To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.
~William Henry Channing

Friday, August 8, 2008

Waste Not Want Not

I usually clean out my refrigerator on Tuesday or Friday because garbage pick up runs the next day. (I've only been disciplined about this particular chore in the last several months. Typically I was the one who waited so long to clean out the fridge that I'd find storage containers and refuse to look inside because I had no idea how long it had been there.) We generally don't have a lot of leftovers because with the size of our family I try to be careful to buy enough so that we're all full but not so much that I've wasted money getting more than we need. What I hate throwing away though are the fruits and veggies that looked so, so yummy in the store that we just didn't eat or went bad before I cooked them. Turns out that I'm not the only one with this issue. An average American family wastes about 500 pounds of food annually to the tune of $1200. In our country...where soup kitchens often beg for help and donations and people, children go to bed hungry...155 billion dollars in food is literally thrown away each year. Families account for $55 billion, restaurants $45 billion, and farms $35 billion...dollars, people, dollars...worth of food being thrown away!!
And do you know why? According to Timothy Jones, who has studied American food waste for the last two decades, we like to look like we eat healthy, we like to think we eat health so we buy fresh fruit and veggies at the store but never eat it once we get home. Dairy came third on the list and mostly it's because we get nervous about the use-by-date stamp.
So what can we do? According to Mr. Jones bulk shopping isn't such a great idea for must of us. And neither are coupons. (I'm entrenched in this camp...coupons make me buy things I never would have otherwise.) Basically he says we need to actually think about our food consumption. What an idea, huh?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well stated Marty.!
The one thing I hate is to throw out fruits and veggies.
So now I only buy what will be eaten in about three days time.
My hubby will come home with a bag
of grapes every other day if there is none in the frig. Some times we both bring home grapes. Good thing is, they get ate. If I keep a container
with veggies or sliced apples for
example, then there is no waste.
I have to often remind my dear ones that you never put veggies and fruits in the same crisper bin.
The gases from one will rot the other. I talk to some people who thought tomatoes were a veggie when they are actually a fruit.
I'm impressed on how often you clean your refrigerator. you put me to shame woman.
Take care,
WK

iamnot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
iamnot said...

yeah, i'm totally settled about dating. and i told him that. then he put the defense up saying it never ever crossed his mind to get back together.

it was a lot of wierd emotions going back and forth. i think he wants to finally talk and try to be friends (if that's even possible). please, any advice you have...SHARE!!!

s g said...

I personally never dated fruits.

WunderMom said...

sg- SNORT!!

s g said...

I've been thinking alot about this post Marty... especially in my buying habits. Now with another potential hurricane, I'm looking at the loads of water in my garage that needs to be thrown out because of the potential toxins - only to have to buy more. And... just how long to MRE's last and - assuming we don't have a hurricane this season, I suppose we'll have to eat those to keep from throwing them out. The snails eat some of my left over fruit and veggies. I guess if I had a compost pile, I'd feel better about throwing food away. ok... that was rambling. I said I was thinking about it, I didn't say that I was thinking cohesively about it.