Food waste

Tristram Stuart's book Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal is shaping up to be the most important book I've read this year (obvioously this is incredibly significant given that in between cooking and gardening and writing and caring for children and going to paid work and procrastinating and sleeping and the tiniest smidgen of housework, I read 8000 books per week). I'm going to save my urge to quote from it liberally until I have read the entire book, but for now, some of my attempts to improve my own act on the food waste front.

On Friday we had visitors. Related to FH visitors. The kind who bring out the inner old fashioned kiwi girl in me. Which means I have the instinct to cook way more than anyone can eat. And shout at everyone to help me clean. That's the short version of the things I said as we embarked on a cleaning frenzy which resulted in three lounge chairs and half the couch being clear and available for sitting on, a complete absence of play dough from the dining room floor and smears of baking soda round the bathroom taps instead of toothpaste swirls (don't even get me started on toothpaste or liquid soap waste).

So naturally I cooked more vegetables than were necessary and roasted a huge leg of lamb. Meat no problem, shepherd's pie soon (not tonight as my daughter got her first black eye so I resigned from kitchen duty to do a little 100% mothering). Vegetables.

Vegetables. Crikey I do guilt well. I thought about these vegetables for ages. Just as I came to the conclusion that no one would eat bubble and squeak for lunch and the chooks would have these very good quality grown for human consumption calories instead, I found my efficiency button and turned them into 16 mini quiches, most of which are now in the freezer for FH's work lunches. Not content with this minor achievement, I mixed up 24 banana muffins while the quiches cooked so that I could make efficient use of the oven heat. The bananas, I'll have you know, are rejects which our vegetable box delivery people sell as cake bananas for 50c per kilo. So I am saving food from landfill, a modern day heroine?

Until I smelt the fridge and reached into the depths of one of the two vegetable bins. Ladies and gentlemen, there is not room for romantic vision, no room for environmental puffery. More like even more Hail Marys than the priest used to give me for being mean to my brother and sister back in the eighties when heathen families were tucking up with a takeaway in front of the tele and we were at confession with a little book to help me examine my conscience on the drive there. (That little book disappeared after I asked what masturbation was but that is another story altogether).

I am toying with a blog project where I weigh my food waste and record the journey. Not quite brave enough just yet.


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