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    • tighteningthebelt
    • By tighteningthebelt 30th Apr 19, 7:55 PM
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    tighteningthebelt
    Food Waste Audit Diary May 2019
    • #1
    • 30th Apr 19, 7:55 PM
    Food Waste Audit Diary May 2019 30th Apr 19 at 7:55 PM
    Hi everyone!
    I'm doing a tight audit of food waste for May 2019. I don't waste much, but there's always room for improvement with all these skills. I welcome any advice, or anybody who wants to do it along with me.

    A little background...
    I've been doing quite a bit of reading about this. It's obviously difficult for anyone to be exact with figures. The current estimate for food waste in the UK is 7 million tons. This is household food waste, not farm or supermarket waste. In a way such big figures are meaningless for us, too large to imagine. So I went looking for the per household sum... 7 million tons divided by 27 million household is 250kg per household per year. That's 4.8kg of food waste per household per week, or 0.68kg per day. in 'old money' that's 1lb 8oz. These figures seemed irrational to me, so i checked them with an academic at Loughborough Uni who has been in the news regarding food waste recently, and he assures me they are correct. He has challenged me to do a fun food audit. I can't resist a challenge!!

    There are some caveats in the calculations. The figures include food composted by individuals. It includes leftover food given to pets. It includes drinks, or other food disposed of down the sink.

    There are three categories of waste food; avoidable, unavoidable, and possibly avoidable.
    Broadly speaking
    'Avoidable' is food that could have been eaten at some point, but that has spoiled due to being left too long, examples might be mouldy bread or liquefied cucumber.
    'Unavoidable' is things like banana or pineapple skins, eggshells, used teabags, that were never edible.
    'Possibly avoidable' is things like peelings, which some people might eat and other not.

    (I did briefly consider whether 'unavoidable' can even be classed as 'waste', the word waste implies carelessness and even extravagance to my mind, but I don't want to get too hung up on that, the figures have to be comparable or else it isn't a challenge at all!!)

    So, this is how i will do my food waste diary... I'm going to discount 'possibly avoidable' as I eat edible things! I'm going to sort my food waste through the day into 'avoidable' and 'unavoidable'. After tea each night I'm going to weigh them, and post on here with any notes. I'm also going to make a note of how many people have eaten, as that's quite variable here, but on average there is a 'household'. I don't eat out, so there won't be any waste hidden from the figures.

    There you go! I'll do my level best. Do join in or respond with your ideas, suggestions and experiences. (oh and its the first time I've started a thread, so forgive me if I've done anything that needs forgiveness)
    "Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more" Louis L'Amour
    GC (annual budget) 1195.87 left of 1800
Page 1
    • tighteningthebelt
    • By tighteningthebelt 30th Apr 19, 8:11 PM
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    tighteningthebelt
    • #2
    • 30th Apr 19, 8:11 PM
    • #2
    • 30th Apr 19, 8:11 PM
    Oh dear, I've just realised I'm starting with a pineapple on the 1st of May!!! That's poor planning!!!
    "Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more" Louis L'Amour
    GC (annual budget) 1195.87 left of 1800
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 1st May 19, 8:30 AM
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    PasturesNew
    • #3
    • 1st May 19, 8:30 AM
    • #3
    • 1st May 19, 8:30 AM
    I have almost zero waste. If I buy it I have to eat it; I have to eat it all. I do spend most of my time eating things that I don't really want, or that don't go together that well. I also repeat eat loads and loads and loads and loads and loads of things... but there's zero waste.

    Also, due to freezer size, freezing isn't a sustainable solution as they do fill up very quickly and then take months to empty if you see it as a solution - so I do try to eat as much as I can without resorting to freezing.

    Yesterday, say, I had a loaf that was just two crusts and one slice remaining - it'd been on the worktop a couple of days and was just 3 days out of date. It hadn't gone green... I had beans on toast with the crusts and I had the slice of bread with chocolate spread.

    My only waste tends to be a few veg peelings, it's rare there's anything else that could count as waste. Today so far: Tops and tails of two small onions and dry onion skin. Also, the stalk join, inner white membrane and pips of one green pepper.
    • GreenQueen
    • By GreenQueen 1st May 19, 8:45 AM
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    GreenQueen
    • #4
    • 1st May 19, 8:45 AM
    • #4
    • 1st May 19, 8:45 AM
    This is a really good idea. Just the action of counting the waste makes you think about it.

    I will join you, if that's OK. I've got a pineapple as well - Aldi super six!
    A Clutter Free Life - 2019 in 2019 - 319/2019
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    ...I figure it's taken a long time to accumulate all this carp so it'll take a while to get rid of it too.
    Originally posted by Ginmonster
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 1st May 19, 9:26 AM
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    Suffolk lass
    • #5
    • 1st May 19, 9:26 AM
    • #5
    • 1st May 19, 9:26 AM
    Well done for starting the thread, tightningthebelt It is a really good idea to track this. Even the people who think they waste nothing - I am already struck by the inclusion of vegetable peelings, tea-bags and onion skins.

    Do you want some suggested use-up methods (basic fridge-bottom stir-fry and soup for example) or recipes?
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 29,215.99 after May
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,998.99 or 71.41% after May
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 36.16% spent so far, after May
    My DFD is here
    • AnimalTribe
    • By AnimalTribe 1st May 19, 10:03 AM
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    AnimalTribe
    • #6
    • 1st May 19, 10:03 AM
    • #6
    • 1st May 19, 10:03 AM
    What a good idea for a thread. I'm trying to reduce the amount of food I waste too, so I'm looking forward to reading peoples ideas.

    I always end up with bread crusts left too. They always end up as either some form of toasted sandwich or toasted for beans. Sometimes I use them as a kind of pizza base - top them with tomato and garlic paste, cheese and any other topping that I have to hand. Either toast one side and then the topping goes on the other and they are grilled or the topping is just put on the crust and cooked in the oven. It depends which member of the family is making them.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 1st May 19, 10:09 AM
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    PasturesNew
    • #7
    • 1st May 19, 10:09 AM
    • #7
    • 1st May 19, 10:09 AM
    .... vegetable peelings.... onion skins.

    .... stir-fry and soup ....
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    I already eat enough boring/repetitive/"cr4p" food, just to have zero waste.

    My veggie peelings are "the grotty/gone bad/black bits" in the main.

    I never do stir-fry and am not a fan of soup

    Just out of interest though, what disgusting and gross items can one be force fed that are made from onion skins?
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 1st May 19, 11:06 AM
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    Suffolk lass
    • #8
    • 1st May 19, 11:06 AM
    • #8
    • 1st May 19, 11:06 AM
    I already eat enough boring/repetitive/"cr4p" food, just to have zero waste.

    My veggie peelings are "the grotty/gone bad/black bits" in the main.

    I never do stir-fry and am not a fan of soup

    Just out of interest though, what disgusting and gross items can one be force fed that are made from onion skins?
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    You say the nicest things...
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 29,215.99 after May
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,998.99 or 71.41% after May
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 36.16% spent so far, after May
    My DFD is here
    • Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • By Blackbeard of Perranporth 1st May 19, 11:12 AM
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    Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • #9
    • 1st May 19, 11:12 AM
    • #9
    • 1st May 19, 11:12 AM
    One way to reduce waste is only buy what you are going to cook! And it saves money. Our food waste bin is only peel and skins, nothing else. On Saturday we has stir fry fridge bitsers, all the left overs from the week into the pan and served up.
    Cardiac Arrest - Electrical - Patient unconscious! Heart Attack - Plumbing - Patient conscious!
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    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 1st May 19, 11:13 AM
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    Suffolk lass
    I had actually posted a comment just like yours on the grocery challenge thread before TTB started this thread, claiming to waste nothing - it was her reference to what counts as waste I was talking about - egg shells too. I do compost all my veg waste so they have another life (but still apparently count as waste). I wasn't actually proposing to make anything from onion skins (disgusting or otherwise) just remarking on the limited waste. I do actually make vegetable stock from peelings, and make sauces from some and add to casseroles and stews with the rest. I tend to roast onions in their skins
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 29,215.99 after May
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,998.99 or 71.41% after May
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 36.16% spent so far, after May
    My DFD is here
    • s_glover
    • By s_glover 1st May 19, 12:09 PM
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    s_glover
    Great idea for a thread. I will be following with interest.

    I like to think we wast very little and on the whole I think we acheiviet this well. We meal plan and only buy what we know will eat.

    Peelings, tea bags etc are composted, along with the occassional piece of fruit which goes bad within a day or two of buying it.
    • gt568
    • By gt568 1st May 19, 4:44 PM
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    gt568
    One way to reduce waste is only buy what you are going to cook! And it saves money. Our food waste bin is only peel and skins, nothing else. On Saturday we has stir fry fridge bitsers, all the left overs from the week into the pan and served up.
    Originally posted by Blackbeard of Perranporth

    This is a great point, I buy what I need to cook the meals I've planned. Ergo, no waste.
    Down with the signature fascists!!
    • thriftwizard
    • By thriftwizard 1st May 19, 4:47 PM
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    thriftwizard
    Hmm - you can use onion skins for making stock, or for dyeing; in my book, using them for something productive means they're not actually wasted. Compost certainly isn't a waste (speak to my runner beans!) and nor is boiling up all our veg peelings & gone-over fruit to feed the chickens. So whilst I'm totally in sympathy with the idea of not wasting food, & rarely do so, I'm not quite on board with the definition of waste as above.
    Angie

    GC June 19 - 429.75/400

    Money's just a substitute for time & talent...
    • -taff
    • By -taff 1st May 19, 6:19 PM
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    -taff
    I'm sort of the same. I don't count compostable waste as waste because its the bits of veg that I can't eat or use.

    However, I have had a fair amount of flowers lately, which also go on the compost so I don't know where they'd be in terms of waste....


    And pleased to be nowhere near the predicted amount of waste food.


    But will investigate and record just to see....
    • tighteningthebelt
    • By tighteningthebelt 1st May 19, 6:21 PM
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    tighteningthebelt
    I'm not quite on board with the definition of waste as above.
    Originally posted by thriftwizard
    Not sure I am either! (that's why I wrote so much in the first post, and indeed why I contacted the guy in the first place) but I'm going to run with it for this month. All good fun!!
    "Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more" Louis L'Amour
    GC (annual budget) 1195.87 left of 1800
    • tighteningthebelt
    • By tighteningthebelt 1st May 19, 6:33 PM
    • 242 Posts
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    tighteningthebelt
    Day One...
    People - 1 for breakfast, 1 for lunch, 2 for tea (or dinner, as you like).

    Today I had 115g of unavoidable waste.
    I'll list it in case you good folk have better ideas...
    2 teabags
    1 tablespoonish coffee grounds
    skins off smoked mackerel
    dried up ends of rhubarb, cut close
    pepper tops/ cores/ seeds
    top and very bottom of carrot cut close

    30g of Avoidable waste
    Shreds of lettuce, you know the bits that go orangey at the edges
    carrot peel x 3 stripes where there was a bit of damage
    spring onion outer layer and some of the tops where it had dried up

    (I accept I can improve on the salad items, it's a while since I bought them)
    (pineapple carried forward to tomorrow, we're having a food waste staring match at present!!)
    "Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more" Louis L'Amour
    GC (annual budget) 1195.87 left of 1800
    • tighteningthebelt
    • By tighteningthebelt 1st May 19, 6:40 PM
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    tighteningthebelt
    I always end up with bread crusts left too.
    Originally posted by AnimalTribe
    Sounds like you do well! If I have leftover bread I sometimes put it in the liquidiser to make crumbs, then freeze them for toppings for pasta bakes or cauliflower cheese etc. I don't flavour them up til I'm going to use them.
    Mostly I don't have bread left though, if DS is here it goes quickly, if he isn't I keep it in the freezer and take out a slice or two at a time.
    "Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more" Louis L'Amour
    GC (annual budget) 1195.87 left of 1800
    • tighteningthebelt
    • By tighteningthebelt 1st May 19, 6:45 PM
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    tighteningthebelt
    What about the kitchen floor sweepings... should i be weighing those in too??
    "Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more" Louis L'Amour
    GC (annual budget) 1195.87 left of 1800
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 1st May 19, 9:53 PM
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    Fire Fox
    I'm doing a tight audit of food waste for May 2019. I don't waste much, but there's always room for improvement with all these skills. I welcome any advice, or anybody who wants to do it along with me.

    There are three categories of waste food; avoidable, unavoidable, and possibly avoidable.
    Broadly speaking
    'Avoidable' is food that could have been eaten at some point, but that has spoiled due to being left too long, examples might be mouldy bread or liquefied cucumber.
    'Unavoidable' is things like banana or pineapple skins, eggshells, used teabags, that were never edible.
    'Possibly avoidable' is things like peelings, which some people might eat and other not.

    (I did briefly consider whether 'unavoidable' can even be classed as 'waste', the word waste implies carelessness and even extravagance to my mind, but I don't want to get too hung up on that, the figures have to be comparable or else it isn't a challenge at all!!)
    Originally posted by tighteningthebelt
    Interesting challenge and thought-provoking definitions. Thank you doing this in public. I have been reporting my avoidable food waste on the 'Cooking for One' thread. However that is just my food and drink, not the other member of my household: my little cat.

    To me tea bags and coffee grounds are 'possibly avoidable'. Humans do not need to drink anything other than water in a healthy, balanced diet [no I do not practice what I preach ] Additionally many tea bags or coffee grounds could be reused or shared but are not. Even those people who reuse or share at home may not when getting a brew from cafes/ coffee shops/ fast food outlets.

    One way to reduce waste is only buy what you are going to cook! And it saves money. Our food waste bin is only peel and skins, nothing else. On Saturday we has stir fry fridge bitsers, all the left overs from the week into the pan and served up.
    Originally posted by Blackbeard of Perranporth
    I don't think it is as simple as that, especially for small households. Not every grocery store or supermarket offers a wide range of fruit and veg loose, plus without protective packaging many fresh fruit and vegetables degrade quickly.

    For singletons there can be a choice between eating a restricted or monotonous diet with relatively low food waste, or a properly varied diet with relatively high food waste.

    Buying smaller amounts of fresh food more frequently can have cost implications too, on transportation and/ or because you are tempted into impulse purchases. In some cases (eg. small 'local'/ urban supermarkets) individual loose produce is as expensive as a bulk bag elsewhere (large supermarkets)!

    Hmm - you can use onion skins for making stock, or for dyeing; in my book, using them for something productive means they're not actually wasted. Compost certainly isn't a waste (speak to my runner beans!) and nor is boiling up all our veg peelings & gone-over fruit to feed the chickens. So whilst I'm totally in sympathy with the idea of not wasting food, & rarely do so, I'm not quite on board with the definition of waste as above.
    Originally posted by thriftwizard
    I can see why composted waste is included. As Tighteningthebelt says "the figures have to be comparable". It allows for a comparison between households that do and do not compost (choice), or between households who can and cannot compost (facilities).

    Producing avoidable food waste impacts the environment: the land on which it was grown or produced, the packaging for sale and or transport, the 'air miles' or 'road miles' and so on.

    Reducing landfill exactly as you do is how I was brought up, yet my food waste and packaging waste is unacceptably high. If I was able to compost that would potentially mask rather than tackling my issue.

    My comments are not a covert 'dig' - pardon the pun - at you or any other Old Styler who composts or feeds food waste to their animals. I am quite sure you are doing as much as you can to reduce overbuying and use up leftovers. But many households are not, including mine.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ Trainee Rosie the Riveter.
    • AnimalTribe
    • By AnimalTribe 2nd May 19, 9:36 AM
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    AnimalTribe
    top and very bottom of carrot cut close
    Originally posted by tighteningthebelt
    I appreciate this might be taking things too far for you, but you can regrow carrot tops fairly easily in water and the leaves are edible. A lot of kitchen scraps can be regrown, which is fun for kids to do.

    https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/children/grow-carrot-tops.htm

    https://www.google.com/search?q=carrot+leaves+edible&oq=carrot+leaves+edi ble&aqs=chrome..69i57.5021j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie= UTF-8

    It's ages since I've made breadcrumbs, but now you've reminded me the next crusts (which nobody in the house likes as sandwiches) might end up that way - lovely on top of a cauliflower cheese.
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