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Wasted Food, how I deal.

In my house we don't care what foul language you use (provided there aren't any little ones about) so there is no "swear jar." We do, however have a "waste jar." I am thankful that I have the means to purchase, prepare and enjoy the bountiful variety of foods available to me, and I am mindful of the fact that not everyone is so lucky. But, inevitably, there are stale chips, burned pancakes or leftovers forgotten in the back of the refrigerator, and it pains me when I have to throw these things away. So, in my kitchen I keep a jar on the counter, and any time food gets thrown away, money goes in the jar. The amount of money is relative to the amount of food, and around the holidays I give the money from the jar to a local food pantry.

How do you deal with wasted food? Feed it to a spoiled dog? Compost for the garden? Toss it and forget it?

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  1. I call it soup...

    Seriously, most stuff gets made into soup before it's completely rancid. Or a casserole but I'm not really big on those. Our fridge is mostly produce and dairy, both of which when on the verge of rotten taste the best. We keep meats in the freezer till we want to use them.

    I was visiting my in-laws and went through their fridge throwing out anything that had deteriorated to more than 50% slime. My father in law didn't appreciate it and took the green onions out of the garbage and put them back in the fridge and in his mostly Italian with bits of English.

    "Eh! Whadda you doin? Eez good. When war, you no throw away stuff!"

    1. Who knew? A jar can solve world hunger.

      1. I've rarely had anything go beyond salvaging bad except lettuce, and it goes to the compost heap. Failed pancakes go to the corgi and the mutt.

        1. I'm another one whose dogs eat mostly everything without tummy problems. I try not to buy too much produce at one time otherwise I make a soup if need be. Work is a great place to bring excess food.

          1. If it's edible in any sort of fashion (e.g. stale, old, burned, etc.), I eat it.

            You're talking to someone who eats every part of the apple except for the stem. I even cut open mustard bottles to lick the inside clean before tossing the (now cut-up) bottle.

            However, if it is spoiled, rotten, decayed, rancid, poisonous, etc., I toss.

            And if I have to toss, I don't worry about it. Life's too short. There are bigger problems in the world.

            5 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              hey ipse, just be careful trying to get the last drops of mustard out of glass jars - if you get your hand stuck in there you'll have to waste perfectly good oil to free it ;)

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                What do you think I do with all my limp celery stalks? It's the perfect tool for wiping clean the insides of a glass mustard jar ...

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  1. i was kidding...sort of :)
                  2. i'll give you one guess what i was eating when i saw this reply last night!

              2. re: ipsedixit

                omg ipsedixit, i thought i was the only one who ate apples (and pears) core and all! every family member and friend i have thinks that i'm a complete nut whenever they happen to witness me devouring an apple whole.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  re: cutting up the mustard bottle -- make a vinaigrette in there instead! I read this somewhere (Mark Bittman?) and thought it was genius.