Friday, June 5, 2009

Food Waste Friday

I've been following a blog called The Frugal Girl for quite a while now. Every Friday Kristen (the frugal girl) posts a picture of any food she's throwing out that week. The idea is that by posting publicly, and keeping a record, you're more likely to be aware of the food in your house, and try to avoid wasting any! This seems like a good idea to me, so I'm going to join the group of people who post with Kristen. After all, not wasting food has got to be good for the environment, right? Not to mention the pocketbook!

I went through my fridge and found asparagus, broccoli, a bit of yogurt, and a few cherries and strawberries that needed to be thrown out. I'm not someone who thinks that after the best-before date the food turns to poison...but the yogurt was best before April 15, and had some really interesting yellow and green mold growing on it. There was maybe one serving of yogurt left in the container. As for the produce...I just forgot about it for awhile and now it's not edible (unless you happen to like slimy and gross-smelling asparagus....I don't). However, since I went through the fridge I was able to see that a few of the cherries and strawberries were starting to go bad, and that inspired me to clean the rest of them and get them in ready-to-eat format in the fridge. Food Waste Friday is going to save me from wasting the rest of the fruit! And now I'm having cherries for dessert after lunch instead of Mr. Christie Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies. It's probably for the best. :)

Here's a picture of my food waste. All the produce went into the compost, and the plastic yogurt container was recyclable. The only items that went into the garbage were the produce bags.

I couldn't find any specific studies showing how much food Canadians waste on average, but I did find an interesting article in the Toronto Star. It seems that 27%-33% of food is thrown out in America and the United Kingdom, with similar amounts seeming to hold true in Toronto. Some food waste is inevitable (apple core, melon rind, etc..) but they're saying that 1/4 to 1/3 of the food thrown out is untouched or unopened, and 61% of the food waste could have been eaten if the consumers had planned better (like what I'm throwing out this week). That's a lot of energy to grow the food, ship the food to consumers, package the food, and then dispose of the food (and if it ends up in landfills instead of compost, that's how methane gas gets created).


  1. Oh, so glad to have you aboard! Thanks for joining us, and I hope that you find the photo thing to be as helpful as I have. It's made me persevere through sooo many leftovers. lol

    Kristen at The Frugal Girl

  2. Great post. Yep, here in the Uk we throw away around 1/3 of the food we buy each week - shocking isn't it?
    Kristen's site is very inspirational and writing about food waste definitely gets you thinking more about trying to get it to zero.

    best wishes
    Rae (Mrs Green from