As the Non-Consumer Advocate I write a lot about food waste. (Heck I’m even in Jonathan Bloom’s American Wasteland book!) But sadly, I’m also a shameful and closeted food waster. Well maybe not technically a food waster, more of a delayed food waster.
What is a “delayed food waster?”
Someone who refuses to admit that her bread heels, brown bananas and turkey giblets from nineteen-ought-ninety eight are unfit for consumption, so she bags them up and puts them in the freezer.
Which means that there’s so much food stuff of unknown origin in her freezer that she’s unable to find what she’s looking for which leads to . . . wait for it . . .
More food waste!
However, I am nothing if not willing to admit my imperfections. And since I’m a big ol’ fan of the clean slate, last night I grabbed a library audio book and got to work. It was was unpleasant task, both olfactor-ily and mentally. (Those clearance priced fish fillets from three years ago had not improved in their frozen environment.)
Luckily, Portland’s curbside composting program accepts fish, bones, and all things edible, which somewhat salved the pain. I put a lot of freezer burned bread ends and iced up edamame into that compost bin. I thought about recording everything I dumped, but instead chose efficiency over transparency.
Here are two photos of what I pulled out of the freezer and composted. (Why two photos? Because there was too much to put onto a single kitchen counter!)
But here’s the freezer now. A fresh slate, ready for a life of useful and organized frozen food storage:
And here’s my kitchen island again. Free from its burden of frozen food waste:
My plan from here on out is to be very deliberate about what is allowed into the freezer. I’m actually really good at staying organized once I set up a system, so I have confidence with this goal.
And most importantly, I realize that I need to work breadcrumbs into more family meals.
Sigh . . .
Is your freezer a frozen wasteland of doom? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”