Saturday, March 3, 2012

Wasted Food

We have gotten into the habit of buying our week's worth of groceries every Friday night at Sam's Club. (There is nothing quite like the thrill of getting your paycheck and immediately spending a third of it on groceries!) Now, I am all for locally grown food and all that... and we do what we can. We plant a garden, buy local milk and local grass-fed beef, and we preserve as much food as we know how. But, we are still warehouse dependent for most of our food.

Back on topic - so we were driving around the back side of Sam's last week and we saw them dumping pallets full of yellow bananas into a garbage bin. We could see that these bananas were still very much edible and not even to banana bread stage yet. I cried. And, when I got to the banana display in the store and looked at my choice in bananas - green or greener, I cried again. At first I thought about writing a letter to the store and asking them to donate those bananas to the food bank. Or, sell the ripened bananas in a bag for half-price for people like me that would gladly eat them/cook with them. But, then I had a great epiphany - that was just the bananas! What about easily bruised avacadoes, or over-ripened berries? What about the fish that no one bought? What about the beef, chicken, and breads? The list goes on.

Friends, do you ever think about how much food we waste?! It is rather a new thought to me. I am ashamed to admit that short of my parents scolding in the 80's about starving children in Ethiopia, I have rarely thought about wasted food.

Our family is just learning how to better use our resources. We are doing a little more every year. I think many of my readers are in a similar position.

I am not writing this post to add to our already mounting reasons for maternal guilt. We have enough of that already. None of us is perfect. We will all fall short.

I just want to encourage us all to try to keep doing a little more every year to make the best use of what you have.

We hope to add chickens to our family this Spring! And, we are excited about our rotation of garden and chickens.

What will your family be doing this year to conserve resources that you have never done before? I would love to hear from you! 

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

One thing our church has done is arranged with a couple of local food stores to gather their 'discards' - items at their expiration, less-than-perfect produce, etc (including what is refered to endearingly as 'oldy moldys'!) These things are brought to church and distributed to widows, single parents, unemployed, underemployed, others with needs, and everyone else (in roughly that order). Even the 'oldy moldys' can be great to feed to chickens etc. This has been a great way for the stores to deal with waste, and us to minister to our people. -Mrs. B

Anonymous said...

One thing our church has done is arranged with a couple of local food stores to gather their 'discards' - items at their expiration, less-than-perfect produce, etc (including what is refered to endearingly as 'oldy moldys'!) These things are brought to church and distributed to widows, single parents, unemployed, underemployed, others with needs, and everyone else (in roughly that order). Even the 'oldy moldys' can be great to feed to chickens etc. This has been a great way for the stores to deal with waste, and us to minister to our people. -Mrs. B

Mama in Uganda said...

Its very true about most Americans. Living in Africa has sure made us thankful for every bit of food we eat, and grow.

Bethany in mid-MO said...

Mrs. B,
That is a great idea. My parents church gets all of the discards from their local Panera Bread Co. and sets it out for whoever can use it. When we go to church there we get armloads! Good thinking!

Mama in Uganda,
I thought you might leave a comment on this one. Every time my kids scrape uneaten meat off of their dinner plates I think of your family who rarely eats meat. I don't feel guilty, per se, but it is a good way to keep our portion sizes moderate to avoid waste.

Bethany

MamaHen said...

Goodness, I would have been running around trying to claim those bananas much to my hubby's and children's dismay!

You are going to love having chickens Bethany. Once they are established they are so easy and entertaining. And the eggs! Right now we have so many so tomorrow I am planning on making homemade noodles for the first time. As I am planning on being home all day I am also going to cook up some dried beans and freeze them. We'll see how it goes.