Food Waste Friday

Week two of Food Waste Friday (with a nod to The Frugal Girl!). 

I ran across an interesting post at Eat, Drink & Save Money: Why Should We Care About Food Waste? To summarize, you should care because save money and help the environment. I would add that there's a psychological component, too. Wasting anything, including food, doesn't feel good. Now that's I've started paying attention, I feel better when I manage to save some food that was about to go bad than I do when I add it to the compost bucket. 

Food we wasted:

  • The tail end of a bag of Parmesan pretzel slims. Eric's brother brought them over here and left them, and I ate most of them with my lunches, but I'm sick of them. Eric can't eat them because of the cheese. 
  • One tomato. I put a tomato in my lunch bag and forgot about it. By the time I found it, it was mush. I would have frozen it if I'd had it in a bag, but it was loose and my lunch bag isn't the cleanest place in the world. 
  • 3/4 of a half-gallon of milk, left by a friend who was staying here (so not really my fault, but I did dump it down the drain - if you have other people's food in your house, this can get tricky!). 
  • A small amount of chicken salad - my fault.

Food we didn't waste:

  • One stale bagel, fixed by toasting. 
  • A bag of spinach that was starting to go, partially used in a smoothie and the rest frozen (in the bag, as is, because I didn't have time to do anything better). 
  • The leftover hamburger buns that I put in the freezer.
  • A lemon wedge that had dried up a bit, but I squeezed the remaining juice into some orange juice. 
  • RESCUED! One rib Eric said he wasn't going to eat, but didn't. I had this in the "wasted"  section, but then realized I could feed it to the dog. I pulled the meat off the bone (it was very tough), then made gravy by rinsing the plate the rib was stored on with hot water. Needless to say, Hazel is going to love this. 
Fancy dog food!

Fancy dog food!

Hazel is a weird eater. We feed her dry kibble, one cup twice a day, and every time it seems like she is trying to hold out for something better. No matter what kind of kibble she has, she waits to eat it. I think we ruined her when she was little by mixing a little canned food in with her dry food. We stopped that when she got older, but apparently she has not forgotten. I guess if I can save food from the landfill by feeding it to the dog, it's a win-win situation. 

I know a lot of people cater to their dog's eating wishes, but I just can't bring myself to do that with Hazel. We never feed her people food, not at the table or after the meal, because we don't want her to beg. But this "give the dog the food waste" idea certainly works out in her favor, and since the food will go directly in her bowl, I don't think it will affect her begging habits. Of course, I would never give her anything I didn't think was fit for her to eat, although she eats the most ridiculous things she finds out on the streets, including small dead animals, chicken bones, and fast food wrappers. What I might feed her from the fridge can't even compete. Lucky for us, she has a strong stomach. 

Update: Hazel loved the food with the rib/gravy. She stood by her bowl for a loooong time, waiting for more. Alas, there was no more. 

Eric also informed me that he's helping work through the freezer food. He ate the potstickers and half a box of Boca burgers. :)