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Waste not want not

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby OneMoreCheekyOne » Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:21 am

I read somewhere recently that 40% of all food (in the UK I think) is wasted.

I think we probably end up binning 5-10% but i'm trying to be better at planning/using things up.

There are a couple of limp looking sticks of rhubarb in the fridge which i've been ignoring for weeks. There is 1/3rd of a pot of sour cream which has a use by date of yesterday.

There are courgettes, chives and eggs which all need using too so i'm making some fritters for lunch.

Re feta, we have been buying it in a jar of olive oil recently. It seems to keep fine for a week or two - probably longer but it's never lasted that long in our house! We use the leftover olive oil as salad dressing.

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby liketocook » Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:01 pm

Sour cream and whipped feta dip for the fritters OMCO?

Yes some of the food waste stats are shocking and while they get a bit muddied at times they still reflect an awful lot of food being binned. Several years ago I read an article suggesting that instead of focussing on the waste that folk should think about the cost of what they were disposing of and visualising putting the money in the bin. It's a theme that's been developed in programmes like "Eat Well for Less" etc. It was around the time when I recently changed from having a well paid job to living on a much smaller income so it really struck a note. The list I put up yesterday didn't seem like very much and was mainly low cost items but having done a rough add up it's about a fivers worth. Being a tight canny Scot I'm more likely to run naked down the street than bin £5 :shock: :lol:

Interesting re the 10% brine for long term storage of feta, certainly the water/pinch of salt works well for a good few weeks but I've never tested for any longer than that. DS1 & DIL-to-be bring large vac packs of olives back from Greece which they brine and jar once opened and they will keep well that way for a year or more.

It's hard NLB trying to strike a balance between over buying and not having enough to see you to your next delivery and giving a bit of choice and contingency. I do find main meal planning helpful but it's not perfect either unless you are one of those folk who plans every single morsel they are going to eat that week and rigidly stick to it. That's not for me, it's what I grew up with when my Mum could tell you on a Thursday evening exactly what you were having for lunch the following Friday, a system she stuck to all her days even when things latterly were easier financially. I think the important thing is having food waste at least on your radar even if only at the edges and think of the pints you could buy with what goes in the bin! ;) :)

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby Stokey Sue » Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:16 pm

I think balance is what it’s about

Previous discussions as far back as the BBC have brought out the kinds of people who make unpromising toasties out of leftovers and force feed them to their families in the name of zero waste (they probably recommend that people on benefits live on porridge and carrots)

But then there are those who regularly buy 3 packs of salad each week and ritually bin 2 on the bb date :roll:

And I’m never sure how much of that waste figure is food wasted after we have bought it, and how much is food wasted by people mauling it in self service stores or just expiring in lorry parks

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby scullion » Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:19 pm

or how much is peelings etc...

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby Earthmaiden » Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:33 pm

The figures are out there if you read up on it. The highest food waste figures include food wasted between sowing/rearing through processing, distribution, mass catering and domestic waste (including peelings). Others just show domestic waste which is far too high of course. I know people who will throw a chicken carcass away after one meal, a cake after people have had one slice and of course, anything beyond a BB date or which might be taking up room in a fridge. Like most here, I was brought up to be careful and to plan and find it baffling how anyone can do that but they have often been brought up like that.

I agree about balance but would try to be clever with porridge and carrots for sure. I do sometimes throw things away I shouldn't - but always with a silent prayer that my parents and grandparents aren't looking down on me!

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby KeenCook2 » Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:38 pm

I've never understood why people bin broccoli and cauliflower stalks or go to the trouble of breaking them off in the supermarket before they weigh their veg - the same with cauli leaves, unless they're really horrid, manky, dirty and slimey.
They crisp up beautifully when you roast cauliflower - we add them to the pan after the bigger chunks have already had some time.
I also keep parsley stems - at least until they're past using - and chuck them in all sorts of stews etc.

I know I've mentioned this before on another thread, but I'm fanatical about scraping bowls and sometimes think it takes me longer to scrape the bowl than make the cake! One of my friends went to a, is it Rachel Allen? Ballyhoo cook book? - cookery course and apparently she explained how she has the right scraper for every purpose!

I think the one thing that I'm afraid does get binned is cream - I sometimes don't manage to finish a pot as the 300ml pots are so much better value than the size smaller. When it's left over we're not very good at finding uses for it - maybe should make extra creamy scrambled eggs!!

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby liketocook » Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:05 pm

Yes it hard to break down where the waste is occurring and also what's included. To me waste is something that could have and should have reasonably be eaten but has been ditched rather than peelings. egg shells etc. and I'm sure everyone gets the odd thing that spoils quicker than expected or gets accidently overlooked. I also suspect that if you cook you might have more of this "unavoidable" waste than someone who doesn't and I think that's more than reasonable.
Much as I hate waste I'm not the sort of person that saves peelings for stock though I do with meat bones and poultry carcasses and no I won't eat some horrible combination or more than I want just to use it up, both are a step too far for me. Balance is definitely the key and I'm no paragon of virtue in the waste department far from it! I do remember some of the debates on the BBC boards, some really extreme views at times!
Cauliflower leaves and broccoli stalks do get used as I like them and freeze parsley stems for the stock pot.
I know I mentioned before that storing cream etc. in jars greatly extends the shelf life.
I wasn't trying to start an argument on what is or isn't acceptable, each to their own as with most things in life. :)

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby Stokey Sue » Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:30 pm

I used to buy frozen cream, it came in little fragments and I just thawed as much as required (it took minutes), no waste at all

Kerrygold was the best but Dairy Crest had a version too, perhaps we should lobby Iceland and Arla to reinstate it

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby liketocook » Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:47 pm

I've often open freeze blobs of whipped cream if I have spare then pop them in a bag, as you say Sue super handy to just defrost what you need.

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby Stokey Sue » Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:53 pm

As I don't make or eat desserts much, whipped cream isn't very useful to me, I used to do it when cooking for others as well as me, the commercial stuff was more versatile as it would go in sauces

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby liketocook » Thu Sep 16, 2021 4:33 pm

Sue, I whip so it freezes okay. It's mainly sauces I then use it for. I'm not a great dessert maker or eater either.

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby KeenCook2 » Thu Sep 16, 2021 4:36 pm

Good idea to freeze parsley stems. it's not as if they take up much room in the freezer, either!

Was it someone on here who mentioned freezing squeezed lemon halves? At least, the non-waxed ones. I've got some and now have to work out what to do with them!

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby liketocook » Thu Sep 16, 2021 4:45 pm

KeenCook2 wrote:Good idea to freeze parsley stems. it's not as if they take up much room in the freezer, either!

Was it someone on here who mentioned freezing squeezed lemon halves? At least, the non-waxed ones. I've got some and now have to work out what to do with them!

I think it might have been scully or Zero Cook .

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby Amyw » Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:35 pm

liketocook wrote:I think it goes without saying that we are a savvy bunch on here when it comes to avoiding food waste. It’s something I try to avoid but like most folk (I imagine) find from time to time that I have bits and bobs of things that need using up sooner rather than later or have an unexpected surplus of something.
With supply chain issues likely to get worse before they get better, I’m really keen to make sure that I have no avoidable waste. I thought a thread where we could post how we’ve used up lurking bits or ask for ideas could be useful. (Had a search and couldn’t see a previous thread.)
At risk of heading to the bin –
• A small piece of very OOD blue cheese about 30g after a yukky bit was cut off
• A small piece of beginning to harden Edam about 30g
• A small very ripe avocado leftover from a pack DS2 bought RTC for 12p last week
• Most of a pack of salami – use by 15/09 that got overlooked
• Two beginning to go slightly soft massive carrots, I think the picker must have selected the biggest ones in the shop as the three I ordered last week came to over 1kg!
• Most of a pack of wraps BBE 14/09
• 2 rashers of bacon from a pack that previously been defrosted
• 2 small sweet potatoes
• ½ a bag of Maris Piper potatoes (these will be fine for a bit yet but are beginning to soften)
• The end of a carton of semi-skimmed milk use by 13/09
• A bunch of spring onions
This is more than I would normally have to use up but a combination of meal planning going a bit awry for various reasons, a family gathering being cancelled and DS2 being away this week has crept up on me. :oops:
Use ups
• A knob of the blue cheese went in the sauce for my bavette steak and the rest was mashed with the avocado as the filling for a lunch time wrap.
• The bacon, carrots, sweet potatoes, a couple of potatoes and the milk along with some stock from the freezer, onion, garlic and celery have this morning been made into a pan of soup . Just about to have some for lunch. :yum
• Later I’m going to make a pan of mash with the rest of the potatoes, some I’ll use tomorrow and rest I’ll portion and freeze.
• One of the wraps, some of the salami, a couple of spring onions and the edam will be used for a sort of pizza tonight
• I’m going to make up ready to cook toasties with the remaining wraps & salami, some cheddar and spring onion and freeze them for future lunches.
• The remaining spring onions should be okay for a bit if I bung them in a glass of water.
That’ll clear the decks for just now but no doubt DS2 will return with a collection of use ups from his week at his own place! :lol:


I like wraps for pizza , especially as I find they go stale quite quickly when open . Naan breads are great pizza bases and sometimes i toast pittas , then too with passata, cheese and whatever toppings and place under the grill for pitta pizzas

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby liketocook » Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:44 pm

Yes the wraps made a good pizza base though I think I prefer a naan base if looking for a quick option. Would definitely make again if I had wraps to use up.

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby smitch » Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:12 pm

I tend to make very inauthentic quesadillas with leftover wraps. I use a smear of sauce or spice paste, grated cheese and whatever else needs using up. I then add another wrap on top or fold in half, wrap in foil and cook in the oven till the cheese has melted.
Last edited by smitch on Thu Sep 16, 2021 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby liketocook » Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:16 pm

Sounds tasty smitch and a great use up. :)

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby WWordsworth » Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:12 pm

But then there are those who regularly buy 3 packs of salad each week and ritually bin 2 on the bb date

Yep, whether it's still ok or not.
I expect we all know folk like that.

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby WWordsworth » Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:18 pm

think the one thing that I'm afraid does get binned is cream - I sometimes don't manage to finish a pot

I love it on porridge, with demerara.
Porridge is the one thing I like really sweet.

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Re: Waste not want not

Postby Amyw » Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:29 pm

I think porridge has to be quite sweet to offset the blandness . I’ve seen ideas for savoury porridge and although my head gets the concept , I just don’t really like the idea.

I do the same smitch with quesadillas. Similar to omelettes, they’re a great receptacle for odds and ends lurking in the fridge . I much prefer them to a normal toasted sandwich

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