Saturday 4 June 2022

Wasting food in

Downunder has apparently reached the extraordinary amount of just under a kilo per person per day.

I find that hard to believe but the 312kg per year per person was the estimate of the Foodbank. It seems we waste about 20% of what we purchase and that about seven tenths of that amount is still good food which could be eaten.

I doubt I waste anything like that amount. It may have something to do with the fact that I grew up in a house where food was limited right from the start. My parents were not well off. I doubt many people were well off, certainly not well enough off to waste food in those sort of quantities. That seems to have come later with perhaps the generation below me having more to spend. I can't be sure.

When we lived in rural areas my mother had to be even more careful. Food was available but the variety was limited. She bought meat from a local farmer. A hind quarter of hogget one week and a forequarter the next. It never varied apart from the one occasion when he killed a steer and we had some very tough beef. With it we ate potatoes and pumpkin from the local "general store", carrots when the shop could get them and "Surprise" peas - dried peas. If we went to the nearest "large" town (population around two hundred and fifty to three hundred) we could get more. My parents did that trip about once a month.We children thought the apples bought there were as good as the single scoop of vanilla ice cream we were sometimes allowed to have.   Mum used some tinned food but not a lot of it. It was expensive and, she felt, not really necessary.

So how do we waste so much food now? I admit that when the Senior Cat went into residence and I was not cooking for both of us I did misjudge amounts at times. A little did get put into the compost bin but really it was nowhere near the amount suggested by those writing about it. 

I have adjusted now and, apart from the occasional slice of bread which has gone mouldy in hot and humid weather, I have wasted very little until now. It was only when the freezer function failed and I had, for safety's sake, throw out some food that I have felt food has been wasted. Inedible scraps have gone into our compost bin. It will eventually go onto the garden or someone else's garden. I try to eat sensibly and that sometimes means cooking and freezing multiple meals. It costs a little in electricity to run a working freezer but overall it saves money and time. 

So what am I doing wrong? Why am I not wasting the amount of food suggested? Is it because of the amount of time I devote to all this? Why do I allow myself to save time for other things by cooking and freezing? Would I be better off cooking each day and throwing all that edible food out? 

I am being ridiculous of course but I find it hard to believe that sheer laziness helps me save food.  

1 comment:

gemma said...

I’m with you Cat, so someone is wasting a terrible lot to cover our frugality. Tonight was the fifth meal I had from a basic beef stew with vegetables. Each time I reheated a portion I tweaked it to make it different from the previous nights. Tonight’s grand finale was topped with potato gems to make a crusty top, almost a pie, and chilli and spinach were stirred through the gravy, changing the overall flavour. Perhaps as the price of food increases people will be more careful with their food choices.