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Old 05-27-2016, 09:37 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Clean Up Friday

I was watching the PBS NewsHour this evening and they had a segment about food waste in the US. Tom Colicchio from Top Chef was interviewed mostly about waste at the production level but near the end, he mentioned avoiding waste in his own home by cleaning out the fridge one a week; chopping up everything that is starting to age and tossing it into a soup or pasta or something. He calls it Clean Up Friday.
This seems so common sensical but I can't remember anybody suggesting it quite that way. I try to use stuff up but if it was part of a weekly routine I might be better at it.
In case anybody is interested ‘Top Chef’ Tom Colicchio on America’s staggering waste of food is the link to that segment and the part I'm talking about starts at about 3:45.

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Old 05-27-2016, 10:08 PM   #2
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Hi, skilletlicker.

I've done that for years. Just this evening, I used up some of the last bits of veggies in my pasta salad. I throw a lot of leftover veggies and cheeses in omelets, soups, and skillet dinners. Some don't make it that far - today I had to throw out some asparagus - but I try to use what I can.

I really dislike throwing away food. I cook for one and it requires some thought as to how the leftovers will be used. Some veggies can't be bought in small amounts - a head of cauliflower or cabbage, or a bunch of spinach or celery, for example.
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Old 05-28-2016, 04:26 AM   #3
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Tom needs to take a closer look at his own industry and profession. Has he looked at the size of servings that restaurants place on a plate? If you can't eat it all, you take home a doggie bag, put it in the fridge and throw it out a month later when you find it as you are cleaning the appliance.

Stop placing so much food on a plate and increase your profits by doing so. Also do something good for the environment and stop sending home doggie bags with Styrofoam containers. If you place less food on the plate, there will be no need for doggie bags.
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Old 05-28-2016, 05:19 AM   #4
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I saw the same news item on PBS.

It reminded me of a quote attributed to Chief Sitting Bull “The white man knows how to make everything, but he does not know how to distribute it."

Like Cheryl I cook for one and share the same challenges of how to use certain foods. I have to make a list each week and then edit the list to reduce the quantity or variety of certain foods. The process reminds me of my grandmother saying "your eyes are bigger than your stomach", wish that was true!

I usually have a musgoe night prior to shopping and every so often have a week where I try to eat out of inventory to use the items stashed in the freezer or pantry.

I think the first step should be reducing the amounts of food that we buy. IMO it is not a sin to run out of something but it is a sin to waste it.
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Old 05-28-2016, 09:49 AM   #5
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I think we here at DC are pretty good at dealing with clean-up and leftovers based on reading the daily dinner threads.
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Old 05-28-2016, 10:12 AM   #6
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Three months ago I was given 200 dollars to spend on meat alone. I had that freezer so full, you had to hold the food in with your hand so you could closer the door. I still have about 25 days worth of meat in there. I will be going shopping again on the 2nd of June. I won't be buying any meats again. I am not a person that thinks I have to have meat with every meal. A big bowl of steamed broccoli is more than a meal for me.
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Old 05-28-2016, 10:45 AM   #7
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I didn't read the article. I too cook mostly for one. Before shopping I plan what I am going to turn the first meal (usually a whole meat portion) into for re-runs.

Sometimes using leftover ingredients begats more than the sum of its parts, in the true biblical sense, like loaves and fishes. A little of this and that and it's enough to feed a bunch of teen agers and all their friends. I think things like fried rice falls into this category.

I quit buying celery. Even wrapping tightly in tin foil to keep it fresh longer. I couldn't use it all up before it hit the compost bin. Ditto with the most perishable lettuces. I think I pay disproportionately for potatoes and onions, buying by the each rather than a whole bag that can't be used before spoiling.

I hate to do so as I like fresh veggies better, but sometimes I just buy frozen and then pull out as needed. It's funny, a bag of veggies might get freezer burn before using it all up, yet an opened carton of Ice cream never gets freezer burn.
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Old 05-28-2016, 02:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I think we here at DC are pretty good at dealing with clean-up and leftovers based on reading the daily dinner threads.

Ain't that the truth!
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Old 05-28-2016, 05:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I think we here at DC are pretty good at dealing with clean-up and leftovers based on reading the daily dinner threads.
True dat!

My clean-out day isn't set, but I like to plan it for the day I'll be doing a big grocery run. That way I know when I get home, that night's dinner is taken care of. My problem starts if I overestimate the space I will have in the fridge for the amount of food that I buy. I have, on rare occasion, resorted to keeping a few pieces of sturdy produce in a cooler with a bottle of ice.

I believe that if you plan your meals ahead, before you shop, and you pretty much stick to that list, it's easier to not have a ton of leftovers. Unless you PLAN leftovers, which is something I do regularly. Even so, it does get used before it has the chance to spoil.
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Old 05-28-2016, 05:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Cooking Goddess View Post
True dat!

My clean-out day isn't set, but I like to plan it for the day I'll be doing a big grocery run. That way I know when I get home, that night's dinner is taken care of. My problem starts if I overestimate the space I will have in the fridge for the amount of food that I buy. I have, on rare occasion, resorted to keeping a few pieces of sturdy produce in a cooler with a bottle of ice.

I believe that if you plan your meals ahead, before you shop, and you pretty much stick to that list, it's easier to not have a ton of leftovers. Unless you PLAN leftovers, which is something I do regularly. Even so, it does get used before it has the chance to spoil.
Yes, and yes. I plan meals (most of the time) and count on leftovers, too. If I want cole slaw (as an example), when I buy that head of cabbage I know there's no way I'm going to use it all for slaw, just for me. So...I figure on fish tacos using some of that cabbage for a few nights, braised cabbage a few other nights, and throw a good part in some soup with some other produce that needs used up. Sometimes it still doesn't all get used up, but it's better than just using a bit of it and then letting it go bad while wondering what to do with the rest.
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