Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Waste Not, Want Not

One of the ongoing challenges that I face in trying to live a healthy lifestyle and lessen my ecological imprint on the Earth is avoiding wasted food. It’s harder than you might think, but it’s something that I’ve become increasingly determined to do. Every time I read about the amount of food wasted in North America while people in third world countries (not to mention our own country) starve, I feel guilty.

Living with Shawn has also helped to adjust my attitude. In the past I would buy fruits and veggies that I knew I should eat and then I wouldn’t have the time or energy to use them all up – so I tossed them. This drives Shawn crazy. If I buy a mango and don’t eat it before it goes bad, I can see the look of disappointment on my husband’s face. And I know he’s right. His waste not, want not attitude comes from growing up in a single parent household where they simply couldn’t afford to be wasteful. That it’s also an ecologically sound way if living his life is a happy coincidence, but it’s not lost on him.

Now that I’m not working it seems even more important that we avoid food waste, especially as we want to try and continue to eat local and organic as much as possible. If we’re going to spend the extra money to avoid chemicals, we should make sure to eat what we bring home.

That’s meant learning to shop with a list, which is easier said then done. I love lists, but when you get to the store it can be hard not to be swayed by something on sale or looking delicious. We balance things by trying to stick to a budget and by only buying what we know we can eat. And if the bananas go off before we finish them? They go into the freezer to be added to smoothies. I’m proud to say that over the last year the amount of wasted food in our house has gone way down and it continues to decline. Yes, there are times when something we buy spoils sooner than expected or is rotten on the inside when we get it home (don’t you just hate that???), but we’re doing the best that we can.

If more people tried to waste less, just think of the difference we could make! Do you have any food saving tips that might help? I’m always looking for ways to make things go further in our house!

This video, The Waster, was just too funny not to share - Thanks to Stacie for pointing it out!

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