Or the War on Waste
So I follow a wonderful blogger, Simply Being Mum. It was on her blog that I got introduced to the hashtag #foodwastefriday. The concept behind food waste Friday is that, before one goes grocery shopping (which often happens on Friday) one must have a completely empty fridge. Waste not, want not.
At first, I thought it was kind of funny. Being new to my whole budgeting experience, leftovers seemed like a luxury. Food in the fridge on Friday meant I had a good week, not the opposite. It meant I didn’t go to bed hungry.
Now with my food purchasing skills much improved, and my baking ideas many, I am running into the problem of how just to eat all that I produce. Leftovers from parties can be some of the most challenging things to do. Like salad. What am I supposed to do with a gallon and a half of uneaten salad? Also, what if I am *gasp* a little overweight for part of the week? How to I eat up things when I don’t want to eat up things? Therefore, I am tackling the challenge of food waste Friday (though in my case it might be food waste Saturday or Sunday), and making it a conscientious goal to never throw away any purchased food.
More than just a budgetary concern, food waste is a national concern. Americans waste, on average, 40 percent of their food. That’s like throwing away half of your grocery budget. What could you do with all that money? What could a homeless person do with all that food? It is a major waste in national resources. Over half the land area in the US is dedicated to food production, and over 80% of our potable water is used to produce that food. Throwing out a half a hamburger is the equivalent of taking an over an hour shower. Here in California where water is precious, that is a big deal. Americans annually are wasting the equivalent volume of water as twice the water in Crater Lake.
Is throwing out the food the end of it? Nope. The thrown out food gets tossed into landfills, where it releases methane and contributes to global warming.
I’ve also found that by wasting not, I am learning all sorts of cooking skills by necessity. In trying to use up leftovers, I’ve made a delicious strata, and make my own chocolate brownie hunk zinfandel ice cream (this week’s easy recipe!).
Here are some other ideas… Great meals from leftovers
In summary, your food effects more than just you. Get cooking, get eating (eat that leftover cake! You know who I’m talking too….), and think about joining in #foodwastefriday.
This week in updates:
I’m a bad, bad person. I had a receipt. And I swore I took a picture! However, I cannot find a picture. I’ve been moved to nights, and it is wreaking havoc with my brain. You see, I am a terrible morning person. By terrible, I mean I like waking up at 3am. Thus, going to bed at 2am is complete reverse cycle for me. It also means I don’t get to cook dinner accompanied by Jesse’s voice right before bed. Perhaps that is the most stressful part of all. However, I like the work, and it is nice to be able to run in the noonday California winter sunshine. It still strikes me as odd to be running about in a tank top and spandex in February, but there you go. It looks like the coldest part of the year is over, and things are heating up to a green from occasional rains 70 degrees during the day. Being a bike commuter and a moped commuter (now at 2am!), the change in temperature is very, very welcome. It is also nice to not to have to commute wet every day. Now that, at 2am, would be completely miserable.
Also of note this week, I went out with some friends to the secret Drag show at Faces club in downtown Sacramento! This place is awesome, and so was the drag show. Parts of the drag show were very, very hot. Confusing of course, because you don’t know exactly what you are attracted to at the moment, but that is part of the fun! And afterwards, can I say ripped male go go dancers? Um, much nicer than your typical club fair. Took the roomie too. We finished off the night with some cards against humanity, portabella burgers, and french fries.
The Recipe: Zinfandel Brownie Swirl Ice Cream
So coming out of last weekend’s dinner party, I had leftover zinfandel, ice cream, and brownies. How am I going to eat all these brownies, I wondered to myself. I thought about freezing them, but I was out of Tupperware. What to do? I thought to myself. Then I had the most genius idea. This ice cream is delicious, and tastes wonderfully gourmet. I think my new strategy for leftover desserts is going to be to buy some fluffy vanilla ice cream, mash, and swirl.
1/2 cup zinfandel
1/2 cup chocolate chips
6 tablespoons hot melted butter
1.5 pints vanilla ice cream
Melt the butter in the microwave, and mix with the chocolate chips until gooey. add the brownies in chunks, and mash. Add the zinfandel. Scoop out the vanilla ice cream, and mix with the delicious brownie goo in large bowl. Put back in the refrigerator and wait at least 20 minutes before serving. Yummy!