I’ve been on a no-food-waste journey for many years, I compost what I need to and boil up soup broth with whatever I can. I have three food compost bins, one worm bin and three tower gardens I feed compost into.
Now I know that food, turned into nutrients by worms and other microorganisms, is not technically called waste, but I also know that I have that many bins around my house because I am not utilizing the food we buy as efficiently as I should. I purchase too much of one vegetable or fruit and not enough of another which results in the worms doing a happy dance. And let’s not talk about the packaged food that I find hidden at the back of cupboards or in drawers, some expired and well past their best before date.
Last week I found a mushy half a zucchini in the crisper. It cost me about $1.00. It cost the farmer a whole lot of energy, water and fertilizer. My letting it go rotten in the fridge, even though the worms get to chow down, is not honouring that hard-working effort.
Although I’ve been aware of food waste for a long time, I have been successful at the no-food-waste for two weeks. My goal is to make it a year.
Menu planning is key here. I’m not knew to it or to organizing our food intake. I had to do it when the kids were younger due to their food restrictions and to timing (I homeschooled and worked)! A friend and I even did it together, talking on the phone once a week, planning out our dinner menus.
However, here’s a bit of necessary information.
I am not a natural-born organizer, although I’ve always admired those who are.
When I told my mother I was homeschooling, she responded with a knee jerk reaction.
“You can’t homeschool, you aren’t organized,” she said, looking aghast.
Her horror at my desire to teach the kids at home was well grounded. I have never balanced my check book, did not own or know that day planners existed, and spent more money then I should have trying to fix mistakes I made, usually around missed appointments. I loved being spontaneous. On our honeymoon I asked John to promise that if I became rigid and predictable, he would take me out and shoot me.
You get my drift. Getting and staying organized is hard work. Thank goodness for that lightening bolt moment!
This journey I am on, creating no food waste, is a multi-level challenge that involves planning food consumption and creating strategies that are simple and easy to maintain. A big part of that requires organization. Ack!
In the book I’m currently working through, on creating habits, the author talks about convenience and that when something is easy to do, it makes it easy to continue to do it, thus creating a smoother road to habit formation. I like the sound of that. Making things easier is a good thing.
And nothing is easier than not having to think about what your cooking up for dinner!
Here’s my menu plan for the week of January 9, starting on Tuesday because I put this together Monday night. Don’t expect recipes, the combinations will be spontaneous!
Dinner-Lamb Roast in WoodStove (freezer tomatoes, leftover veggies) and dumplings
Lunch-Leftover Rice with Bok Choy, mushrooms and sesame seeds
Dinner-Leftovers from lunch
Lunch-Rice left overs
John and Beth
Lunch-Salad and chicken
Dinner-Stir Fried Rice with Egg (leftover rice)
Lunch-Salad and turkey slices
Dinner-Piece of fish and veggies
Lunch-cream cheese, turkey slices (saved and frozen from turkey breast) and cranberry sauce
John and Beth
Lunch-Quinoa salad with whatever vegetables are left and roasted Brussel Sprout salad
Dinner-Roast Chicken, yams and carrots with roasted Brussel sprout salad
Lunch-PB and Honey with soup
Dinner-Poached Egg on Toast with Coleslaw
John and Beth
Dinner-Portobello mushrooms with leftover chicken and pesto from freezer
Lunch-Ham sandwich with soup
Dinner-Pork in mushroom sauce
Dinner-Pork in Mushroom sauce
Dinner–Tofu and veggies and yam