, 28 February 2021

We are the World Blogfest # 46 Avoiding Food Waste ...

 

I grew up post War and we wasted nothing especially food-wise … granted some went onto the compost heap – which went to feed the soil and that next batch of vegetables …

 

This is an expensive book ...
but captured the words and ideas
I was thinking about - it appears
to be very comprehensive and 
thus suitable for research
or dedicated study purposes.

 

So … I’ve always grown up making use of all food in the fridge, or vegetable and fruit racks … thus a reminder to us all to make use of everything …

 

 




I can’t stand throwing food away … in fact in the 1960s I did a cookery course, that I’m fairly certain was run by a French refugee … she put literally everything to good use … all the outside stalks and leaves into soup, bones to make nutritious stock, made gravy from the roast meat juices …

 

Dustbin waste ... so unnecessary
… and it’s only really now in recent years that her assiduous use of each part of a plant, piece of meat, or peelings has really been coming back to me … my mother too would never waste anything … but we didn’t quite go as far as Madame … very nearly though!

  

We’ve been lucky … today we’re in the era where there’s too much on offer – which we do not need – it’s unlikely we’ll run out of food in our countries …

 

 

Froghop - has plenty of ideas for sharing
food, and for utilising it efficiently

We cannot afford to waste money – in waste food, or what could become a meal or two over the week … cheap and cheerful …

 

 It’s an emotive subject with so many in the world, and at home, going without food … while for our future we can set standards for the generations following us …


 

Horrible waste ... and smells ...

… there’s always something to do with left-overs or with ‘the too much we bought’ … I know here during Covid in the UK we’ve seen many of our commercial and local businesses readjust to help others in many, many ways …

 

 

This coming week – 1st March – 7th March is the inaugural Food Waste Action Week … which will wake up the nation to the environmental consequences of wasting food.

 

The W.R.A.P. website ‘Our Plan’ tells us more … we can all take personal responsibility by using and wasting a little less …

 

 

We are the World Blogfest

In Darkness, Be Light

and

Waste Less Food

 

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

54 comments:

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
So important - we grew up similarly methinks; grow your own if possible, learn recipes for improving the less than best items, if it's on your plate, eat it all - otherwise don't put it on the plate in the first place! Oh yes, I despair at what I see being shoved away - one of the great problems with use by and best by dates is that folk now think it has become poisonous after that point. Certainly, with meat, some care must be taken, but most things have much longer lives in reality, just need to be handled differently. Ordering more than we actually need is another issue... great that this is being seen as a public initiative again. YAM xx

Elephant's Child said...

I also grew up that way. Leftovers were reinvented and served for future meals. Mind you being served the same piece of liver for three consecutive meals is not a positive memory. We didn't buy a great deal but grew most of our fruit and vegetables. When times were tough on the financial front my father fished (mmmm fresh trout) or hunted (rabbit).
I still feel guilty if I throw out food and try and do very little of it.

Anabel Marsh said...

Yes, I was brought up like that too. Food waste is an alien concept - other than banana skins, apple cores and such like, nothing gets wasted.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm not quite as prudent when it comes to food waste, but my wife is. I think it almost freaks her out to throw away food.

Liz A. said...

I do hate it when food goes to waste. I have no problem eating leftovers for days so long as I eat it all and none gets tossed.

retirementreflections said...

Hi, Hilary - Although I did not grow up that way, I do work very hard (and creatively) to avoid every bit of food waste that I can. Thankfully, my husband is totally on board with this and is actually a fan of leftovers. Win-win!

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

While we may not throw good food into the bin, many of us are wasteful in other ways:
by shopping in supermarkets (and many other shops) where misshapen vegetables are not even offered for sale.
by eating out in restaurants that serve larger helpings than we can eat and are very wasteful in the way they prepare food - just go out the back and see how much is in the bins.
by demanding only the best cuts of meat and never buying offal, which ends up being thrown out.
by eating too much meat, which is an extremely inefficient way of producing food anyway.
I'm afraid I've been guilty of most of those from time to time though I've been almost-vegetarian for the last three years and of course haven't eaten out much during the last year!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Yam – it seems like many commenters were similarly brought up like us … yes eat it all up. I know things do last longer … or can be cooked up and eaten in a day or two. I’m glad it’s being promoted as a public project …

@ EC – we were lucky with how we grew up – but I can understand being served liver in the same way for 3 days is a bit much! I love liver. It’s interesting how after the War many families were growing their own and thus eating from their own soil. We were too far from the sea but had a van come along with our fish on a Friday … love it too! Myxamatosis was rife after the War – so rabbits were off limits ‘til later on – again … such a delicious dish.

@ Anabel – oddly I nearly put in something I’d read by Nadiya Hussain (Great British Bake Off winner, and authoritative chef) about banana skins – shredded, flash-fry them with onions and bbq sauce … then serve on a burger bun topped with grilled cheese: (she says they taste like shredded chicken and points out they’re full of potassium).

@ Alex – good for your wife … at least you’re aware of the need not to waste.

@ Liz – I eat a lot of left overs … like you and have no problem – one can vary the vegetables or accompaniment.

@ Donna – that’s great you both have adapted and I know creatively to avoid food waste … as you say win, win – especially when your husband is on board with you …

@ John – excellent you’ve given us lots of ideas – and which I totally agree with you … I do so enjoy offal … I used to be more vegetarian oriented … but eat lots of fish – more than meat. Definitely only putting on your plate what you can and will eat.

Restaurants – oh I’d love to have a meal out … never go out that often – but an occasional taste of something I haven’t made.

Thanks to you all … here’s an interesting article on this week’s necessary prod to us all to waste less:

The Grocer: https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/food-waste/can-wraps-new-household-food-waste-campaign-work/653662.article

Have good weeks – it’s the start of meteorological Spring here … and we have sun! Bliss … chilly wind, granted …
Stay safe - Hilary

Susan Scott said...

It honestly pains me to see food being thrown away. While I've outgrown the admonishments of my mother 'think of all the starving children in' ... you name it ... it still is a terrible waste when leftovers can be refashioned into something different and creative and delicious. And grow your own too, lettuce is dead easy to grow, spinach, basil and other - great #WATWB post thanks Hilary

Mason Canyon said...

Great post, Hilary. I think we all should be reminded not to waste food. We always try to create a new dish out of any leftovers we have. We enjoy gardening too and I think that helps remind us not to throw things away as easily.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Yup, me too. Grew up with 'waste not want not' and 'take only as much as you can finish.' Nothing of any nutritional value - bones, peels, stalks, was thrown away - resonates. Food wasn't as plentiful either and food from different parts of the world wasn't as accessible, so local was the only option. Didn't really know how to be consumerist then :)

Globalisation has meant an explosion of choice, but it has also made people wasteful. Glad that the issue's being tackled.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

An excellent reminder, Hilary! I've been a lot more aware of this problem in the last few years and have done a much better job with consumption vs. waste.

Hope you have a happy week!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Some of the supermarkets (I believe) in our town have started donating left-over food to the community shop. Twice a week the food is available completely free to anyone who would like it. They give away such a wide range of fresh produce, including bread and pastries!

Hels said...

I too put the leftover parts of vegetables etc into soup, and recycle left over bread and sponge in sweets.

But my greatest contribution to food shortages happened when spouse and I planted our own fruit, vegetables and herbs in the back yard. We only pick what we need for the one dinner, and except for tomatoes (which always failed), the products are fresher tasting than from shops.

Joanne said...

Sadly, we are a bit wasteful in our household. I feel guilty and need to improve, that's for sure.

Keith's Ramblings said...


I'm far too mean to chuck anything edible away! That probably comes from my years of running pubs and restaurants where binning food is throwing away money! I don't take much notice of eat-by dates either. If it still looks good and smells good, it's good!

Mike Goad said...

About the only time much of a meal or recipe goes in the trash is if it doesn't turn out. I'm not much of a fan of most left-overs but Karen is. We each prepare our own breakfast and lunch and there is never leftovers from that. For supper, Karen does well with preparing the right amount for the two of us so most of the time there isn't much left over. Sometimes there is intentionally some left over: stew or chili will have enough left for each of us to have a bowl at lunch the next day.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan – I agree … it really upsets me … I’m always glad when I see people using up left overs – somehow … always a way. Yes if I had a garden/plot – I’d be growing my own veg … but sadly not possible at the moment.

@ Mason – thank you … it’s necessary to remind I think – and to get us to think about what we’re doing. That’s good you’re both happy with left-overs – whichever way they’re cooked up and also lucky you having a garden to grow things – easier to cook seasonally that way.

@ Nila – great … you too – similar background – perhaps wetter and cooler where I was! So much has changed over the years (decades) and as you say we can get just about anything now … but back then – only what was available nearby. I think you’re right – globalisation isn’t always a good thing – too much cheap stuff … which we don’t appreciate.

@ Elizabeth – thank you … that’s great you’ve been making that effort – once you realised what was happening … sets examples for your kids too …

@ Annalisa – yes – you’re right there’s lots of excess coming out of the supermarkets, also many organisations are helping out too … which is being made available to locals without to have that extra …

@ Hels – that’s good … when we had a stockpot on the go – then everything would go in, now it’s only me … I tend to put extra ve/salads into sauces – but remember the days of utilising as much as I could.
If I had a garden I’d be growing my own … sadly only a flat now; how strange your tomatoes wouldn’t grow – but I too have never been very good with them … but that freshly picked tomato smell – outstanding …

@ Joanne – glad I gave you a gentle reminder … and am happy you’ll be taking some improvement steps!

@ Keith – oh me too … and yes when my Ma had her Care Home – we wasted absolutely nothing … I cooked for her on and off. I’m like you – if it smells ok … I’ll eat it.

@ Mike – I can understand that … sometimes things are just revolting – thankfully rarely. Doing your own meals if that’s the way it is – makes sense … and granted stews, chilli – always good to have extra for another meal – also makes perfect sense.

Thanks so much all of you – glad this #WATWB post resonates so well with you … eat your leftovers and stay safe! - Hilary

Jacqui Murray said...

This is a much bigger deal than most think it is. If we could stop wasting food, maybe we'd stop the waste other places. Excellent choice for this month, Hilary.

Janie Junebug said...

The amount of food waste that comes from fast food restaurants is shocking. I hate to waste food so I'm careful about what I buy.

Love,
Janie

bazza said...

I sometimes help a friend who collects surplus food from local supermarkets. They are quite good about it and many of them are very generous. Most of the food goes to to a local organisation called The Christian Kitchen (although both of us are Jewish!). There are plenty of other organisations who are happy to distribute meals to local people in need.
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s famously fascinating Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Kathy G said...

I love the challenge of creatively using up what's in the refrigerator and pantry so nothing goes to waste.

H.R. Sinclair said...

Well said! And a good reminder right now. I do a random spot check every other week here, checking for food that might have been pushed to the the back of the fridge and forgotten. It's kind of fun to then put together a meal with the odds and ends I find sometimes. :)

Jemima Pett said...

I don't understand the concept of food waste. Why do people have leftovers? I don't mean the rest of the roast, which was destined for at least two more meals if not three in our house.
And if you left anything on your plate that wasn't eaten by a family member (before you'd had time to leave it, sometimes), you didn't get any pudding, so you ate it.
These days I have a family of six vegetarians and a compost heap to feed. I'm the fussiest, well, mostly.
But the two buckets I've inherited for the council's Food Waste collection service are currently hosting several dozen tetrapack cartons each, which have to be taken to the Dump (aka Recycling Centre).

David M. Gascoigne, said...

If there is a greater sin than wasting food, I am not sure what it is. We do our level best to use every part of everything we buy, and eat everything that we cook or otherwise prepare. At this stage in my life, Hilary, I doubt that I am going to become an all out vegetarian, but we have stopped using red meat, and in general eat far less meat than we previously did. One of the great challenges of modern society is that enormous quantities of food are wasted in western societies when people in other countries are starving. I realize that there are issues of distribution and storage, a fair return for producers and so on, but you would think that when we can land a rover on Mars, we could come to grips with issues here on Earth wouldn't you?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jacqui – yes it is … because I think we don’t think about it – and don’t realise there’s lots of ways of using up left-overs; and as you say … we might realise we don’t always need to buy other things …

@ Janie – I think food waste applies across the board – but it’s good to know you’re careful …

@ Bazza – oh well done – supermarkets have stepped up to the mark, and organisations have realised there are other ways of helping with ‘left overs’. I’ve just checked out the Christian Kitchen website – and seen they’ve been helping feed the homeless and margianalised people in the area for over 25 years – well done you two, being Jewish, supporting this charity.

@ Kathy – good to see you … and yes it is making use creatively of items lingering in the fridge or home …

@ Holly – thank you – yes I keep an eye on what’s in the fridge … so I don’t over purchase foods … sometimes I need to adjust my food thought process … and as you say sometimes some very interesting recipes appear.

@ Jemima – I think we were born in that era after the war when that was what our parents, grandparents did … and we copied it. Yes – finish up … been there en famille.

I know ‘your family’ is vegetarian and that compost heap – good for you and them. Tetrapak cartons are interesting re recycling … and each Council’s collection services are very different – we’re about to have a change in April. I’m not going into it – too muddling for my poor brain!

@ David – well done … I so agree with you. I’m not changing either … but I try and be sensible – seems like most of us are this way.
I so agree with you - if we can send things into space and order pallets load of useless PPE … we surely have enough money to solve the food poverty problem … we live in an era of political irresponsibility … short-term thinking … Ah well – better get off my hobby-horse …

Thanks so much all of you for coming by and letting us know your thoughts on not wasting our foodstuffs … stay safe - Hilary

Lynda Dietz said...

I'm always shocked when people waste food. Either purchase less or use it up, whether it's at its most palatable or not. There's always some use for it, whether that means feeding animals in the woods, feeding the compost heap, or whatever. I'm glad to see there's more awareness and desire for change!

(PS: I clicked on your grocer link near the bottom but it led to a "does not exist" page)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lynda - thanks for letting me know about the link ... I've just had a quick look - but I'll check properly tomorrow ... and reply to your comment too - thanks - Hilary

Arlee Bird said...

A good and an important message. I'm like you about wasting food. I've tried since childhood to be careful about food waste. I still waste more food than I'd like, but we try to be careful. It can be difficult cooking for just two people especially when my wife and I have rather different tastes in what we like.

I try to look at food waste from the perspective that maybe one day I will lack in whatever I have wasted in my life. Since I don't like being hungry, I try not to waste food just in case I have to make up for that waste at some later point in my life.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Rhodesia said...

I was certainly brought up with nothing is wasted and everything here goes into compost if not made into soup or some other meal. We love leftovers so no problem there and fortunately, we both eat anything other than peanut butter which we both hate.

Keep safe, Diane

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I also do not like to waste food, a couple of years back our council intrduced green waste bins for all food scrapes instead of throwing it in the general bin.

mail4rosey said...

My mother-in-law was always amazing with leftovers too. It's a good habit to take. My three grown children are a master at leftover masterpieces too. My youngest...eats what I give him, but I suspect he'll adopt good habits too when he's old enough to run his own kitchen. ;)

D.G. Kaye said...

Wonderful post Hilary. I hate wasted food too, especially when there are so many hungry. I've been glad to hear that some restaurants and food stores are finally donating leftovers and expiring food date foods to the hungry instead of throwing out. <3

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynda – yes … trouble is – we’re tempted as we walk round; I agree we should use anything in the fridge and kitchen up – there’s so many ways. I hope there’s more awareness – and we can all change or update our habits a little.

Thanks re the link – I deleted it …

@ Lee – it’s adapting isn’t it … but good to know you’re aware and have ‘not wasting’ in mind – good thoughts.

@ Diane – like me … waste not want not – and I can believe you use all the kitchen pieces up in soups, or sauces and yes – leftovers can be so delicious. Well that’s good that neither of you like peanut butter – makes it easier.

@ Jo-Anne – Councils are always trying to improve their recycling and food waste – at least they try.

@ Rosey – it is a good habit to have … your MIL sounded as though she was aware. Looks like the family is well versed – and your youngest will, as you say, adopt the family practices.

@ Debby – food waste is horrible … but I’ve always been pleased to see restaurants and food stores making sure food doesn’t go to waste by offering it out into the community for the needy …

Thank you so much to you all for supporting this post – it’s good to know we’re such an aware community … stay safe – all the best - Hilary

Empty Nest Insider said...

Hi Hilary, I admire your resourcefulness in utilizing leftovers. We also try to stretch out meals, and donate to local food pantries. Thanks for sharing this important message.

Julie

Patsy said...

I hate to waste food too. The main way I try to avoid this is to only buy as much as we need. All those 'three for two' offers might look tempting, but don't save us money if we're not going to use it all.

I often make soup with cooked leftovers and/or any vegetables which won't stay fresh for much longer. If there's spare sauce or gravy I freeze that and add it to other appropriate dishes. When something such as a loaf of bread is larger than we can eat while it's fresh, I freeze half straight away...

Bish Denham said...

Indeed. We waste way too much food! It's hard for me to fathom that in the United States people - particularly children - are going hungry. It's a disgrace. So much is thrown away, from restaurants to grocery stores...

cleemckenzie said...

I'm with you on this one. My grandmother's words ring quite clearly, "Waste not. Want not." Yes, ma'am. My plate is clean before I leave the table.

We need this kind of reminder when so many are without enough to eat.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

My grandma would make an end-of-the week stew that contained every bit of leftover veggie and meat in the fridge. What wasn't edible was compost or dog food. She hated waste. I'm not a fan of it, so I try to do as she did as best I can, though I still can't make a stew as good as she did!

C.D. Gallant-King said...

We try not to be wasteful, we really do. It's very hard with two small children who are very picky eaters. We have certainly improved in recent years - don't buy more than we need, recycle and compost everything we can, try to buy local meat and produce too, whenever possible.

Vallypee said...

Do you remember the phrase 'waste not, want not', Hilary? I know that's what my parents brought us up to do, and I also hate waste. We live very simply, so actually waste very little, but it's still too much. I loved it when we lived on the farm in SA and we ate the vegetables we grew and drank the milk from our own cows and made our own butter too. I just loved that life. It was wholesome and nothing went to waste then.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I try very hard not to waste any food. I even make my own stock!

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

I, too, grew up with a “waste not, want not” mentality, and I try very hard to avoid food waste. Sometimes I get it wrong, and things spoil, but I’m getting better at seeing what needs to be frozen, dried, or cooked up into something for later. It can be hard to buy for just one person.

Deniz Bevan said...

We try not to buy too much food at once, only the ingredients for a few meals at a time, but I still don't think we use everything the way we could and should. Need to make more soups and compost more often!

Sarah Taylor said...

Food waste makes me antsy. I love cooking and I spend ages planning meals in a way that will use up what I have. It can make you quite creative

diedre Knight said...

Some of the best meals I've ever had have been left-overs! It's been my observation that children are more likely to finish a home-cooked meal than a bag of fast-food, though they won't admit it ;-) At one point we had a small garden from which compost kept mysteriously disappearing. Who in the world would do that? My cat, that's who! :-) She loved tomatoes too.

Sandra Cox said...

Well said, Hils. And so true.
Sorry I haven't been around. I had internet problems.
Take special care.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I miss not having a compost and a dog. Nothing was ever wasted. Here in Mexico I'm careful to not overload the cupboards with food. Nothing lasts long because food here has few preservatives. That sounds great, but milk only lasts a few days. Same with fruit. You need to eat fast. LOL.

Marja said...

I am with you We are the same. We never throw anything away. We have lots of fruit trees and blackberries in the garden we cant eat ourselves but my clients and friends are happy to take it and sometimes we bring it to the community shed

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Julie – lovely seeing you … I was brought up to use everything – but I know you’d do your best for others too … thanks for visiting …

@ Patsy – I’d know you’d be doing what you can to avoid any food waste, or other waste for that matter. Soup is always good, as too sauces … lots of ways to use bread up – but freezing half the loaf makes sense …

@ Bish – that’s great … and like you with us here – I’m ashamed that so many are so poor and that kids go hungry.
More is being done from supermarkets/restaurants – getting their excesses to community kitchens …

@ Lee – yes … many of us remember that phrase ‘Waste Not Want Not’ and well done with the clean plate …
Yes – I often feel an odd gentle reminder is necessary.

@ Elizabeth – your grandmother’s stew sounds so good and practical as far as the family’s life is concerned … feed the family, feed the compost if necessary and then most importantly – the dog. It’s interesting you’ve followed her footsteps re utilising all the food in your house – loved reading this.

@ CD – I’m sure it’s much more difficult with tiny children and encouraging them to have a broad diet – that’s great to see things have improved recently … also that you’re buying so much local produce …

@ Val – oh don’t I – ‘waste not want not’ … and yes we were always brought up to take only what we could eat, and waste nothing. I bet farm life was wonderful – especially out in South Africa … blissful childhood memories …

@ Lynda – yes – I do too … make my own stock and don’t or won’t waste things …

@ Rebecca – it seems so many of us grew up with that ‘waste not want not’. It’s great you’re still working things through food wise – and thus not wasting; and I agree – it is difficult buying for one – and planning meals around the food available … I try and plan ahead: not easy, as you say.

@ Deniz – it’s not easy, especially with small children – but makes sense to buy little and often; Soups are good … while you’re lucky if can compost things …

@ Unknown – sorry I don’t know who you are … but well done on not wasting food – and being creative with what’s in the home.

@ Diedre – yes I know some left-overs are the best – definitely! Gosh that’s interesting … about home food v fast-food … not sure it’s true here! How funny about your cat chomping away at the compost heap – and that she enjoys tomatoes …

@ Sandra – No worries – I’ve had internet connectivity challenges too – hope yours is fixed.

@ Joylene – I can imagine things in Mexico must be different vis a vis home cooking … but with local markets always there - must help. I think I’d rather like having the warmth!!

@ Marja – that’s great to read – amazing how many commenters are thrifty with their food – and how lovely having the garden with fruit trees and blackberries – good for you for giving excess away.

Thanks everyone so much … it’s been so good to know that this community is aware of food waste – and you all do your best to avoid wastage … thank you!! Hilary

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

This sounds very worthwhile, Hilary. It horrifies me how much we, as a society, waste - or simply throw away. Not only food, but clothing, equipment - and more. I think we at home are pretty good on the food front - my mother remembered rationing and handed on some of that mentality - but I doubt we'd match your French cook!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mike - sometimes we just need reminders ... and get us to think about other aspects - as you've suggested here ... food, but also clothing, equipment etc - it's awful and so wasteful.
Good for you - I definitely wouldn't expect otherwise! Yes we as a family were influenced by rationing ... but I now think about the book/film: "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" and the War deprivations ...

Stay safe - Hilary

DMS said...

I hate wasting food. I do a good job- and have a compost pile as well- but I am always up for learning ways to be even better. Thanks for this post! :)
~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Jess - yes food waste is terrible - well done on your compost pile ... your garden will benefit from that goodness, which you will then enjoy in those garden rewards ...
Apologies a little late ... some comments don't appear in my email ... cheers for now - Hilary