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Dec 20, 2013 08:14 AM

Do some foods make you more sad to "throw out" than others?

So I try to not throw out food as a general rule. But sometimes things just "go bad" before you get to them or before you remember that you have them hiding behind the milk in the back of the fridge.

Today I had to clean out my fridge (traveling) and had to make some hard decisions about what was going to survive long enough and what was going to spoil. (In this case, I'm giving some of my produce to neighbors - but let's consider that "throwing away" for this purpose).

I found it funny that I had broccoli that needed to go - I wasn't upset at all, no big deal.

Then I found, hidden behind said broccoli, sugar snap peas and I was sad that I didn't have a chance to eat them.

It just made me wonder if I value some produce more than others - or if having produce "staples" available year round makes us devalue them compared to other produce . . . . (i.e. I can always get broccoli that tastes alright, I can't always get sugar snap peas that taste/look good).

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  1. I hate it when any kind of meat leftovers have to get thrown out. Meat is my largest grocery expense so when we don't eat all of something made with it (either because the meal itself wasn't that great, or we just run out of time), It bums me out cause it's like $$ going in the trash.

    But I hear ya on produce too. Usually I'm pretty good at using it up, but we are leaving in 2 days, and I still have a huge thing of baby spinach and a large bag of green beans still left to use up because I over-bought. They will probably mostly end up in the trash :(

    13 Replies
    1. re: juliejulez


      Saute the spinach and freeze it. Same with the beans. They'll each be fine for soup or casserole dishes. Won't take you long.

      1. re: nemo

        That's a great idea, unfortunately I really don't like cooked spinach or any kind of greens. Raw only.

      2. re: juliejulez

        Solution: Go down to your local shelter and get a dog. Many fringe benefits as well.

        1. re: mwhitmore

          heh - yes there are many fringe benefits. but we still have to be a bit judicious about what we toss to Mr. or Ms. Whooferton. (I knew chocolate and chicken bones, but who'd have thought avocados and macadamias would be on the 'bad' list?)

          1. re: hill food

            "bad list"

            All the foods you've mentioned are certainly really bad for dogs…
            However, each dog is different.
            My purebred tiny Yorkshire terrier could barely tolerate anything that wasn't specifically designed for her metabolism.
            My street smart, mixed rescue can eat anything and everything she gets into and not blink an eye.
            Chocolate…eh. No problem and tons of it. She sniffs it out and will climb buildings for it.
            Chicken bones…eh.
            She's eaten anything and everything and going strong and she's OLD.

          2. re: mwhitmore

            I have 2 dogs but we don't feed them "people food". Gives them ummm stomach discomfort whenever they eat anything other than their usual food.

            1. re: juliejulez

              Ours too. We can feed him a few carrot or apple bit, maybe a green bean or two, or a tiny pinch of bread. But, on the flip side he's one of the few normal weight pugs I have ever seen.

          3. re: juliejulez

            i used to hate it whenever meat or poultry or fish needed to be discarded because a sentient creature suffered and died to end up in my fridge and by tossing it, i have completely disrespected it's life.

            since that time, i stopped eating meat and poultry all together and only eat fish occasionally.

            problem solved.

            i rarely have to throw out produce since i buy most of it as i need it.

            1. re: westsidegal

              You will never catch me giving up meat or poultry.

              1. re: westsidegal

                It's strange, me definitely being the carnivore that I've been all my life, but I'm beginning to feel the same way you do about throwing meat out.
                Meat's just starting to lose its appeal. A drive up the 5 (Stockton to be exact) toward SF will do it for most of my friends who've become staunch vegetarians. Perhaps it's because of my age, my health awareness or my palate changing.
                I purchase produce the same way you do and other than an occasional banana ripening rapidly I just never seem to have to toss any vegetable or fruit. It's consumed.

                1. re: latindancer

                  I got myself to eat less meat by buying only the best stuff. Let's just say we only eat it at home on occasion.

                  1. re: latindancer

                    i'm now on a jag of roasting vegetables.
                    roasted curried cauliflower and
                    roasted carrots served with a cumin/yogurt dipping sauce.
                    any leftover green onions get roasted at the same time as do other vegetables such as beets.
                    basically, whatever vegetables came as a "bunch" and wasn't used up in the recipe i prepared, now gets roasted.

                  2. re: westsidegal

                    In general I'm really careful with how much meat I buy. I practically never throw it away, since I set aside what I think I'll use in the next two to three days when I get home from shopping and freeze the rest.
                    Only once, about 10 years ago, did we go away for the day visiting friends and spontaneously stayed with them an extra few days. When we got back, I had to throw out a whole chicken. I felt just sick. It was so obviously one whole animal who had died for nothing. I've never forgotten.

                2. Yep, bacon or cheese. Sometimes they get away from me. Then last year I had to toss my whole fridge during a winter storm that occurred while I was away on business. Not much but all of my sauces, condiments, cheese, cream, that really sucked.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Crockett67

                    I have quite a sauce and condiment collection. I think it would be the most sad loss for me in a case like that.

                    1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                      Sometimes you don't realize it until you have to literally throw it away.

                      1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                        THat happened to me twice a couple of years ago. I lost my mayo collection and that one hurt the most. Now, I double and triple check the seal on the fridge door and make sure that is it CLOSED. (The old fridge door popped open during the day in the middle of summer. The seal was weak.)

                    2. Usually it is based on price.

                      Anything from my CSA makes me sad but two of us cannot consume the amount of salad greens we get. I need to see if my friend wants some.

                      1. Anything from the farmers market upsets me if I don't get around to using it.

                        1. Anything that I've made that I've forgotten to freeze or eat leftovers. Such a waste of my time and effort. Doesnt happen often.