"Waste No Food Challenge" – An Update

by Katy on May 29, 2008 · 1 comment

I wrote a few days back about how I have an embarrassing tendency to let perfectly good food go to waste. I’m so good about being the queen of frugal with my grocery purchases, but it doesn’t take Allen Greenspan to see that it’s not exactly good money management to allow your leftovers to rot way in the refrigerator. Not to mention the ethical issues.

I had issued a “Waste No Food Challenge” for myself and anyone who wanted to join me. I thought I’d check back in and let you know how I’m doing so far.

Day 1 (Sunday): I cleaned out the fridge for a clean slate. I threw away nicely cut up cantaloupe, lentil soup, and a myriad of other “slime-o treats.” I put some still good marinara sauce in the freezer because I knew I would not be using it in the next few days. I composted what I could.

My sister Jessica was visiting for the weekend with her kids, and “Grandma Susan” offered to take the young ‘uns to the new “Narnia” movie. Time was of the essence, so I actually zipped everyone through a quick and rare drive-thru of French Vietnamese sandwiches. (cheap and heavenly, but I digress). One of the kids left most of a sandwich in the car. I meant to bring it in the house for later consumption, but apparently I chose to let it sit in the car instead. Okay, day 1 was less than stellar in the food wastage department.

Day 2 (Monday) Dale made teriyaki kabobs with rice and corn on the cob. There was a fair amount of leftover rice, which got put into a clear leftover container. (See? I’m becoming aware that see-thru is key for me).

Day 3 (Tuesday) My 12 year old eats the bit of leftover chicken as a snack and leaves the rice. It goes back into the fridge. We had “Katy’s Black Bean Burgers” for dinner, and I actually shaped them like hot dogs to match the buns I found in the freezer. Weird looking but still yummy.

Day 4 (Wednesday) I stretch a 1/2 bag of “Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken” into a whole meal with the addition of a few extra cut up chicken breasts. I serve the meal with the leftover rice, which I microwaved, and a salad. I did compost maybe a half cup of rice that my 10 year old wouldn’t eat. I need to remember to serve smaller portions to that kid. The 12 year old has a hollow leg, so his portions are ginormous.

If I had to grade our food waste thus far (or give a “self-evaluation” for all you Antioch folk), I’d give us a “B.” Better than average, but not great. I can do better. 

How are you all doing? Let me know.

-Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joy May 30, 2008 at 6:16 am

I COMPLETELY understand your frustration! I’m considering a compact fridge for just this reason. I’m so tired of all the wasted food and even though I compost nearly all of it, it’s messy, stinky, and frustrating to see all that money go to waste. Plus there are the million dirty containers to wash afterwards (ick!).


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