Thursday, January 14, 2010

One Small Change

Hip Mountain Mama has organized a challenge for anyone interested in making a positive impact on the environment. The program, One Small Change, calls for participants to make one adjustment, big or small, each month leading up to Earth Day.

The first small change my family will be making is to be more conscious about the food in our house. I am not talking about buying local and organic (we do our best to stick with those kinds of food already) but, rather, using the food we have in the house. Some leftovers are eaten up with gusto for lunch the next day but beyond that, we still end up tossing out a good deal of food each month. Spinach that has turned slimy, broccoli that's stinky, and additional leftovers that are,well, just left. It kills me to toss even a crumb.

We buy food responsibly and for the most part all our food waste goes right back into the natural system. We do a great job with composting, so any food that can, goes to the compost pile or to the chickens. But there's just some kind of disconnect in our house. How is it that we can be so careful about the food we choose to bring home, and then disregard (some of) it once it is here?

The answer, I know, lies in organization and menu planning. I do plan out our meals somewhat and buy accordingly, but towards the end of the week we tend to get a little loosey goosey about it all and change up the dinners. This leaves certain ingredients with no assigned meal, and that's how food gets forgotten.

So, in a effort to waste less, this month we are going to be more conscious about the perishable food that is in the fridge, and make a point to use it all before it has a chance to go bad. Because, see that broccoli in the above picture? yeah, I'd be surprised if you couldn't smell it from where you are.


  1. That's a great small step, which will make a huge difference. Good luck with the meal planning.

  2. this is totally our issue too! a change is needed. I'm impressed that you do any planning at all. I just can't get on top of it.

  3. This is such a wonderful step in making a small change! Have fun with your meal planning! Have a lovely merry happy weekend and love to you!

  4. Oh man, this is is something I'm guilty of, too. Mostly because my husband doesn't like vegetables. We get an Organic Crate delivered to us once and week and sometimes I don't know what to do with certain vegetables that he won't touch, like chard or beets.
    Must work on this!
    Thanks for the nudge.

  5. After I cut my veggies, I freeze all the veggie waste and boil it down for soup stock. Great way to reuse food and enjoy it later in a delicious soup or risotto! Hungry now...

  6. Brilliant! We have the same problem, leftovers. And like you say, it's extra silly when one makes an effort to buy good food! It's the same reasons for us too, at the end of the weekly plan when everything falls apart. I suppose it would be a bright idea to build in some more flexibility... Hmm...

    Oh, and thank you also for making me laugh! :D

    EKR, great idea to make soup and risotto with vegetable leftovers!

  7. I agree...that IS a great idea, EKR! thanks :)
    ...and Kate, yes. leaving a little wiggle room would be beneficial ;)

  8. This is us too! Although the biggest problem I find is that even when I have planned every meal - it only takes one of us to be ill - or get invited out - or for friends to arrive unexpectedly....and evrything goes completely to pot! I always think though that bits that go off and get fed to the chickens are an investment in eggs! Makes me feel less guilty :D

  9. I read somewhere that the average American wastes 25% of all the food they buy at the store! Wow! We struggle not to let produce go to waste, either. Sometimes I am too ambitious about just how much broccoli one family can eat. Thankfully, we all love kale and never have problems eating it all up.