Blog Action Day; Stop wasting the food!

Today is Blog Action Day.

This is the one day, each year, that bloggers the world round get up on their soap boxes to give their views – or someone else's, on a topic of global importance.

The goal is not to convince the rest of the residents of this planet, or even the blogger's own significant other, of the rightness of the expressed opinion.

The goal is to get all of those, or at least, some of those, people talking about the topic.

And, of course, the hope is that the conversation will be intelligent rather than emotional.

This year's topic is Climate Change.

And this is my opinion on Climate Change:

The climate is changing.

Whether you believe it's changing because of the natural life cycle of the earth or because of the contribution of the (and this is also open to discussion) most intelligent life form on said planet, is, really, immaterial.

The climate is changing.

Earth, the planet itself, is not in the least bit of danger.  It will survive quite nicely, thank you very much.

It's we humans, and all that we hold dear, that are at risk.

Whether or not we can stem the tide of Global Warming, or Global Cooling when that happens, remains to be seen. 

What we can do, should do, and should encourage everyone else to do, is try, to the best of our ability, to keep our planet clean and healthy for us, our children and their children and their children….. 

I do love a good soap box…..

So, you ask, what does this all have to do with food – this being a food blog and all….

Well, this being a food blog….  And since good food is my personal raison d'etre….

I thought I'd use my time on the soap box to share some of my practices that, I hope, contribute to the health of our planet…. Or, at the very least, don't exacerbate the problems.

I'll leave it to the other bloggers to talk about cars, pollution, fuel, methane, and all that other stuff. 

Here, out in the middle of French nowhere, we do what we can in our, albeit small, way.

1.  Take your own bags to the markets and stores.

Yeah, I know you know.  It's a no brainer.  Everyone talks about it.  Lots of people have the bags and some have even done it once or twice.  Do it all the time.  All the time.

2.  Don't cook more than you eat. 

Never thought of that one, either, did you?  Do you regularly fix 1 cup of rice (because it's easy) then put the leftover bit in the fridge to mature for a few days before you throw it out? 
Stop it. 
Fix 3/4 cup, or 2/3 cup or 5/8 cup…. Whatever.  Figure it out and fix what you'll eat – even if (OMG!) it's not quite enough. 
Every little bit of rice that you don't throw out doesn't have to be produced, harvested, shipped, hauled, packaged, and sold.  Not to mention fertilized and watered.
Multiply that by every little bit of food you throw out….
What the heck, you'll save money, too.

3.   Encourage restaurants to serve reasonable portions

The custom of serving huge portions with the expectation that people will take them home is ridiculous.  Get a proper portion at a proper price.  When I am in the US, that excess food goes to waste as I have no place to 'take it home' to.  Me and all the other people traveling in the US.  Think of how much food American restaurants throw out every day!  Or you throw out 8 days later when you realize that you forgot to eat it.

4.  Don't throw out or compost what you grow.  Compost the waste, not the food.

We all know the problem of the never-ending zucchini.  They grow faster than we can pick, let alone eat.  But why throw out perfectly good food?  That you watered and fertilized?  Freeze it.  Wait a few months and it will taste good again. 
Which brings up the next point…

5.  Invest in an energy efficient freezer if you can.

I bought a freezer the first year I planted a vegetable garden.  No meat has passed through it's doors.  No, we are not vegetarians.  But this is my vegetable freezer.  I freeze everything from my garden that we don't eat.  Plus, I buy food in season, when it's cheap, and freeze that, too.  And, something that anyone can do, when I buy frozen vegetables I buy them in big bags, not little vacuum sealed bags in cardboard boxes.  Less packaging on the end product means less production in getting it to you.

Which brings me to my final tip:

6  Buy in bulk

Take your own containers, fill them with bulk food.  It's cheaper.  It's healthier for the planet. 
No place to store it all?  Store it in that freezer you just bought.  Coffee, flour, grains…. They'll all keep longer, allowing you to buy in bulk without letting it go to waste.  Kind of circular, isn't it?

And now, the confession:  I draw the line at the ultimate 'original packaging.  Today, at the supermarket (not the local butcher's, the supermarket) they had, recently dead but still with gleaming coats, rabbits and partridges.  I draw the line at buying my meat at the supermarket, then taking it home to skin or pluck. 

Although, we could use some new feathers for our pillows……

But I would not know how to treat the rabbit skin.

And, as you may have guessed…. I really hate waste!

What does all this have to do with Climate Change?

If we all adopt a more careful and thoughtful approach to our food it will, eventually, work it's way up to the producers, growers and packagers.

If we all do nothing…..

6 thoughts on “Blog Action Day; Stop wasting the food!”

  1. Well, rats!! I had no idea that today was Blog Action Day!! I’d have put a note on my post about using a covered casserole instead of aluminum foil as a lid.
    In fact, I’d add that to your wonderful list. I’d love it if we’d all stop using aluminum foil and plastic wrap as if they’re going out of style. There’s absolutely no reason to use aluminum foil as a covering for cooking food. A casserole lid or a cookie sheet for a larger dish will do exactly the same thing that foil does and all the lid requires is washing before being re-used. And there’s really no reason to use plastic wrap in the humungous quantities that it’s used now. An inverted plate over a bowl, a recycled yoghurt container, or jam jar will work just as well to keep things from getting dried out.
    I like your point saying to make only what you’ll eat. but we often make more than we can eat on that particular night BUT it’s with the idea that we will use any of the leftovers in subsequent nights’ dinner – roast chicken one night, chicken pie the next night, risotto or soup the next – made with stock from the carcass.
    And if we make too much rice, the leftovers become part of breakfast or lunch the next day.
    Like you, I cannot stand waste!!

  2. I admit to being guilty of cooking too much at times, guess it comes from downsizing of the family. It takes a while to get used to going from cooking for 5-8 people down to 2, but I am getting there. I do make every effort to use the leftovers though, being a product of the depressions years I learned from my grandmother very early on ‘waste not, want not’. These are great tips ladies, thank you. I had a laugh over the rabbit, we have just moved to the country and the other night we went out and shot a rabbit which my husband skinned and I cooked up in a casserole. The skin did go into the compost bin so I don’t look on that as waste 🙂

  3. I’m not sure I would put these points in the climate change category, but they are excellent common sense attitudes everyone should adopt regardless. Thanks for reminding us.
    I personally deliberately cook at least twice as much rice for our family of two so I can freeze the rest. Rice freezes so nicely and saves energy the next time. Left in the fridge, tho, it would most likely spoil before I remembered it.
    I’ve never been able to deal with wasting saran or foil in cooking. I now have a couple of silicon covers that can cover either in the microwave or oven (don’t use the oven much either, too much energy waste, lol) for my baking dishes with no covers. Wonderful.

  4. Tracy, you’re welcome!
    Elizabeth, I often cook ahead, too – but that’s planned. As to plastic wrap – the stuff is so awful here I quit using it when we moved (mostly) And foil can be reused….. but, you’re right, lids are better!
    Baking Soda, and it’s all so simple!
    Wanda, good for you with the bunny! It was really hard to get the portion control right after the kids left….
    Azurienne, they fall into the post on climate change because stopping the waste can reduce production which can reduce the fertilizer, chemicals, and so on which can keep the environment cleaner. Change is inevitable.

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