HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

Food Waste - What have you wasted Today/This week/Last week??

Last weekend I found 2 whole hard boiled eggs in the fridge that I thought were ok but were actually molded.....I simply forgot about them in the fridge...

Today, Hubby wanted a cake or something sweet & he found a box of brownie mix in the pantry........looked at the date.....2007!!! Ahhh!!! Found *ahem* several boxes of them - must have been a sale.....

On the Plus side - trimmings from the onions today went into my stock bag, along with all the veggie trimmings this week. Had some Low fat milk that is about to sour - just made ricotta with it....didn't make much, but at least I got some use out of it....

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. A pear and a pomegranate from Christmas.
    A quarter of an english cucumber that's starting to liquefy.
    A little bread that had gotten too hard.
    About a dozen chocolates that I knocked on the floor.

    4 Replies
    1. re: babette feasts

      "About a dozen chocolates that I knocked on the floor."

      Have you not heard about the five second rule?

      1. re: kengk

        It was sad. I wished I believed in the five second rule!

        1. re: babette feasts

          Chocolates can easily be rinsed in cold water, even if the five-second rule doesn't appeal to you. How do I know? Well, I am kind of clumsy and I love me some choccies.

          1. re: visciole

            me, too -- the only way I would have hesitated is if the dog had gotten to them first -- and even then it might have been a wrestling match.

    2. Half a jar of homemade tomatillo salsa that a friend brought to labor day party as hostess gift that went moldy. Quarter cup of homemade Cole slaw leftover from last week. But on the upside, saved a whole pork roast that was way overbooked by chopping and adding a jar of ready made sofrito. Plus took chicken carcass from last week's dinner and made chicken broth and with leftover chicken some chicken salad for lunches this week.

      1. I had a bad week, waste-wise -- I got rid of an almost full quart of skim milk, half a bunch of cilantro (a perennial problem for me), and a chicken carcass from a roasted chicken. I had honorable intentions to make stock with the chicken bones but time just slipped away from me and then I forgot to stick it into the freezer. I also have about a cup of leftover cooked lentils and rice that will need to go within the next several days. I also just noticed a jar of mayo that will reach its expiration date in about a month and it's barely been touched (I won't be replacing that.).

        I've been good about using up the buttermilk I've had around for a while, boiling some potatoes that were starting to sprout, then turning them into mashed potatoes, and this morning into mashed potato pancakes... and all the rest of my veggie drawer.

        1 Reply
        1. re: calmossimo

          Ugh. I did the same thing with a chicken carcass this weekend...

        2. I cleaned out the refrigerator every Saturday. I tossed a small container of buttered egg noodles that has been there since Sunday. I had two bananas in the fruit bowl that turned black and I knew I wasn’t going to make anything with them, so I tossed them (shameful, I could have peeled and frozen them) I also had a half a bunch of cilantro that got all gooey inside the plastic bag (yuk) so that went

          On the upside: I took the limp celery, leftover pot roast, and two carrots that were left in there and used them to make beef stock for beef/veg soup. I used the last of the rosemary in a pork roast in the crock pot and I ate leftover gemelli with roasted veggies and chicken for breakfast, because there was just enough for one portion and I didn’t want it to go to waste.

          My step-son buys his own food and he’s got a shelf and a half, there’s 3 yogurts that are a full month past expiration and some lunch meat that looks funky, but I vowed not to disturb his stuff. It’s all sealed up, so it’s not smelling up the fridge, so it stays till he tosses it.

          4 Replies
          1. re: cgarner

            I take it upon myself to clean out the fridge at work.....people bring in yogurts & never eat them.....we have a rotating crop of about 12-20 of them in there at a time. I tossed a bunch from early 2011 just recently.....shame....

            1. re: jenscats5

              Ahh, so there is someone like me! I totally do this as well. I'll only toss obviously soiled food and those pesky out of date yogurts (Only WAY past the date). There are usually some complaints and I never fess up because I know damn well that no one is going to eat that yogurt from May 2010 with the squishy apple that is half frozen in the bowels of the fridge. I'm not a neat freak by any means, but the work fridge is NASTY. And in a hospital no less!

              1. re: Mattkn

                Yes and I don't know how I got this job.....Anyway where I used to work I did the same thing, but sent out an email on Weds. informing everyone the fridge would be cleaned out Friday. I only tossed moldy/gross foods & in the containers! I was not cleaning them - well I finally had a person say she had no containers left because I kept throwing hers out. Um, if you saw what was in it you'd toss it too!!

                1. re: jenscats5

                  I do this too!! haha. I just stared one day because it was getting unbarebly disgusting. Yogurt is a big culprit and yes, along with some dried out fruit sitting on top. I've thrown out whole containers of stuff. I made the mistake a few times (years back) of opening a few of these. Gahhh! Brutal. The odd time I'd leave the containers out with a note saying: is this yours? Sometimes they'd still be there the next day, sometimes not. lol. Most veterans at work knew I was the one that cleaned out the fridge and the odd time I'd sent out an email prewarning. Many got laughs out of the containers with the notes I'd leave, :P

            1. re: Sam Salmon

              My biggest problem is with herbs. I love to buy bags of South-East Asian herbs for soups, but almost never get through them before they are limp and brown. Really, any herbs that come in large bunches are a potential problem (dill, parsley, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, even basil). I frequently toss celery that's floppy, occasionally carrots that have gone soft. One of the most frustrating for me is baby greens of any kind and also spinach. I buy plastic tubs of the stuff, but if we don't eat it pretty much right away, single leaves within the bunch start liquefying and destroying the whole bunch. GRRR.

              1. re: 1sweetpea

                If I have carrots or celery gone soft, but not slimy, I will dice them and toss them in the freezer in ziploc bags. Same goes for onions if I only need half of one. Then when I make soup or casserole that doesn't depend on the texture of diced veggies, I pull the bags from the freezer and dump them in the pot.

                1. re: 1sweetpea

                  I have the same problem with cilantro and mint and what jars my preserves is that the store has “single serve” packages of herbs, that aren’t nearly enough for what I need them for and they cost as much as the whole big bunch

                  I’m not spending 1.75 for three sprigs of cilantro, when I can spend 1.00 at the asian market for a full “bouquet” size bunch of cilantro

                  And before anyone tells me to freeze it: Most of my usage of cilantro is fresh, not cooked. I freeze basil and parsley and I dry rosemary out if I have too much, but I like fresh cilantro and mint, freezing just changes it too much to try to substitute

                  1. re: cgarner

                    I have exactly the same problem with cilantro. There's really know way around throwing it out from time to time :/

              2. I tried to make some turkey tetrazzini with turkey from Thanksgiving (which we had frozen and thawed out). It was ok for sandwiches but the tetrazzini was very dry and bland and I just didn't have anything to put in it to make it better when I was cooking it - no heavy cream, no more sour cream, etc., and I overcooked it to boot so it was dry. I thought I would just be able to make myself "eat it anyway" but I ended up throwing most of it out. Fail.

                The rethawed Xmas ham is probably going out tonight. There are just only so many ham sandwiches I want.

                1. Made a pork loin atop a bed of diced sweet potatoes, chopped apricots, onion and garlic. Pork was good, sweets not so much. After I realized that no one would be eating them, I composted.

                  On the plus side, I salvaged a vintage cauliflower from last fall, cut off brown spots, and made chickpea/cauli curry. Delicious.

                  1. Maybe 1/2 of a quart of half-and-half. IIRC, the quart cost very little more than the pint that day, or I'd've bought the pint.

                    I'm reading Jonathan Bloom's AMERICAN WASTELAND this week, and realize I waste very little food. I do this by cooking from scratch, shopping frequently, and not buying more than I can cook or eat in the next day or two. I've always lived this way.

                    Jonathan Bloom's website (or is it a blog?): http://www.wastedfood.com/

                    1. I found a bag of lettuce that had gotten pushed to the back of the fridge and it had turned to liquid. Gross!

                      I hate to waste food but I do feel better about some stuff that has spoiled ever since I started composting. It's amazing how much less trash I take out ever since I started composting coffee grounds and egg shells and the inevitable rubbery celery (which I love in soups and stocks but the packages are so darned big that I always end up composting half of it).

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: MysticYoYo

                        Mmmm, liquid lettuce. Yep, the worms are thanking you now.

                        I KWYM about the celery but I've had good luck freezing chopped celery. Much less waste.

                        1. re: MysticYoYo

                          I used to have leftover celery when I made Bolognese. Now I buy enough onions, carrots, and celery to make a lot of battuto/soffrito, and freeze it in batch-sized containers what I don't use the day I make it.

                        2. Leftover Chinese, dictated Chili, cooked pasta the wrong shape for stir fry and half a cabbage. Leftovers are generally my problem, rather than ingredients. Most painfully, ripe, in-season tomatoes. I'm kicking myself for not trying to get them all through customs.

                          6 Replies
                            1. re: Jay F

                              I was too lazy to get out of bed on a Saturday afternoon, so I hollered instructions into the kitchen. Apparently "a little brown sugar" is not a standardized measurement.

                              1. re: jvanderh

                                Oh, I like that. I've dictated before, too. I'm gonna keep it.

                            2. re: jvanderh

                              nah -- trying to get any sort of agricultural product through customs is just an exercise in wasting them anyway -- those cute little beagles will find them, and you'll have to pitch them anyway.

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                I accidentally took through the ones I brought to eat on the plane. I didn't see a single beagle, and the agent didn't say welcome home. It was a very disappointing experience.

                                1. re: jvanderh

                                  I had a beagle site my trench coat on one trip from London -- I'd picked up an apple at the front desk as I checked out of the hotel, stuck it in my pocket, and promptly forgot about.

                                  The beagle in Orlando sniffed it out -- the inspector saw the grocery store sticker on the apple, but still made me pitch it (it was pretty much worse for the wear at that point, anyway).

                            3. two servings of lentil soup, which I made and was very good, but 1 1/2 weeks old and I should have frozen but didn't.

                              1 bunch of fresh thyme I forgot to put in my stew.

                              1. We usually do pretty good, but I found forgotten containers of ricotta cheese and sour cream in the fridge yesterday. I had big plans for them over the holidays and they never materialized. Oh, and a small quantity of moldy okra that I never should have purchased because it is not something I ever cook with.

                                1. I want to thank jenscats5 for starting this conversation, it reminded me this week of the ground turkey that I had in the back of the fridge. It was hiding and I had forgotten about it (was going to make a dish from the French slow cooker, but didn't get to it this week)
                                  I found it and it was still good, so it went into the freezer before it went bad
                                  jenscats5, you saved me some $$ and I have a meal in the works for next weeks' menu!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: cgarner

                                    Yay I'm glad!! Good to hear you were able to rescue it.....I thought it would be interesting to see what we/others toss with all the talk on the boards lately of food waste....

                                  2. I cleaned out my pantry today......basically a closet in the DR of my house that I use for a pantry + recycling.....I have a section for food, cleaning products, recycling and liquor/protein powders. Anyway, it's deep so I tend to "lose" things......threw out a BUNCH of expired stuff and gave my step daughter some things. I feel bad that I tossed so much stuff - but I now realize I need to buy MUCH less.

                                    1. Made a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese for supper. My daughter and I ate about 1/3 of the pan and after discussing the merits of saving we both came to the quick conclusion box Kraft never tastes the same the second time around. Notably the cheese "sauce" dries out almost immediately after serving. Into the trash bin the rest went. Very wasteful I know. :-(