“Waste not, want not!” Isn’t that the saying?
I waste too much good food in my kitchen! There I said it!
I am a happy baker, fun loving chef, and all around lover of food. So why do I waste so much? Since baking more for people lately, and for the catering events, I actually cringe every time I waste food. I see dollar signs flash before my eyes….seriously!
I was asked the question today, “what is the one thing most difficult about being a food blogger?” Well because I am a recipe developer too, it’s the hope that each recipe will turn out the first time. I hate having to waste a dish, I want it right the first time.
During my internship for my dietetic program, working at the hospital, the amount of waste I observed was beyond anything I imagined. When watching Food Revolution with Jamie Oliver, the first season- in the school lunch room…..seriously what was the point of making all that food, it’s amazing how much is thrown away…
When I received the invite to participate in the Four Pounds of Cheese Project, I jumped in immediately. I will be traveling a few days, so I will try to take pictures of what I throw away when I’m on the road.
I decided I really wanted Jenni Field the creator of the project, and fellow food blogger who I just love, to share what Four Pounds of Cheese is!
Reading her post, I see the passion she has for cutting food waste, and showing how very important it really is for everyone to understand. Jenni is a beautiful Pastry Chef, who shares delicious recipes!!! I cannot wait to meet her someday soon!
Please enjoy, and join us August 1-7th! It is fun, important, and definitely a real eye-opener! Thank you Jenni for sharing your passion with us, and letting us be a part of it with you!
“And what important issue might that be?” you ask? Friends, I’m talking about food waste. The evidence of food waste is all around. You have but to look in any garbage can almost anywhere to find food that has been tossed out–either partially eaten, uneaten, stale or…fuzzy.
It has long been an open secret that restaurants and grocery stores waste enough food to feed thousands of hungry people. While I think it is a critical issue, I don’t really think that is something that I personally can have much control over. Besides, there are already people On The Case. Check out Lovin’ Spoonfuls and Dive to see what’s being done in that arena.
What I do have control over, however, is what goes into my own garbage can. I recently read an article in National Geographic that stated some pretty sobering facts regarding food waste. The one that really stuck with me is that on average, each American wastes four pounds of cheese a year! It’s almost inconceivable to me. I mean, I love cheese. I currently own four pounds of cheese right this very moment, and the thought of wasting any of it? Well, I won’t even discuss it. It’s just not gonna happen.
Then I started considering all the other food we waste in our house. I had to compost a fuzzy tomato just yesterday. No excuse for it, really. I could have sliced him up last week and had him with some salt and pepper on a sandwich. Or lightly dressed with some balsamic vinegar. I could have chopped him up and tossed him with some pasta. I could have made a caprese salad. I could have done any one of these things–or about 100 more–but I didn’t. And while Mr. Fuzzy Tomato will go into our compost bin and help our garden to grow next year, I still know I wasted him.
I believe that when you know better, you do better. But apparently not always. I think knowing something isn’t necessarily enough. I mean, I know that in a right triangle, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides, but that doesn’t mean that the Pythagorean Theorem sits in the forefront of my attention every day. No, for that to happen, I’d have to have right triangles all around me. And the theorem artfully stenciled on the walls of our home.
So, when it comes to Mr. Fuzzy Tomato and any other food that I sometimes cavalierly waste, and when it comes to the over 1.2 Billion pounds of cheese wasted in America per year, I need to do something to keep “Waste Not” in the forefront of my brain. A brain stencil, if you will. Hence, The Four Pounds of Cheese Project.
Here’s how it works. For the first week in August, I will take pictures of all the food that we throw away in our house every day. I’m hoping that there won’t be much, but the pictures will tell. Then, at the end of the week, on the 7th or 8th, I’ll post my pictures for the week on my blog, along with any insights/revelations/reflections that I have about the exercise. As I started to formulate my plan last week, I realized that it is the perfect opportunity to invite others to participate in order to make the biggest impact possible. One friend suggested that I start an Event Page on facebook. Check. Another suggested that I make a badge for people to put on their blogs to show that they’re participating. Double check. I’m tweeting using the hashtag #FourPounds, and now Terra has allowed me to post the news here!
And you know what I’m finding so far? I mean, even before I have started taking pictures? I’m actually thinking more about my waste: coming up with creative ways to use up leftovers or work that last 1/4 cucumber into a meal so I won’t have to photograph them later, right before they go in the compost bin.
Please consider participating in The Four Pounds of Cheese Project August 1-7. I think if we all become a bit more mindful about how much we waste then we will all end up wasting less. And that leads to a happier planet. I’ll close with a tweet from another participant, Kimberly, that seems to illustrate the power of this project, even before it has officially begun: “Yeah I know the photos start on Aug 1 but I’ve started noticing already more than usual. Very effective.” See? Brain stencil!