Zero Food Waste Goal for March
Sunday, March 03, 2013
I've got a pretty good handle on my diet and fitness goals, so I've been struggling with topics to write about. I fear long time Sparkfriends' eyes are glazing over as some of my stories are overlapping or repeating.
As I switch into maintenance focus rather than dieting, I'm going to cover more lifestyle topics. Hopefully this will be of interest to readers new and old. If there's anything you'd like me to write about specifically, feel free to write to my Sparkmail.
My first lifestyle topic that I'm going to tackle this month is 'zero food waste'. In the United States alone, we waste $165 billion dollars worth of food a year. That's about 40% of all the fertilizer, water, land and energy used to grow and move food across the country. An American family of four throws away $2,275 worth of food annually, or $189 per month.
The fertilizers and irrigation we use are very damaging to our environment. The Gulf Coast experiences dead zones every year due to the nitrogen runoffs from farms all the way up the Mississippi river, which kills fish in the Gulf of Mexico. More food is grown than we actually consume. Food that is unpurchased in grocery stores usually goes into the garbage. There are very few communities that take this food and give it to homeless shelters. It just goes to waste.
Every time I throw away a rotten cabbage that I intended to make into a soup, I feel like a failure. Starving children in Africa guilt and all. The absolute very worst is when I have to throw away meat. An animal gave its life, and because I didn't plan well enough, it was a wasted life.
This month I'm going to make it my focus to use everything.
Here are the ground rules:
- Removing the outer leaves from lettuce, cabbage and brussel sprouts for sanitary and cleanliness reasons is ok.
- Meats and veggies will be bought in smaller quantities.
- Veggies that start to look wilty get thrown in a pot for soup or stock.
- Onions, bell peppers, carrots and celery will get chopped up and refrigerated ahead of time for quick use and easy prep. They'll be more likely to be used.
- Most meat will be prepared for the freezer early in the week.
- Food prep will revolve around what most needs to be cooked first.
- Meal planning for the week penciled in advance. I'm pretty good with this already.
When my husband and I moved into the house, we had to buy a refrigerator. We bought an armoire, or French door, version where the fridge is on the top and freezer is on the bottom. All food in the fridge is at eye level. That makes it easier to see what's available and needs to be used. Hopefully this will make my goal easier!
First order of business is a bunch of tomatoes we bought last week that look like high priority. I'm going to put them in a blender to make a marinara sauce for tomorrow's dinner.