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American food waste
Old 06-24-2008, 08:02 AM   #1
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American food waste

I just caught the tail-end of this story on the TODAY show:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/we...partner=rssnyt

I know I am preaching to the choir here, but goodness, the amount of food the average family wastes is appalling. We always eat our leftovers - it helps to have my DH around (I call him my human garbage disposal, LOL). Now, occasionally, things go bad, and I have to throw them out, but we really try to avoid this. I just feel it is awful to waste all of the energy that went into making that food.

I worked at an environmental camp one summer where after every meal they scraped what was left on the plates onto a scale. When we got down to under one pound there was a big celebration (the camp had around 100 kids or so). It was a great lesson to teach young minds.

We have friends who absolutely won't eat leftovers. When we are at their parties it pains me to watch them dump perfectly good food into the trash!

Gee - guess I better freeze up those bananas that are going brown...DH is out of town!
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:22 AM   #2
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And people want to know why they are broke! Its a game in our house to try to eat everything in the frig. I do back off of bad smelling chicken and turkey.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:25 AM   #3
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I'm a bit of a food waster. Specifically, since we're just renting here, I don't plan to start a compost pile. And, I don't have enough wilted vegetables to make a stock, so the leftover broccoli stalks are, unfortunately, going to have to go in the trash... ooh, I could make a stir-fry with them tonight.

nevermind
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:35 AM   #4
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Yeah, DW calls me the "human garbage disposal" .... so a couple weeks ago I am picking off the kids plates - as usual. DW later makes a comment about a rash on the kids legs. Turns out to be fifths desease - YIKES. I get it in the adult form (never had it as a kid). NOT PLEASANT.

Note to self: Throw away the kids scraps during the school year. No telling what they'll come home with.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:37 AM   #5
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Tryan, once again you folks with kids (thanks to Ha as well) gross out the childless.

We throw our vegetable waste over the back fence for the critters. I try only to cook what we'll eat right away, since DH doesn't like leftovers.
What a neat idea about the scale at the kid's camp--under a pound is quite amazing!
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:48 AM   #6
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When our kids were young, we'd occasionally dine out at all-you-can-eat buffets. I would always remind them that a large percentage of the world population would give anything to have access to the dumpster out back (My version of "Eat your dinner, there are children starving in Africa!)
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:00 AM   #7
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Marquette, you're "allowed" to toss the broccoli stalks ; I doubt they'd make a good broth anyway. What you can do is accumulate better stock odds and ends in a gallon ziploc in the freezer, and make broth when you have enough.

If you really wanted compost you could look into the worm route; even if you don't garden you could use it for house/patio plants. Or, if you have any outside space at all, you could still look into smaller plastic composters (or for small amounts of veg., just toss it under a bush!!).

Similar articles here:
Half of US food goes to waste
What a waste: Britain throws away £10bn of food every year - News, Food & Drink - The Independent

I also read that some people in the UK were outraged over "privacy concerns" related to their government's having analyzed their trash for this study.

Quote:
When we got down to under one pound there was a big celebration
I've also read about a campaign in college cafeterias to ban trays, making it harder for 'kids' to load up on food they won't eat.

This was pretty amusing:
The 'best before' challenge ... One man boldly goes beyond the use-by dates on his food | Mail Online

I wonder to what extent the "sell by" date oversteps actual public protection and instead reinforces sheer extra consumption via waste. The food market is pretty inelastic so I'd imagine scootching the dates up a bit is a big help for sales.. guaranteeing that a larger quantity will be tossed.

Quote:
We have friends who absolutely won't eat leftovers. When we are at their parties it pains me to watch them dump perfectly good food into the trash!
I hate that kind of person..! My BIL is like that, and it really reflects his whole life attitude and dysfunctional upbringing. It also reminds me of an old BF who would take pennies out of his pocket and whip them down the street. Sure, "only" pennies, but I just felt there was something "wrong" and disrespectful in that gesture of contempt.

I think I've recounted this elsewhere here, but I'll pass on the story of DH's Sicilian grandmother, who, if she dropped a crust of bread on the floor, would pick it up and kiss it in apology. Similarly, many breads are cut (or even frosted or otherwise decorated, like "hot-cross" buns) with a cross, to bless the food. Food = life.
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What a waste!
Old 06-24-2008, 09:55 AM   #8
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What a waste!

Quote:
Originally Posted by simple girl View Post
I just caught the tail-end of this story on the TODAY http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/we...partner=rssnyt

I worked at an environmental camp one summer where after every meal they scraped what was left on the plates onto a scale. When we got down to under one pound there was a big celebration (the camp had around 100 kids or so). It was a great lesson to teach young minds.

We have friends who absolutely won't eat leftovers. When we are at their parties it pains me to watch them dump perfectly good food into the trash!
Just watched it here, 96 billion pounds of food per year wasted! that would feed lots of our homeless!

They should implement this into the schools today!

I was raised on left overs! and you never put anything on your plate you werent going to eat!
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:05 AM   #9
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Turns out to be fifths desease - YIKES. I get it in the adult form (never had it as a kid). NOT PLEASANT.
What's that?

I have a bad case of fifths disease, but mine involves the amber liquid that makes friends and influences people.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:10 AM   #10
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I would always remind them that a large percentage of the world population would give anything to have access to the dumpster out back
To which my daughter would have said "Help yourself, Dad. We'll meet you in the car."
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:15 AM   #11
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Throwing out food is one of the pet hates in our household. In the past few months we have made a concerted effort to try and get it as close to zero when it comes to food going off.

What I have found the biggest help was to menu plan a couple of days ahead. I select my recipes, I use AllRecipes.com, I print them out then make a list of the ingredients I need to buy. When I go to the supermarket if it is not on my list it does not get bought. AllRecipes is good in that it allows you to type in ingredients and it will give you recipe suggestions further cutting back on wastage.

We always eat leftovers, however we have friends who refuse to. Needless to say it perhaps explains why he struggles to make ends meet when his attitude is only the best will do.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:27 AM   #12
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Quote:

What's that?
Here's a link ... kids bearly notice the joint pain since thiey're still growing (joints are loose anyway). But adults are not so lucky.

Adult Fifth Disease

The amber liquids might help numb the pain.
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
To which my daughter would have said "Help yourself, Dad. We'll meet you in the car."
That's too funny. I have a dim memory from age 4 or 5 I guess.
Quote:
Mom: Eat your (whatever), there are starving children in China who would love to have that.
Me: Well, let's box it up and send it to them.
Yep, that's the last time I ever tried a line like that.

We waste some food here, leftovers that don't get eaten is usually to blame. But with two teenage boys, food doesn't have much of a chance around here. I think restaurants waste food like crazy though. We all went out to eat for a family celebration the other night and three of us had iceberg wedge salads. We each could have had a meal just from the salad, but we all had nice steaks coming so we didn't dare fill up on the green stuff. It bothered me to send that much good lettuce off to the dumpster.

I've noticed that as a recurring theme at a lot of restaurants. The Cheesecake Factory always piles way too much food on the plates, and I usually overeat there because I hate to see good food go to waste.
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:33 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
What's that?

I have a bad case of fifths disease, but mine involves the amber liquid that makes friends and influences people.
Cute
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:34 AM   #15
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We could convert such food waste into energy.

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Old 06-24-2008, 01:03 PM   #16
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My parents and grandparents have taught me not to waste food. Wasting food would particularly upset my grandparents as they remembered going hungry during WWII.

I shop for food almost everyday and I buy only what I am going to consume that day or the day after. So there is very little opportunity to waste anything or forget something in the back of the fridge. Dinner leftovers are the next day's lunch or get frozen for later use.
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:05 PM   #17
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[quote=Leonidas;673940
Quote:
Mom: Eat your (whatever), there are starving children in China who would love to have that.
Me: Well, let's box it up and send it to them.
Yep, that's the last time I ever tried a line like that.
[/quote]

I tried the same line, with I suppose the same result. I didn't try it again either.
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:34 PM   #18
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ER's who go into their 50's fat and out of shape are in all likelihood in their last decade.
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Just watched it here, 96 billion pounds of food per year wasted!
Not to mention all the fuel wasted growing/processing/transporting food to be thrown out.
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:47 PM   #20
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we waste much in addition to food; it is a reflection of our affluence
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