Did you ever wonder how much food got thrown away back in the day when you had to grow it yourself? If you had to toil away in your summer garden to make sure that you had enough food to last through the winter, I would bet that you never prepared more at a meal than you could eat, and that everything that wasn’t used was put to some other good use. Those days are long gone, and so is the knowledge that those ancient families had about how to store their foods without refrigeration.
It turns out that in the US we throw away enough food in a single day to completely fill the Rose Bowl Stadium. Half of all of that food is wasted in homes across the country, and the lion’s share of that food is perishable vegetables. Food waste tipped the scale at 35 million tons in 2012, the most recent year for which estimates are available. If you buy three tomatoes, chances are you will throw one of them away. If it were not for the refrigerator, we would throw away even more food. One of the advantages of processed foods is that they never really spoil, no matter how badly you treat them. Most of the mysterious chemicals listed on bagged and boxed foods is to make them ‘shelf stable’ meaning “lifeless and perpetual”.
A big part of getting off of the processed food suicide train is to learn how to obtain, store, preserve and prepare real foods without all of those chemical crutches. After all, when you eat foods with preservatives in them, you are eating preservatives. Recall that none of the ingredients in your foods have been through anything like a drug-trial to make sure that any adverse reactions to the ingredients are carefully documented. Whether or not your processed foods are safe for YOU to eat is your business, and your problem.
Therefore, it is important to me that I purchase higher-cost real foods for my dinner table. These foods are alive and will spoil if not treated properly or used in a timely fashion. It is up to me to find the best ways. Yay! I have access to the internet, and it turns out that our government is actually doing things to help me not waste so much food, for instance, This.
They compile statistics, like this…
Here is a site where you can teach yourself how to not waste so much food. It saves you time and money, and saves the world energy. These are all things that I would like to see more of in my world. It’s a really handy resource site, please go back and click that link! Bookmark it!
Most of the steps boil down to “pay attention to each step in the food purchasing process”–from your trip to the store and what to buy, to how to process vegetables when you get them home, to how best to store or preserve them. It’s best to do these things when veggies are plentiful and you can process a whole bunch at a time, but if you need to do little batches the fact that it’s not the most efficient way should not stop you from keeping food instead of tossing it. Here is a link to how to store foods, in an alphabetical list! It doesn’t get much easier than this to educate yourself on how to save your family valuable time or money! They also recommend tracking how much food you buy and how much that you throw away. It is a lot like tracking your money with a budget and an expense tracker, so that you can see where you are wasting money. If you don’t want to waste so much you really need to find out what you are wasting first.
Waste Not Want Not