One of the reasons I started Meals Maven is to encourage the most efficient use of our personal resources, be it time, money, food, or health. In my opinion, one of the biggest challenges we face globally is the massive amount of food waste here in the west, and extreme famine elsewhere. We toss so much food into our landfills even while people are starving. The juxtaposition of these two extremes- having so much more than we need, when so many don't have enough- is staggering. Maybe if each of us take deliberate steps to minimize our waste and maximize the use of our resources we could do more for someone else, be it here in North America or across the oceans.
Let's discuss bananas. Many years ago someone told me to just toss an old banana still in the peel in the freezer when it got too ripe to eat, and then use it later to make banana bread or muffins. Being young and impressionable, I did the first part of that- but the bananas were so nasty when they came out of the freezer, too slimy when thawed to peel and too cold to handle when frozen- they just got tossed in the garbage. Every time I had ripe bananas I followed the same procedure, and every time I couldn't bring myself to use them.
Several years ago I got the bright idea of peeling the bananas. I know, right? Seems simple enough. But how to peel and freeze so you can use them when you need them in the easiest possible way? Five simple steps:
It's not earth-shattering or even that genius of an idea, but it has helped me for years to stop wasting food. It's also helped to stretch my grocery budget. Now I gleefully buy bags of overripe and marked-down bananas. Do you have any tips to share that have helped you to waste less?
I bought a composting bin from Lee Valley years ago but stopped using it after a while. It was in an awkward place in our yard, and eventually the tree that it was sitting beside grew so much it was hidden from view.
Then came this wonderful summer vacation, and all the yard work in the last week. I opened it up to discover we actually had compost. I was amazed. And excited!
Not that I really like gardening, but I do like the idea of not throwing away everything I don't need to freeze for soup stock.
So I did some research and found this great list: 50 things You Can Compost.
What do you think? Do you have anything to add or subtract from this list? Do you compost? What are your experiences? I look forward to hearing from you!
Have an excellent week!