Waste No Food Challenge — An Update VII

by Katy on September 19, 2008 · 7 comments



I didn’t know what would happen when I first presented my Waste No Food Challenge in May. Sure, I figured I might end up tossing less food into the compost, but I’ve actually learned how to almost completely stop food waste in my home.

We cook and serve smaller amounts of food, eat leftovers for lunches and tuck small bits of this-and-that into pasta salads. It’s not that hard.

What I didn’t expect was that other people would start bring me random leftovers. I think the word has gotten out that I’ll figure out a way to incorporate just about anything into my family’s meals.

I’m the Mikey of the old Life cereal commercials.

Remember him? “Give it to Mikey, he’ll eat anything.”

My next door neighbors started the give-all-your-weird-food-to-Katy trend, when they brought over a bag of assorted groceries that did not fit in with a new diet they were trying out. Included was everything from Carnation Instant Breakfast to a $6.25 packet of gourmet pasta. 

I happily took it all.

The Carnation Instant breakfast got blended with frozen fruit for smoothies, and the pasta awaits a proper occasion befitting such a luxurious noodle.

Then my mother called  today to say that a tenant had left behind a large amount of food.

Would I like it?

Umm . . . Yes please!

She quickly came over laden down with four heavy grocery bags full of incredible food. Much of it fresh veggies from the farmer’s market. There were tomatoes, peppers, an onion, cilantro, butter, soy milk, ice cream, lemons, a lime, frozen fruit, hashbrowns, chik’n patties plus much, much more. I would estimate there was at least $75 of food, probably more like $100!

I pulled out the food processor and made a huge batch of salsa, and chopped the rest of the veggies into an obscenely large batch of turkey soup I was simmering on the stove. 

I think I can probably go at least another week at this point, before I have to hit up a grocery store.

Perhaps by then more food will magically show up. Like a grocery fairy.

I’m thinking I should change my tagline to:

“Give it to Katy, she’ll cook and serve anything.”

Got any good stories about your Waste No Food Challenge? Please share them in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary C September 19, 2008 at 3:42 am

When I was a kid, our church youth group would have Hobo Stew nights. Everyone would bring one food item and it would go into the hobo stew. Sometimes it was awful, sometimes it was terrific. Always it was fun. We started doing that at home. We’d have Hobo Casserole or Hobo Hash.
I think I will try to bring that tradition back with my grandsons.


steplikeagiant September 19, 2008 at 10:16 am

My mother was the queen of “throw it into a Tupperware container and leave it there.” I was the lucky one whose job it was to clean out the refrigerator. As a result, I never let food go to waste 🙂 We just have the above mentioned “hobo soup” or what I refer to as “smorgasbord.”


Mrs Green September 20, 2008 at 12:13 am

I’m afraid I don’t have a cool story like yours, but how amazing it is. Maybe you’ve discovered how to eat for free without having to resort to dumpster diving.

I must admit we have a similar thing with wood,. Running a wood burners means it is not uncommon to get home and find someone has dumped piles of stuff on our lawn – old fence panels, posts, bags of twigs, leylandi prunings and occasionally some logs.

So it’s a case of ‘Take it to the Green’s – they’ll burn anything to keep warm!’ You need to come over and cook something on top of our fire – we’ll feed and keep warm for free LOL!


Kim Perry September 20, 2008 at 4:29 am

What a great story! It just shows you that more people are trying to do their bit. Even if they are passing on their leftovers to you rather then using them up themselves. It is much better ecologically and economically than all that food going to waste. Maybe I ought to let my neighbours know that I am open to food parcels of their leftovers!


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