Tuesday, November 3, 2009

avoiding waste

Fruit languishing in the bowl? A bunch of fresh thyme in the fridge wasting away? These are problems I face in my kitchen from time to time. I got a lot of ideas from this article about 50 ways to reduce kitchen waste. I really liked some of the suggestions, like freezing herbs in ice cube trays with a tiny bit of water for quick use when cooking later. I didn't know eggs could be frozen as well.

The item we seem to waste most often is old bread. Some weeks we eat loads of toast, other times it seems like last week's bread is sticking around to say hello to the new loaf. From now on I'll blitz the older bits into bread crumbs (to keep in the fridge) or freeze torn-up slices to be whizzed up when I need them.

The biggest way to reduce waste, I think, wasn't tackled in this article: Plan in advance and only buy what you really need and will use. When I'm planning the meals for the week the first step is to make a list of what I have on hand. I look through the fridge, freezer, and pantry, listing everything (well, almost everything). Then I sit down with some cookbooks and try to choose meals that will use up the ingredients I already have. When shopping, I try to buy the amount of meat or dairy that I know we will actually use. At dinner time, we make enough for exactly two meals, and the second meal we either freeze for a lazy night or pack into lunch boxes for each of us for the next day.

Ant and I are hoping to move soon, and one thing I want to start is composting a bit with a little wormery. That will be another way to cut waste and to feed my tubs of growing vegetables on the back patio.


Naomi said...

I love composting! We have an ice cream tub in our kitchen for veg peelings, eggshells and teabags. When it's full we add it to the compost bin at the end of the garden. I was sceptical to begin with but after 6 months or so I had a sneaky peak and opened the 'door' at the bottom of the bin... and there I found real soil-like compost!

I've heard it's good to mix in some 'brown waste' so I line my tub with newspaper and that goes into the bin with everything else. Enjoy! x

Ele said...

I do the same thing- plan my meals in advance (for the most part). I also find that bread is the thing we're likely to waste the most! Right now we're on a toast streak, but it could easily end tomorrow. For that reason, I tend to buy those smaller loaves that you can get. Good idea on freezing it, though.

Sarah said...

Naomi, nice on on your compost! I can't wait to start doing something like this soon. My dad has two composting piles in his back yard and he's been encouraging/pressuring me to start for a long time!

Ele, funny how toast is always in a streak. Sometimes it just hits the spot. Other times I never even think of eating it. Here are some more ideas about stale bread that I read today.

Lynne said...

I started reading about your lovely little salad plate, and then moved on to this post, YES YES I can't stand wasting food either.

Have you ever tried bread pudding for your left over bread? My mum used to make this, and I have tinkered a bit with the recipe, everyone who tries it loves it. I blogged about it here:


I hope you try it:)

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