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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 2
    • tighteningthebelt
    • By tighteningthebelt 2nd May 19, 10:14 AM
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    tighteningthebelt
    i didn't know carrot leaves were edible... how much there is to learn here!

    i'll weigh it in later, but must make a confession, I have just found half a jar of mouldy pesto in the fridge oh... the shame
    "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
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 2nd May 19, 3:16 PM
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    themadvix
    Interesting idea TTB - I shall follow the thread with interest (we don't waste much, but know I'd never keep up with weighing it in every day to follow along).

    Pity about the pesto, but it happens to us all (well, definitely me!)!
    • tighteningthebelt
    • By tighteningthebelt 2nd May 19, 4:51 PM
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    tighteningthebelt
    early tea...
    170g total
    95g avoidable in the form of living pesto (i admit i didn't actually weigh it, but have guessed quite carefully), and a few grams of damaged potato.
    65g unavoidable comprising; teabags, onion skins, ground elder stalks (could have just snipped the leaves off and left the stalks behind, but didn't!), pepper core and seeds, coffee grounds, apple core.

    i'm doing well (except the pesto) partly because I'm on the leftovers part of the household food cycle... My fridge has no less than 6 tubs of already made or already prepped stuff in (a lovely sight), and i'm here on my own mostly this week.
    Variables incoming at the weekend though!!
    "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
    • freyasmum
    • By freyasmum 2nd May 19, 5:57 PM
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    freyasmum
    I do believe that I'm the only person who actually enjoys eating the heel of a loaf
    • stirchleygirl
    • By stirchleygirl 2nd May 19, 10:58 PM
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    stirchleygirl
    tighteningthebelt

    Thanks for starting this thread (I'm following you over to this from the frugal thread) one of my aims for this year was to cut down on my food waste as being single and disabled I had noticed that my food waste had been increasing over the years of my disability.

    I haven't had to throw any avoidable food away (not counting the years out of date yoghurt sachet homemade yoghurts making disaster that I posted about a few weeks ago) since starting my challenge.

    I eat potatoes with skins on baked and boiled. I mostly buy frozen veg as it lasts longer with no waste being a single person (other posters have highlighted the issue of pack sizes/prices and variety when buying fresh food for one) I also buy some frozen fruit (use in smoothies) for the same reasons. I appreciate that the waste is therefore transferred to the companies that freeze these but I have no control over what they waste.

    Interesting points that you raised as I had not considered the unavoidable waste like banana skins dry onion skins tops and tails of fresh veg etc - so there has been some 'food' waste from me in the unavoidable category. I am having some work done on my back garden (terracing and slabs and hand rails to make it safer form me) and have purchased a compost bin which will be put in place sometime this year when they finish the work - so whilst according to your academic it will still be classed as waste I will be happier that this unavoidable waste will be being composted instead of going in my black bin bag destined to landfill (no food waste collection from my council).

    It is amazing that lot of what people class as veg waste is peeling skins off (out of habit because that how it's always been done) when most skins are edible and cutting off and discarding outer leaves of cauliflower or stems on broccoli and the green parts of spring onions only eating the small white part (obviously cut off the very ends of the green if they are dry or yucky) or peeling off the outer layer of a spring onion out of habit even if it is perfectly fine to eat and hasn't gone cry or yucky.

    On the tea bag front most bags contain plastic so buy tea leaves and use a device (of your choosing to fit your needs see https://bestreviews.com/best-tea-infusers to asses the different types - other reviews can be found with a quick g00gle search) to hold the tea thus avoiding a single use (or 6+ use for those that stretch tea bags to more than one cup) plastic.

    I'll be avidly following this thread to help inspire me.
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 3rd May 19, 8:51 AM
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    Suffolk lass
    I do believe that I'm the only person who actually enjoys eating the heel of a loaf
    Originally posted by freyasmum
    No, no, me too. I just don't buy it any more. It is from my childhood and evocative of my late Dad. He and Mum used to have bread and gravy for tea occasionally. Using up the sauce from the brown stew. He would hollow out the crust (about an inch thick) to form a little bowl for the gravy.

    He would do the same with bread and warm milk, with a little sprinkle of sugar - this was a regular Saturday night supper when he got home from his second (Saturday night) job as a pools checker, around 9.30-10pm.

    And once Mum got a freezer, she used to save stale bread and make bread pudding (it is to these make do practices that I owe my sylph-like figure! - not!)
    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
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    My DFD is here
    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 3rd May 19, 2:18 PM
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    JackieO
    I have a very minute wastage in my house as I like to use as much up as I can probably the tea bag is the hardest to sort out Although when I am doing pots for my patio I will line with used tea bags which hold the water and slowly release it which is helpful when I am away and they are in need of some dampness. The only bit of the pepper I don't use is the core and the stalk I will even dice up the ' lid' once the stalk bit has been removed .Egg shells get ground up and go round said pots on the patio or round garden plants to deter slugs as they don't like to cross the sharp bits .Re the orange bits on lettuce if you tear the lettuce or cut with a plastic knife you won't get the browning quite so much literally only the stub end core of an iceberg gets binned in my kitchen I slice the thick stalks of broccoli up and freeze them and use in stews and casseroles. Mushroom stalks get the same treatment as well I do use past ts best veg for soup as I make my own soups every week.I don't have a bread problem as I don't buy or eat bread but my DD donates her end bit to me if needed and it gets grated up and either frozen for later use or makes a nice crispy topping for cauliflower cheese. I have one of those small bags from the supermarket and that is my waste bin and once a week it is filled up Tins, I wash out and recycle along with bottles. jam or pickle jars I save and give to my friend, and get eventually in return a jar of jam or pickles when she is making it I do the same with chutney as well. I only try to buy what I actually need when I shop and do my best not to buy things unnecessarily. Envelopes are reused as scrap paper for shopping list etc. Its quite easy to cut back on waste once you get into the mind set but you really have to think about what you are buying and will you really eat it .I use my freezer for almost everything and at the moment I am eating from it in the hope of running it down to defrost
    Quot Libros,Quam Breve Tempus.
    • Vanlady
    • By Vanlady 3rd May 19, 2:46 PM
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    Vanlady
    Freyasum - I also love the heels of a loaf, but toasted with lots of butter and marmalade!

    TTB - loving this new thread! Am enjoying reading about how your challenge is going and also everyone's comments , I'm learning so much!
    Very little food waste, if any, goes on in the van clan, I'm very good at eating up leftovers, no matter how big or small, or reinventing them into something else , or freezing them, but I had never thought about the unavoidable waste before.
    Thank you JackieO for your useful tips about egg shells and teabags for garden use!
    I like to give things a second life wherever possible.
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 3rd May 19, 3:13 PM
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    Suffolk lass
    Inspirational post from JackieO - I am definitely taking the T-bags in pots idea on board!
    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
    • tighteningthebelt
    • By tighteningthebelt 3rd May 19, 6:49 PM
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    tighteningthebelt
    Thank you for all the great suggestions ...

    my dad still mops up gravy/juice with bread!

    i always chop my lettuce through whole, but of course leaf by leaf would be better, and i can see the logic of tearing. i did check the label before i threw it out tonight and it was best before 17th April though, maybe some people might have chucked the lot out (nobody here though!!)

    It's just been me today, mostly eating up pre-prepped food, though the pineapple has finally been tackled, at a great cost to my averages!
    avoidable 10g the last of the lettuce (it's a liability!)
    unavoidable 475g of which an astonishing 410g was the peel of the pineapple, incl it's top and bottom. It wasn't cut off in great chunks or any other extravagance, that's just how much the minimum weighed. there you go... national food waste problem sorted...just stop it with the pineapples!!
    other than that, there was the stalk and seeds of a pepper, a little coffee grounds and the teabags (which i've saved to get potted up with the next planting, cheers)
    Last edited by tighteningthebelt; 03-05-2019 at 6:53 PM.
    "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
    • Brambling
    • By Brambling 3rd May 19, 10:15 PM
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    Brambling
    Tighteningthebelt I've heard you can make pineapple tea from the rind, I haven't tried it so can't tell you if it's any good . You can also grow the top (crown) but I think that's a slow process.
    • AnimalTribe
    • By AnimalTribe 4th May 19, 9:16 AM
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    AnimalTribe
    There are lots of recipes on the internet that use the pineapple core - from pineapple crisps, to pineapple syrup. Here is a decent recipe for a pineapple drink from the rind https://www.fermentedfoodlab.com/pineapple-tepache/

    I've tried growing pineapple plants in the past, but unfortunately with little success. Although, it's an easy process it just doesn't work for me. Again there are plenty of sites that show you how.

    I've had a major wastage fail. I bought a sack of pony carrots for the animals - pony carrots are just 2nd class carrots with the wrong shape or slight cuts or dents - normally they keep well, but this lot just started to rot within days. There's nothing I can use them for, I saved a few tops to regrow, but nearly the whole sack has had to go to compost.

    Regrowing lettuce stems is easy (and again a nice one for the kids to try). http://www.gettystewart.com/how-to-regrow-romaine-lettuce-from-the-stem/
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 4th May 19, 9:39 AM
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    themadvix
    Buy tinned pineapple and the tops may have been used to make Pinatex . It's a leather-type fabric (I only know about it because my friend designs handbags and uses it instead of leather). However, it's not quite the same as a fresh pineapple to eat and there are other costs involved in the processing!

    Still really struggling with the concept of 'unavoidable waste' - surely if the rest of the item has been used to full advantage and the remains are either compostable/can be used for another use, then it's not really waste - it's leftover 'stuff'.... but waste implies it could have been used somehow (I know these aren't your definitions TTB, just struggling to get my head around them!). That said, 'they' are coming up with a lot of uses for 'unavoidable waste' these days - turning coffee grounds into a palm oil substitute and there was something about orange and lemon peel a while ago.... I can't remember what though!

    Never sure about the nutritional content of carrot tops or lettuces regrown from stalk/tops - surely it can't be much? Happy to be proved wrong though!
    • tighteningthebelt
    • By tighteningthebelt 4th May 19, 6:29 PM
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    tighteningthebelt
    i think I might buy tinned pineapple from now on!! The one i peeled yesterday I saved in 2 fridge tubs after I'd had some. I sorted it into ripe and not so ripe, the ripe one had fermented overnight... well it looked greyish and smelled like it was fermenting, so at least if it were tinned it would have made some leather stuff, or tea. As it stands its been a food waste disaster. All I can say in my favour is that I haven't been shopping for ten days (apart from a bottle of milk) so the fresh stuff is now showing its age. sigh.
    The 'ripen at home' stuff is always a bit hit and miss though. We used to have nectarine days when DS was here as they all ripen at once, and I always stew plums now as they seem to wrinkle before they ripen. It's about the worst time of year for fruit that hasn't travelled, though I do love rhubarb. We do make excellent use of windfall bramleys though, still many jars left in the cupboard.
    I'm rambling ... to the chase...
    525g of avoidable waste (490g pineapple, 35 parsnip tops and bottoms few iffy bits)
    75g of unavoidable waste in the form of eggshells, teabags, coffee grounds
    Bit annoyed with the last 2 days tbh, was hoping to be in a better position before DS home later for bank holiday. still, we are where we are.
    "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 4th May 19, 11:19 PM
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    Fire Fox
    Tighteningthebelt: Frozen pineapple tastes more like fresh than tinned does.

    I have learned the hard way that prepping more of a fresh pineapple than you need that day leads to it spoiling. All the trimming spreads bacteria/ yeasts from the skin to fruit via the knife and board, and/ or cutting the fruit cells releases the natural enzymes in pineapple (bromelain).

    I now treat a whole pineapple like a loaf of bread. On first use slice the spiky top of the pineapple off, then another thick slice. Prep and use the thick slice only, leaving the rest of the pineapple intact with the skin on and bottom end on. Cover the cut top end with cling film and refrigerate. Each day cut and prep a single thick slice.

    I bought a 'Super Six' pineapple on 25 April and the remaining bottom half is still in great shape. HTH.
    Last edited by Fire Fox; 04-05-2019 at 11:28 PM.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ Trainee Rosie the Riveter.
    • tighteningthebelt
    • By tighteningthebelt 5th May 19, 7:45 AM
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    tighteningthebelt
    Firefox, that helps a great deal. My super six pineapple was bought 24th and more than half in the bin. Thank you for being so specific.
    "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
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 5th May 19, 9:27 AM
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    themadvix
    But that shows far too much restraint - only eating one slice at a time Great tip though. I assume if I stood it on a clean plate on it's 'open' end it would be the same as cling filming it (assuming cut was fairly flat) - don't use clingfilm here because of the plastic waste! (There's always a trade-off somewhere/how isn't there?)
    • tighteningthebelt
    • By tighteningthebelt 5th May 19, 8:00 PM
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    tighteningthebelt
    Hi all,

    People for today... 2 for breakfast, 1 for lunch, visitors this afternoon (extra tea bags!), 2 for tea.

    better today ...
    125g unavoidable (tea bags, tea leaves, coffee grounds, pear core and stalk, eggshell, dried up bit from the end of cauliflower stalk)
    20g avoidable (picking over new potatoes)

    Have chopped up and put by some cauliflower stalk and leaves. Might saute them tomorrow with my last slice of bacon.
    Shopping is arranged for Tuesday morning.
    Tomorrow tea should see the last of the fridge off, it can have a wipe out then before the incoming food. We've soaked and boiled haricot beans to go with a tomato based sauce that will accommodate the remaining peppers, onions, garlic, chopped leek from freezer, a saved carrot and a saved parsnip also from freezer, eat with last of the new potatoes. Pud will be stewed apples from stock and last spoonfuls of cream and yogurt.
    All that will remain will be a couple of cooked new pots and about 100g cheddar... that's it!!
    "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 5th May 19, 8:02 PM
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    tighteningthebelt
    Needless to say we've eaten the last of the pineapple while it was still serviceable!
    "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
    • ariarnia
    • By ariarnia 5th May 19, 11:25 PM
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    ariarnia
    Hi all.

    Hoping someone can help me figure something out for lunches this week using the store cupboard

    I've been off work for a couple of weeks and I'm only in tuesday, wednesday, thursday, so I'm hoping I can make something tomorrow and avoid buying a sarnie/salad (or the more likely chips...)

    I've got a few random fresh things - cooked chicken, prawns, onions, figs

    Store cupboard staples - rice, lentils, quinoa, (assorted) spices and condiments

    Frozen mushrooms, corn, peas, likely some other bits...

    Fridge and microwave at work, or happy to eat most things cold.

    My immediate thought is some kind of paella... but I'm not sure that would keep safely mon till thursday(?) and I'd really want to buy peppers.

    My brain just isn't working and I can see me 'popping to the shops' tomorrow for just that one thing...


    Any other ideas?

    Thanks in advance
    Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you. Anne Lamott

    It's amazing how those with a can-do attitude and willingness to 'pitch in and work' get all the luck, isn't it?
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