Zero Waste Week Day 5 – Food Waste Friday

Here we are, at the end of Zero Waste Week and Day 5’s theme is food waste. I thought I was doing quite well this week with my food waste, until today. Previously this week, we’ve had a tea where we used up leftovers from the previous couple of nights. I’ve eaten leftovers for lunch the next day. My husband has had leftovers for supper. He was also given a bag of apples by a work colleague that we realised were swiftly going bad. Cue my lovely husband baking apple pie and prepping the rest for the freezer very late at night to make the most of them.

Then I realised with horror that I’d totally forgotten about some blackcurrants one of our neighbours had kindly given us weeks ago. Our daughters had made blackcurrant cordial with some of them straight away and I’d intended to make jam with the rest, but the busy summer holidays and preparation for the new school year had got in the way. In hindsight I should have just prepped them and frozen them straight away, but I was putting off the tedious job of de-stalking and de-caterpillaring.

This morning I cautiously removed the lid and peeked in one of the plastic tubs. My heart sank. It was a mound of furry, squishy blackcurrants. What a waste! I peeked in the second tub expecting the same and they were miraculously okay. A bit past their best, but it wasn’t too late for them. I dutifully de-stalked and de-caterpillared them, gave them a good wash and turned them into jam.

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I’m sure the creepy crawlies in the compost bin will appreciate the furry blackcurrants that were extremely past their best!

The theme for Zero Waste Week 2016 was food waste, with a different topic each day. And I don’t think I can add much to my advice and tips from last year. You can find blog posts on Meal Planning, Food Waste and Family Meals, Shopping with Willpower and Using Up Food by following these links or in the archives.

When it comes to food waste, I’d like to recommend one expert who has just released her book to coincide with Zero Waste Week. Anna Pitt’s Leftover Pie is a treasure trove of recipes from a whole host of contributors from Brian Turner and Thomasina Miers to lowly bloggers like yours truly. Not only that, but it also includes an interesting history of food production and farming, how we’ve ended up in a culture of food waste and how we can turn it around to feed bellies not bins.

I’m going to write a full review of Anna’s book, so I won’t go into any more detail here, but do check out Leftover Pie. It would make a great addition to your recipe book shelf or the perfect gift for the food lover in your life.

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And as this is my last post for Zero Waste Week, all that remains is for me to post a final picture of our landfill waste jar, which contains:

  • a butter paper
  • three dishwasher tablets (I still haven’t got round to making my own!)
  • two wine bottle foils
  • some sweet wrappers
  • a clothing tag
  • the packaging from our son’s medication
  • the sticker from a melon
  • an empty bag of marshmallows
  • and an empty pill packet

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All other waste this week has been recycled, repurposed or composted. There may be one or two tiny bits to add from this afternoon, such as the plastic sheet from buying some chicken at the butcher’s when I make our curry. I’m very pleased with our efforts this week. 🙂

How has your Zero Waste Week gone? What were your highlights? Were there any challenges along the way? Please share in the comments. And if you have some spare pennies, please consider donating to aid the continuation of Zero Waste Week.

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