Zero waste with food

I’ve learned from Mrs. Green at My Zero Waste  about the shocking pounds of food we waste annually. By her bringing it to my attention, I attempt to clean out my fridge more often—because that’s really where my waste originates.


I cook large amounts of food at once in the crock pot and we eat on it for days. Sometimes I freeze half of it and pull it back out in two weeks for a “new” meal. But it’s those pesky left overs that sneak up on me. I have to check the fridge almost daily to see what it is we really need to use up. And I think that’s the trick.

We did well over the holidays, but I’ve found it’s when we have company that we waste the most. Many people enjoy a meal and then chuck the left overs because they grow tired of them. In trying to appease company by making different things, we end up with more left overs than usual. Then I find them shoved in the back of the fridge, forgotten and not looking so hot.


But on a regular schedule, we don’t do that really. We eat it all. Until it’s gone. It doesn’t matter if we get tired of the left overs. It doesn’t even matter if we like them. I’ve not going to make more food until what we already have is gone.

I have to teach this little thing not to be wasteful. (And let’s be honest I am NOT a fan of cooking.)


Good thing I don’t own a restaurant.

But I’ve gotten no complaints thus far.

And if I do, they’re behind my back.

Those are the best kind, I think.

Because you don’t have to hear about them.

P.S. I promise to teach her some manners……next week.  She just enjoyed that food so much, I couldn’t help myself.

How have you done with food waste this year? Any goals for the new year?



7 responses to “Zero waste with food

  1. if we have vegetable leftovers, we peel some potatoes, mash them up when cooked, mix to leftovers ..then fry the lot until it is golden brown. In UK it is called Bubble and Squeak…my 42 year old daughter has just tried it for the first time in her life and said it was yummy

  2. Oh, I can’t wait to try this! What a crazy name! Bubble and Squeak!

  3. So cute! Don’t ever teach that child “manners!” 🙂 My son has moved out and I miss the fact that he will eat anything and I never really had to worry too much about left overs. I do what you do – eat the same thing till it’s gone and/or freeze it – hopefully before I get tired of it.

    My worst problem area? Vegetables that I buy with good intentions – I try to saute, blanche and use up before it’s too late, even if it’s just to put in the freezer. Green smoothies help because I can put all kinds of bits of veggies in them, but I’m afraid I always have a hard time with using up lettuce.

  4. The videos were cute! There is plenty of time to teach manners later on – teaching them to enjoy their food now is better.

    We try to make new things out of leftovers so that we don’t get tired of them, We had a 20lb prime rib for Christmas dinner (for 18 people), made some of the leftovers into a shepherd’s pie for dinner for company a couple of nights later, some of it into beef barley soup, boiled the bones for stock and cut up and froze what was left to use in a quick stroganoff or stirfry another night.

  5. I love how your Peanut handles food waste!!! We finally — after four years or so — got our game on. When the fridge is EMPTY, it’s the signal to go shopping again; if there’s anything remaining in it at that time, a meal gets planned to use it straight away.

    We eat all leftovers and we rarely have company for big get-together’s (because everyone in my family expects meat and dairy). Yet we create so little trash waste (veggies come in their own *containers*) now that even the curbside recycling gets put out every other week; landfill waste in a small bag once per month. Yay!!

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