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  1. #1
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    Nov 2007
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    Food waste during holidays & beyond

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    We watched this documentary about food waste : http://www.foodwastemovie.com/about/ from restaurants, producers..and from us, residents who may buy too much food. Not surprising it's shocking amount of perfectly good food we throw out because it doesn't look "aesthetically" perfect, etc.

    In the film, couple met their goal of eating from perfectly good food salvaged from dumpsters in Metro Vancouver for 6 consecutive months. This is food still in their packaging, not broken into.

    Occasionally I forget to drink up last 1/4 c. of warmed milk and feel guilty pouring it down the drain next morning.
    Having restaurant food dishes that are too large doesn't help if one doesn't take leftovers home.

    Every time before I go on vacation, I try to eat up perishable food in fridge. THis time I succeeded only 90%. My freezer isn't as large as the fridge appears from outside.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Troutdale, OR
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    It is really sad to see so much waste. But what I am curious is how does one go about setting expiration date on food? Some of it is set by the government but how do they figure? Is it some arbitrary number? And what if it is not stored properly?

    Consumers have become accustomed to expect blemish free, really pretty looking food. I'm guilty of that too. And the biggest enabler for food waste is your giaga-enormous fridge. Next biggest culprit is big box stores and mega grocery stores. It is just too easy to overbuy food and haul all of it back to the house.

    If everyone's kitchen is as small as "Little Paris Kitchen" BBC show with Rachel Khoo, maybe we would have less waste. Look how small her fridge is!! Too bad the series didn't last all that long. It is just amazing what she can do with two burner stove and what comes out of her tiny fridge and out of her tiny tiny kitchen!!

    And yes, shocking movie but well worth it. And yes as a farmer, its really sad to see nearly half of it goes to feed our birds, animals and us. It's perfectly good but its got few bug holes or bruises... And they want it dirt cheap, chemical free and out of season. What! season for food you ask? It just amazes me that many have no clue as to when produce becomes available or what time of the year. No you can't have zucchini in November, Dec, Jan... and no we don't grow ginger or papaya...

    Thanks for posting the link to the video.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2007
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    The film indicated in North America that up to 30% of food waste...is from homes.

    As for the expiration dates..it depends on product. They are indicators not absolutes. ie. eating something a few days after expiry will not kill you if it was properly stored in the lst place. I do dig into my yogurt to finish the tub when it's a few days after expiry. One has to look at the food /smell it first. My stomach might be abit more iron... I do cut out and discard parts of fruit that is damaged, overly ripe, etc.

    As for size of fridge, it would depend if people in a family regularily cooked from scratch vs. resorting to impulse buying of fast food, etc. For certain a big family ie. 4 children or more, need a big fridge PLUS a walk-in cold pantry to save money from bulk purchasing.

    Yea, smilingcat even my partner, the ex-farmer does sometimes expect the blemish free veggie/fruit as a consumer. And I should discard spaghetti sauce jar from 5 years ago.

    According to my partner's son who runs a butcher and sandwich shop, there's not much waste from his shop. Well, that's what he tells his father who lives thousands of km. away. However he does offer chicken, bone marrow broths, pates, different handmade sausages, meat pies and they have on-site supper clubs, to deal with all these smaller cuts of meat and bones.

    It is amazing how much people will pay for chicken or beef broth when they know it really was prepared from the bone sources. But hey, how many people want to buy even half a chicken to make a pot of broth, especially for 1-2 people?
    Last edited by shootingstar; 12-29-2017 at 08:21 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Concord, MA
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    That is kind of what I face, Shooting Star. Most recipes are for 4. I sometimes cut them down, other times, I will use a leftover for lunch. I just started doing this, as I dislike eating the same things in a week, except for stuff like eggs, bread, veggies, or fruit. I have a couple of larger frozen left overs (pasta with veggies and a bean/quinoa stew) that I need to use. Sometimes they get so freezer burned, I throw them out. I am pretty good at figuring out the perishables, though.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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  5. #5
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    Jul 2003
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    One thing about living in an RV with a 7 cubic foot fridge is that it has cured us of overbuying perishables! We do have a decent size pantry that stays pretty full of non-perishables, but we have to rotate things (other than condiments) in and out of our fridge and freezer pretty quickly. At the grocery, we always have to think about whether we'll be able to store cold items before we buy too much. We can only keep about one meal worth of leftovers in the fridge or freezer, so we don't make big pots of anything any more; and we don't even have the huge pots we used to to make such things. Our largest sauce pot is 2.5 quarts, and our crockpot is 1.5 qt. Our saute pans are medium sized, and we make most casserole type dishes in an 8x8 casserole (four servings or two meals). So not much food waste in our tiny house!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  6. #6
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    Mar 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by emily_in_nc View Post
    One thing about living in an RV with a 7 cubic foot fridge is that it has cured us of overbuying perishables! We do have a decent size pantry that stays pretty full of non-perishables, but we have to rotate things (other than condiments) in and out of our fridge and freezer pretty quickly. At the grocery, we always have to think about whether we'll be able to store cold items before we buy too much. We can only keep about one meal worth of leftovers in the fridge or freezer, so we don't make big pots of anything any more; and we don't even have the huge pots we used to to make such things. Our largest sauce pot is 2.5 quarts, and our crockpot is 1.5 qt. Our saute pans are medium sized, and we make most casserole type dishes in an 8x8 casserole (four servings or two meals). So not much food waste in our tiny house!
    Love to hear it. This is why we went with 3qt Instant Pot. Like you, I only fill it with about 1-1/2 qt of stew/soup. Not much left over. We are getting better. Something are not as easy as in head of broccoli or cauliflower.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
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    We solved the issue of a too small fridge in our RV Emily. We installed a second one. The 2nd fridge is fridge only, no freezer. Makes things a bit more simpler when doing groceries as a small RV fridge is truly small. Since we are parked seasonal (summer) and travel a month a year with it at least, it is very useful to be able to use the 2nd one for drinks and condiments, etc. The main one is used for "real" food.

    Seriously, stores are opened around the clock almost everywhere. Why do we need to stock up so much food. We are not going to run out. When I cook, I try to plan for about a week's worth of lunches. Suppers for us is pretty simple. Salad with some type of protein, or just toasts if we do our gym workout. Can't eat much before, even less after and we're in bed by 9pm at the very latest (up at 4:15am for work). So no need to overstuff a fridge or freezer.

    We do have a food waste pick up from our town, which they recycle into fertilizers for the farmers. So yes, if we end up wasting, we know it is still being used and not ending in some landfill.
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  8. #8
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    Jul 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helene2013 View Post
    We solved the issue of a too small fridge in our RV Emily. We installed a second one. The 2nd fridge is fridge only, no freezer. Makes things a bit more simpler when doing groceries as a small RV fridge is truly small. Since we are parked seasonal (summer) and travel a month a year with it at least, it is very useful to be able to use the 2nd one for drinks and condiments, etc. The main one is used for "real" food.
    That can work well, depending on your set-up and how small your RV fridge is. Ours is not actually that much smaller than the one we had in the apartments we rented in Mexico, which is considered a normal size for there! In the US, we get used to these ginormous fridges, but in most of the world, they are much smaller. We don't have any extra space in our motorhome for a second fridge, but I know folks who have their RVs parked sometimes put an extra one in a shed outside. Ours is this size and can actually store quite a bit, just not copious stocks of leftovers or frozen foods:

    https://pantherrvproducts.com/dometi...oaAtvxEALw_wcB

    We wouldn't be able to live in one of the smaller RVs with only a dorm-sized fridge since we cook the vast majority of our meals in our motorhome. Like you say, food is available everywhere, but sometimes we're at a campground fairly far from the nearest town, and since we don't have a car (only our six bikes), we can occasionally go 7-10 days without a grocery stop when we are actively traveling. So we fill the fridge with fresh things on the way and eat out of the pantry until the next stop.

    Now that we're parked long-term in Florida within walking distance of Aldi, Publix, and an organic produce store, we end up grocery shopping every day or two and just buy smaller amounts each time instead of a week's worth at a time. It works just fine for just the two of us!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
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    Our main fridge is smaller than yours. Not by much but still too small. I also have to do the cooking for the dogs (at least one is "home-fed" since he's old and has health issues - without the food I cook for him he'd be dead by now. ).

    We removed the sofa bed (we had 2) on one side and put in a washer/dryer combo and that extra fridge. On top we built a nice big shelf and it fits a 45" tv and the cats food bowls.

    But yes, we do try to avoid wasting food. I hate this when you think some people cannot even afford the basics and too many of us throw away good stuff.
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  10. #10
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    Jul 2003
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    Sounds like a good setup, Helene. I understand about the extra dog food too. Ours is getting up there (will be 10 in Feb), and I may have to start doing that as well at some point.

    We actually used the spot for our extra loveseat in our motorhome (which had been changed to a recliner by the previous owner) as our spot for the custom-built six-bike rack my husband built. If we'd carried the bikes outside somehow, we could easily fit a washer/dryer and other things in that area, but we like carrying our bikes safely inside. A bit unconventional, to be sure, but that's us!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
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    I understand about the bikes. We only carry 2 of ours and we manage to fit them behind the front bucket seats when parked. We'd never leave those expensive bikes in a shed, even at seasonal campground. So they remain inside when we are gone home for the week to work. When we travel, they fit in the back of our CRV but as soon as we need to do errands or take our 3 dogs on the road , the bikes go back inside the RV. So those 2 buckets are not really used while parked as hard to access. Waste of space...but that's us too.

    Ah...we also have a small plugin cooler for the water and hubby's spare beer cans. But we never plug it. We leave this in our bedroom and it serves as a step for the cats to climb on the super high bed.
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
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    A topic dear to my heart! We have a large fridge and a humongous chest freezer, and for us that actually helps us cut food waste. Especially after our son left home and there are only two of us. We used to make dinner for three people, of which one was a ravenous teenager who would just top up with junk food if he was still hungry later, so we'd always slightly overestimate how much food we needed to cook, to be sure. Now we either cook for just two, which is easier to calculate, or if I'm making for instance a stew or a stir-fry, I'll just pick out one more portion of elk meat from the freezer, chop up all the vegetables in the fridge and make a huge amount. Neither of us really likes to cook much, so having ready-made dinners in the freezer is a godsend.

    Almost everything can be eaten safely well after the expiry date, I don't really read dates any more. I've eaten yoghurt that was two months over, unopened, though. Cheese just improves, but I cut off any visible mold. We rarely keep fresh meat or fish in the fridge, but I've read that entire pieces of meat keep very well, and that any discolouration can also be cut away before deciding if it's edible. The only things I'm careful with are processed meats, like sausages or mincemeat, especially sandwich spreads that go in and out of the fridge many times. If I'm uncertain or think I can imagine an iffy smell, I toss it. And I'm fussy about bread, at most I'll eat day-old bread. But we make our own, so I feel that the "resources lost" are pretty local!

    The people I know who seem to throw away the most food seem to be people who are avid cooks, who want to try new recipes with odd ingredients, and end up with odd leftovers, and people who want to save tim e or money by stocking up without considering that for instance root vegetables and salad vegetables have very different shelf lives. It's easier to not waste food if you're a bit boring foodwise ;-)
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    How time passes by so quickly that your son has grown up and has left home, lph!
    We also just cut off the mold on cheese, cook up slightly older veggies..and fruit. We make fruit compote without sugar and freeze it. I'm glad I am able to freeze some stuff after 2 wks. vacation and no fresh food in fridge yet!
    Since we don't have a car, there is more careful planning of food buying especially when winter very cold temp. (ie. -24 to -30 degrees C) with snow, ice doesn't encourage me to venture far and long for groceries.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

 

 

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