Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Food Waste Confessions

Along with my paintings, I will be posting a blog with pictures (usually) every week of the food that has gone bad and I have had to throw out.  I find this subject an interesting one to investigate in that the average family supposedly wastes 1/4 of their food and times that by the amount of families in America and it is hugely important to consider.  I have always felt a little naughty every time I have to throw something away, not surprising with the history of my childhood.  I was born into a family of six children from parents of immigrants trying to make a living and while I was a young child, we had no running water, electricity, indoor plumbing, or phone, but we did have large holes in our house that small animals such as raccoons would sneak in at night and climb up our chest of drawers and steal our candy bar packs while we lay in the dark and just listen to the thievery.

We had a group of  about 12 geese that seemed taller than I and they would chase me like they wanted to kill me every time I would go across the yard to the outside bathroom (outhouse). Terrified, and not surprisingly I did not make many trips, especially after dark.  But even though I considered most of these geese evil, there was one that I loved because he was friendly and his name was Herman.  One day Herman was missing.  Coincidentally, we had eaten a dinner of goose that my mother had caught and beheaded and plucked out the feathers and cooked to feed her beloved family.  When someone asked "Where is Herman?" in unison we all caught on to what must have accidentally happened to our favorite pet and of course I cried.  Now it seems natural that I would absolutely abhor wasting anything as I do and I do not understand people and kids who do it without a blink.

So that is why I am going to include a blog spot occasionally on the food that is wasted in my household.  Please feel free to comment on your experiences of waste also.  They say confession is good for the soul and I need some good happening asap.  Maybe it will soothe my soul a little if  I journal the guilt I feel in throwing away food...even though it is not my doing that it decays...but then again I should have made sure we ate it in time...lol...must laugh about it...rather then cry...right?

So what have we wasted last week?  I did not take pictures because I did not know that I was going to write this blog but I will say that I had already been thinking about the waste and had tried my best last week to make sure I did not forget to use something for a meal and I did much better than previous weeks. But I did clean out the freezer and found some frozen raw chicken that looked freezer burned so that had to go.  I did not use all the carnation instant canned milk that I put in our tea and coffee and it was past 3 days so that too was pitched.  I must find out how long canned milk can be kept in the frig after opening.  Why don't they put this on the can?  I have several condiments that need to be thrown out of the frig. but it makes me feel so guilty to waste anything that I put off the discomfort and like the canned milk, I do not know how long these things last in the frig.  I will try to get my husband or daughter to throw them away if I can ever get a few minutes of their time to help me with the dastardly dead.

I admit it, I am a wimp at throwing anything out. After all, think of all the starving children that eat dirt and would have died to have a morsel of that wasted food...and they died without it …warnings from my childhood just to make me eat my food are reminiscent in my head.  Wasting is bad although sometimes unavoidable, like accidents.  (Update - I got no comments or reactions in seven years about this article so I did not bother to continue writing...maybe I had better stick to art although I do not get any comments or reactions now with that either...so I may quit that also.

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