Monday, 27 April 2015

Waste Not, Want Not

Linking today with I'm An Organising Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

I have just been reading Economy Gastronomy: Eat Better and Spend Less, after reading about it here at Sweet Little Wood

Thanks for the recommendation! Great recipes and interesting reading in between.
It is also a TV show; who knew?! You can find lots of the recipes here.

I was particularly drawn to this list from the book as I think food waste is a terrible crime.

The Top Ten Most Wasted Foods

1. Bread

2. Potatoes

3. Apples

4. Bananas

5. Yoghurt

6. Cakes

7. Lettuce

8. Tomatoes

9. Cabbages

10. Rice - a world staple. Surely we should feel bad about wasting such a vital food source that many people need so desperately? It actually makes the whole list seem spectacularly selfish and wasteful. Don't contribute to this list.

(There is actually a little blurb for each item but most of them are just about uses to prevent waste. I just added the last as I agree so totally with the selfishness that is food waste).

Of course, during the world wars, food waste was taken very seriously, as shown in these posters from the era.

All of these are equally relevant today. I think particularly the six point list would make a perfect plan for minimising/eliminating food waste in any home.

When I typed food waste into Google, so many lists came up! This is a whole blog dedicated to food waste. This is a useful ten tips to prevent food waste. And here are 29 tips to prevent food waste.

I think the main weapon against food waste would be planning. Being organised means you are not buying more food than the family will eat. This can be hard with boys, who seem to be a never ending pit. I just bake A LOT! I always have to make sure there is food made and ready or I get this attitude!

So sad for the poor dears!
I am also so glad that I have my chickens as food is never really 'wasted'. When I visit family in the city, it does my head in to have to throw food in the actual bin! It is so hard to make myself do it! I keep wanting to take it home (even if the visit is for a while!) so I can give it to the chickens.

Menu for this week is:-

Monday - Spaghetti bolognaise and garlic bread

Tuesday - Quick Spiced Chicken Thighs with 'Emergency' Biryani

Wednesday - One Pot Tomato Stew with Pork Meatballs, Chorizo and White Beans

Thursday - Spinach and Potato Frittata with green salad

Friday - Chilli Con Carne with tortillas and extras

Saturday - Porterhouse steak, potato wedges, green beans

Sunday - Twice Stuffed Chicken with Potatoes and Creamed Sweetcorn

I am not just trying to eliminate food waste, but am looking at all areas of waste in our home. I am doing all the baking at home now, which I find a big packaging saver. All the flour and sugar I buy comes in paper bags, which are then used either as paper to start the wood fire, shredded in the compost or the chicken nesting boxes or used as layers in the lasagne garden beds. I am trying to even reduce what is put in the recycling as I am not convinced of the efficacy of the recycling model.
A huge plus for me this week was that hubby actually noticed that there was less rubbish. Yay! We do not have rubbish collection, so we do once monthly trips to the tip. So it was great that hubby noticed that there was less!

What do you do to eliminate food waste? Do you feel meal planning helps in this? What other areas of waste in your home really bother you?
I would love to hear all your waste related comments!


  1. I so much agree with you. I don't meal plan as such but I try to avoid waste by growing as much as possible of our own food, and giving scraps to the animals. I feed cooked potato peelings to our chickens and ducks and other vegetable peelings and scraps are divided between them and the rabbits. Waste from cooked meals goes to the dog but is rare. I compost things like old bean plants and flowers but, with food, I only really have onion skins and tea bags to compost. I do freeze a lot, though, both our own produce and bought food if I realise we're not going to eat it as soon as I expected, which does use energy. I think a lot of food waste is down to the way supermarkets sell food. We have big reductions on buying in large quantities and sell by dates which encourage people to throw away produce which is still observable fine. A recent example I saw was a bag of about 15 onions which said they should be used in two days! The main area of waste that bothers me is excessive packaging and the widespread use of plastics for packaging. We do as much as is viable to recycle but I think these things really need to be addressed at industry level because packaging is an area where, as consumers, we have very limited choice. Thank you for you great post and for sharing all these links. I will check out some more tips :)

    1. I agree with your thoughts on packaging. I am just horrified that in supermarkets here in Australia now, it is becoming increasingly difficult to buy even fresh fruit and veggie without them being in some sort of packaging. Packaging for bananas is just ridiculous!
      I find the same with compost - mine is mainly onion skins and coffee grounds. And at the moment, autumn leaves. Even the spent plants and weeds go to the chicken pen first. When I rake that out, anything left goes in the compost.
      I would love to hear more about your self-sufficiency set up. Sounds like exactly like what I am trying to achieve, slowly! I haven't been able to get the veggie beds set up as we took down all the fencing and I can't keep the sheep out! Every time I have to buy lettuce or spinach in those plastic bags, it kills me as I know how easy it is to grow. I think I am going to have to grow in pots on the verandah until the fencing is done.

  2. I don't like wasteful packaging it is unnecessary. I buy just what I need for a weekly shop and make sure we eat all the fresh veg in our veg rack. I don't buy convenience food we try to eat healthily cooking from scratch, home cooked each day. We put our cardboard, paper, plastic and tins out in bags to be recycled and are collected each week here in the UK

    1. That is what I try to do as well. Excess packaging and convenience foods just go together, so I try to eliminate both. We haven't had fast food in ages and noone seems to have even noticed! Certainly there have been no complaints!
      Now just to get the garden up and running.

  3. I am impressed with all that you are doing to stop waste and eat healthy. I want to look around your blog when I have a little more time. Thanks for the list of foods that are wasted most.

    1. Thank you for visiting! Hope to see you again soon.

  4. What a great post Jayne and to think that you have almost eliminated your garbage. We have to take ours to the tip too and you have really encouraged me to rethink how we do it. Your weekly menu sounds great and I agree about not being able to fill children up :-). Hope all the other things you have going on with your Daughter are going well and that you are feeling God's love and peace. Thanks for sharing this at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

    1. Thanks, Terri. The garbage trip to the tip is not really a fun chore! So I am trying to eliminate as much as possible.
      My daughter is going through additional problems at the moment - I just keep praying and rest in the knowledge that He knows best.

  5. We feed most of our scraps to our hens and compost what they won't eat. Paper, we recycle or burn, but then, paper isn't food, is it? :) We pretty much try to not waste anything! I was amazed that rice was on the top ten list. When we cook more than we need, it goes to the hens -- they love it! Thanks for sharing those old war posters (I'm on a WWII kick right now).
    xo Lisa

    1. If we didn't have the chickens, I would feel way more guilty about food waste!
      I will soon be up to WWII in my Stitchcraft magazines. Looking forward to that, as I just love that era.

    2. I hate to waste food. It seems that produce is the main waste at our house. We tend to let it go bad before finishing it. I just made my meal plan for the next couple of weeks. I specifically made the first several meals to include the produce that will ripen or go bad the quickest. Let's hope I can follow the plan!

      Thanks for visiting A Time for Home. You can check out more of my quilts at

    3. I really find a meal plan helps. I have a tendency to buy produce when it is on super special without any real plan for it and then have it not get used in time. Thank goodness for the chickens!
      Oooh, a quilt blog as well! Going to have a look there too.