Food waste

Even after hosting a small brunch yesterday, we still have an incredible amount of leftover food from the weekend, everything from the dosa batter, potato masala filling, the coconut chutney, and even the roasted chicken and vegetables I made for dinner on Sunday — it’s filled our fridge to the brim, and I can barely see inside without having to move things around. It’s a good “problem” to have, though, as in “too much food.” But given that Chris will be away for a few days this week, it’s a lot of food just for me, and there’s definitely no way we’ll finish it before this week ends. So while it’s nice to have “too much food,” there’s also the other first-world problem of having to eat the same food every single day until it’s gone.

Then, I thought back to a conversation with two colleagues, one who is very like-minded as I am with food, eating every last bit and saving bone and vegetable scraps for homemade stock, and the second… who is our total opposite. When I told our opposite about how we always eat every last bit of everything at home when I cook, or when I roast chickens, I save the bones and any vegetable scraps into my freezer “stock prep” bag, her eyes widened and she laughed hysterically. “You would really hate to live or eat out with me. I hate bringing any type of leftover food home, and I’m notorious for buying a whole roasted chicken from Whole Foods, eating half of it, and then throwing the rest of it away.”

We laughed… but I told her she was a horrible human being and there are literally starving children in this country, and that’s such a spoiled rich-American thing to do. She admitted that all the above was true, but it was just her bad habits. I could actually feel pain in my insides listening to her say that she wastes that much food every single day.

I’m passionate about mental health and children in need, but given that I am also passionate about food, I’m indirectly also passionate about food waste, or rather, the focus on not wasting food. I think a lot about the best way to prepare and eat food so that the minimal amount is wasted. I like the fact that some companies now are focused on food waste and thus starting to sell “ugly” fruits and vegetables that get rejected from mainstream stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, but I think that barely even touches the surface of the issue because that doesn’t even address food waste issues like the ones noted above: perfectly good food that goes to waste.

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