Making clever concoctions out of food past its prime turns me on. Don’t laugh. I love not wasting food, first because its despicable, second because it saves money, and third, because of the priceless feel of beating the system. It’s even better when its my housemates food because I didn’t even pay for that in the first place. I was the last one in my house before Reading Week, but before I left I got creative with the 5 pounds of broccoli my housies left in the fridge. Now who has enough soup to last through the next ice storm? We do. Its a matter of getting creative and refusing to throw out food just because you don’t know what to do with it. I also freeze things a lot, which some people have problems with. Just so everyone knows, you can freeze cheese, it just gets a bit more crumbly. You’re welcome.
Did you know that in Europe (and I expect North America is much the same) over 50% of perfectly edible fruits and vegetables never make it onto a plate? We have high aesthetic standards for our produce, and a single bruise or blemish is enough to condemn an apple to the trash. Along the same lines, the reduced produce counters at grocery stores and even farmers markets is literally the best thing about food shopping. You can buy 4 mangoes for 99 cents, and there isn’t even anything wrong with them. In the winter, a bag of carrots or potatoes is only 1$ at the farmers market, because they’re been in storage since the fall. Of course, if you’re going to spend money on fresh food, the farmers market is the best place to do it, but there comes a time when everyone needs a deal. Sometimes I let a package of overripe pears convince me that I need to take them home with me. I can’t say no, especially when I also have wrinky apples begging to be put into a crisp together.
Don’t let food stress you out. If it’s not rotten, it’s probably okay to eat. Turn it into a game and see how little you can throw away. Make soup, muffins, juice, crisp, or just cook and freeze it. Look up recipes for milk and yogurt that’s gone a bit sour! Make french toast with stale bread. Bring those scalloped potatoes over to your friends house before they go bad and have a potluck. Post it on Free and for Sale. But what ever you do, don’t throw out good food.