good intentions

English: Vegetables.

English: Vegetables. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just threw out my good intentions. Something like throwing the baby out with the bath water. (Doesn’t that turn of phase seem so wrong?)

One of my many jobs around the house is taking out the garbage—and I do not really mind because no one else can really purge the house of the unwanted like I can. But today I purged my fridge and had to throw out some fresh green beans (okay they were fresh about two weeks ago), a red pepper hiding at the back of the fridge on the bottom shelf instead of in the crisper (where I hide my wine which is why there was no room for it), some cucumbers, mouldy cheddar cheese (ouch!), two lonely meatballs, something mysterious wrapped in tin foil, and a couple of potatoes that got lost in the shuffle. I also went through the cupboards and found some mouldy bread and a container of something that used to be something else (don’t ask).

I really hate throwing out food, and find that when I am busy with other things my grocery buying skills are skewed. I buy too much, thinking I am going to make healthy wonderful meals, then get too busy to really fix anything other than the easy.

The lesson I learned today is to use what I have and not allow myself to go to the grocery store until the supplies are wanting. One of the things that I find I do when I am a bit stressed is fill the larder—it is a kind of security in an insecure world.

The good news? My fridge is cleaner and I can actually see what I have. The even better news? I found my jar of blackberry jam I have been looking for in the last couple of weeks. Toasted English muffin and jam, with a spot of tea here I come!

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Mine is paved with rotten vegetables.

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Published in: on June 25, 2013 at 12:30 pm  Comments (55)  
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  1. I hate throwing out food too, but our food waste now gets collected on a weekly basis, along with the other things we have for recycling, so I don’t feel as bad about it. I can’t remember what they do with the food waste, use it to make electricity or something, I might have got that wrong, but something that’s good for the environment in some way!

    My man is actually really good with this sort of thing. When it’s time to eat, I open my fridge/cupboards and start from a place of “What do I feel like eating?”, whereas he will start from a place of “What needs using up first?” It’s a much better approach.

    • his approach is better though I must say I am not always in the mood for “what needs using up first”. We do not have food waste collected here yet, we recycle but live in a small town and have not yet moved to that. My sister who lives in Ottawa though has food waste recycling–maybe when we get it I will not feel so guilty!

      • Very often the “what needs using up first” thing can be incorporated into the “what I really want to eat” thing, in a good compromising/food saving way!

      • that is the best way to handle it!

  2. Mine is paved with lits and more lists! 🙂

  3. Cleaning the fridge is just one of those tasks I leave also until there is no room to put things…. then I know! Diane

  4. I just did the same thing! Who knew cucumbers could turn to liquid so quickly!!

  5. I always try to use up what’s in the fridge and make a weekly menu and shopping list based on what I have and what I need, but the occasional science experiment seems inevitable. We just do the best we can with a busy life.

  6. I think most people are guilty of letting food go to waste. You are not alone. That is a habit that I have yet to break and yes it is wasteful and I feel guilty each time I find rotten or ruined food that I was too lazy to find in the fridge.

    • too lazy are the operative words for me–sometimes I just do not feel like doing much more than warming up something

  7. We must have the same wavelength right now, LouAnn. I did a refrigerator purge this weekend and I vowed the same thing: no buying of groceries until I’ve used what I have, and if I buy produce or other stuff that can go bad, I MUST use them THAT DAY. I always feel so guilty with all the waste. And isn’t it nice to have a fridge where you can find your jam? I found my grapefruit marmalade!

  8. I think my fridge is currently in a similar state – its desperately in need of an enema. Normally I’m a food Nazi and wouldn’t allow waste, but when you’re stressed or feeling unwell, that all seems to go out the window. It does feel good to start fresh again though – so maybe I’ll get to the clean out too this week.

    • it does feel good after the initial pain of the waste–hope you are starting to feel better–be kind to yourself

  9. We are all pigs in our house, so we are always buying too much food. Same as you I buy all this wonderful healthy stuff and then we get busy and everyone just decides to fend for themselves. Plus at this time of year we never know what time Mike will get home and he’s usually the cook around our house. I can cook but I don’t enjoy it like he does :).

    • the cooking part is not what I object to, the cleaning up part is

      • I would much rather do the cleaning up! I get such a feeling of satisfaction from that. I know, I’m weird :).

      • I thought you were loony

  10. I’m also working on not throwing out food. Some of my best meals have been created when I thought there was “nothing to eat”.

    • I know– I went through a period where we had to watch our pennies–and I swear I created the best meals then

  11. Tell you what, I’ll send my 10 year old son over. He’ll have your fridge cleaned out in five seconds. (he pretty much eats constantly now)

    I hear you on hating to throw out food. My gram (who lived through the Depression) taught me to eat every last thing, stretch it out over days, make soup out of it. It pains me to find moldy cheese or veggies.

    • it is painful – I hate waste especially since I went through some frugal times in the not too distant past

  12. I’m sure you’ll sleep much better tonight, knowing that your fridge is all sorted and no nasties are lurking in there. 😀

  13. Totally understandable my friend, I have a lot of experience in chucking out rotten fruit 😦
    It is unfortunate but we try so hard not to!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  14. When I have to throw out fruit, I tell myself I won’t buy it again, but I always do. Oddly, we never seem to run out of wine…or peanut butter.

    • or have to throw them out!

      • Oh, yeah. What a dope I am. Throw. I’m delirious. I must be hungry.

      • ha ha–I was not correcting you–I was saying we never have to throw out wine or peanut butter because both always get used up

  15. I always feel awful when I have to throw out food that I haven’t had a chance to eat that’s gone bad. Not only is it wasteful, that means my hard-earned money also went to waste! Although going home to an empty fridge after a long day at work always makes me think, “why didn’t I buy extra food the last time I went shopping?” Guess you can’t have it both ways, huh? 😉

  16. Not a fan of wasting food either. But – that happens here more than I’d like it too. I try to remind my chef when he shops to have some control on what he buys because there always isn’t enough time to get to the produce as he would like to or intends to. He’s getting better.

    • I know, I buy too much sometimes too and always think I am going to use it up–but it does have a best before date I cannot always abide by

  17. I too am learning to shop the frig and pantry before going to the grocery store. In the lean years when we were first married, I had a menu on the frig for the week and didn’t deviate, and I had a lot less waste. Maybe I should start that practice again.

  18. I hate throwing out food as well and yet I still have to sometimes. Nice score with the jam, though.

  19. I can sooo relate to this! I buy fresh healthy foods and then end up finding them when they’re past the point of consumption. Then I feel guilty throwing them out! Haha!

  20. I hate throwing out food too. I only ever do it if I absolutely can’t stomach the food or it’s completely rotten. I always remember what my parents would tell me as a kid: “You can’t go wasting food like that. Don’t you know there are people starving in Africa?”

    Oh that guilt-trip always achieved its desired effect!

    Also, blackberry jam is awesome. 🙂

    • my parents never used that line–but I was still made to eat the food on my plate–I still remember the cold squash incident when I was nine

      • Now I’m curious. What happened? =o

      • I was not allowed to leave the table until I ate my squash which by that time had congelled into an awful orange-yellow mass and made me gag

      • That does not sound pleasant in the slightest. D=

      • ha ha — and I like squash now!

  21. Love the last line! This happens to me all the time, I always buy lots of greens thinking I am going I eat healthier and end up throwing alot out. Seems my wishful thinking is a bit wasteful.

    • yes but sometimes the wishful thinking does pan out so I do not think we should give up on ourselves–maybe just buy a little less

  22. Hahaha! It takes a real hero to admit “my road is paved with rotten vegetables!” You are my heroe/heroine. And now I don’t feel so alone. I just threw out one lonely yellow squash that got sticky, and half a cake I baked that no one liked, to say nothing of some squishy grapes. I think there may be more hidden in there somewhere…… 🙂

    • I feel another purge coming on–l am so glad I am your hero for admitting my transgression (lol)

  23. We must be “Refrigerator Sisters” separated at birth. I made a lifestyle change (more fruits and veggies, way less carbs and processed foods) about six months ago. Finally in March, I made myself a promise: only those fresh veggies I can eat in couple of days and only three different fruits at one time (and only a small amount of them). I have also decided to go to the Farmer’s Market. They treat me like a queen. Loved this post — made me smile on this rainy Monday in North Carolina. Sandy

    • I thought I had replied to you refridgerator sister–I need to make the lifestyle change you have made–starting today!


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