News article: Food diary

Hubby came across this in the online news and as you all know I am very food (and money) conscious so I thought it worthy of a post.

Bearing in mind the writer works full time, but from home as does her husband, there were a few things that rankled with me, though this is my personal observations and opinion. One was the fruit thing. The kids took fruit to school every day where it sat in lunch boxes all day getting bashed and bruised and was inedible by the time they got home. OK………. why take it in the first place? How about a fruit crumble for dessert??

On day 4, the BIG CULPRIT raises its head. The American Fridge.
Throughout the article, she says leftover food is found at the back of the fridge. From what I’ve seen of them, these things are huge, so I’m not surprised.  Sunday is fridge clean out day, however, after Sunday she mentions items from over a week ago, yogurt recently bought and mouldy (I’d have written to the supplier if it was still in date), and left over takeaways.

Day 7: wasting garlic bread after everyone’s had a slice. OK, prepare one slice each. You can buy it frozen, so can cook as needed.

Crisps……….. why put them out in a bowl, especially as two half bags got thrown away.
I’d buy a multi bag of six small packets and the kids could have one if they fancied it.

And I am still trying to work out how she could spill salad dressing INSIDE a bottle of wine.

It is surprising how much food waste can build up, and I am hoping that by doing her diary, she has learned a few things.
From where I’m sitting on my comfy settee, and remembering the days when I brought up a family of 5, sometimes 6 (and two dogs) on a limited budget as well as hold down a job, I can understand time pressures and making sure nobody went hungry.
Today, most of our food waste is vegetable peelings, but there are only the two of us and I keep a food purchase diary. We eat well and sensibly, have treats (more than we should probably) and very little is thrown out unless it’s gone bad.

My opinion?
Everyone is entitled to treats, but if you buy them, have them on the day, unless they are frozen or have a long shelf life. I was fortunate in being able to buy boxes of 54 packs of crisps or 48 chocolate bars at a discount, both of which were OK for sandwich boxes, provided of course it wasn’t blazing heat of the summer in which case it was biscuit packs, not chocolate.
Excess cooked veg from the Sunday roast was made into bubble and squeak the following day with the left over meat. This included any roast potatoes (rare in my house actually) which were sliced and added to the mix.
I could get three meals out of a chicken, the roast, curry, and sandwiches.
Cook only what you need. If anyone is still peckish, there is always the fruit bowl.
Smoothies are great made with soft fruit. I have a smoothie maker and it takes seconds to rinse the container under the tap. Chopping the fruit doesn’t take much longer.
Crumbles are easy and as long as the fruit isn’t bad, a little bruising won’t notice.

In her defence though, it might not be her fault that so much fruit is being wasted as the produce available may not be the best quality. I have bought slightly green bananas  so that they will keep for several days, but in three days, the skins are going blotchy, and sometimes so is the fruit inside. I have bought beautiful apples only to cut them in half and find them rotten at the core. I have seen soft fruit such as grapes, peaches, raspberries and strawberries in sealed punnets with mouldy fruit inside. Tomatoes and onions are the same, so when I buy a bag, they are tipped out and any suspect ones binned immediately.

I would however suggest she DOES NOT shop on a daily basis. Not just because of the time factor involved, but she will find herself buying more than she needs, buying things on a whim  and having more treats that won’t get eaten. Also, make a list and stick to it.

Maybe putting together a time diary and food plan for the coming week might also help.
Just a thought.


About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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16 Responses to News article: Food diary

  1. You must make a list, I agree and common sense definitely plays a part. Sending kids to school with chocolate that can go bad or fruit that gets bashed ruins food needlessly. That is a matter of common sense. I try, whenever possible, to buy fruit and veg that are not packaged. I pay a bit more sometimes but it lets me buy just enough to satisfy the craving or a particular recipe I want to do and then don’t have excess that ends up going bad. And you’re right — the back of the fridge is a big problem. I’ve fallen victim to it myself. I now check everyday to see of there’s something there that must be eaten right away or that I’ve forgotten about. It works!

    • So have we. The fridge is currently full of Hubby’s yogurt (4 packs of 4 dated up to the 7th of July), fruit for me, tomatoes, (meds! LOL) milk, mayo, jam, bread, and in the salad drawer as they call it over here I have my spare blocks of cheese and some carrots. The green beans or salad pack goes in there too, but they are in separate bags and used within three days. I know some stuff shouldn’t be kept in the fridge but it;s easier for us and it gets used quickly.
      We are going to try and buy our veg loose rather than prepacked now, but the supermarkets rarely do that and we don’t have a grocer here.

  2. I do the same with my salad drawer.

  3. rugby843 says:

    I’m curious to what bubble and squeak is and how to you make your fruit crumble?

  4. murisopsis says:

    I’d posit that the Home Ec. classes no longer teach how to use leftovers. When I was in school we learned how to bake a chicken (as the main course) and then how to make chicken salad with the leftovers and then how to make chicken noodle soup using the carcass for the soup stock… I really think that kind of strategic thinking is not being taught… At our house very little ever makes it to the trash! Even when the boys were living here there was no waste, because teen boys will eat anything that doesn’t eat them first!

    • Very true Val. When I was bringing up the family there was little waste in our house, though sometimes the boys didn’t like what I cooked so I learned not to cook it!! With Hubby and I what I cook is eaten, and if there are leftovers, they are fried or reheated the following day. I don’t think they teach anything practical in schools now, too busy watching the computer screens I suppose.

  5. Lisa says:

    Right off, here’s a BIG problem! “Whenever I cook that dish, it never gets reheated the next day.” WHY NOT? She admits she overfills the kids’ plates. “But, they might not have enough if the plate looks empty!” Well, STOP! “I do find it hard to cook small portions for Sunday lunch.” Again, her problem making to much! Maybe it’s different there, but “lunch” where I come from isn’t often “cooked.”
    Bananas a bit brown from a trip to school and back? No time to do anything with them? That’s an excuse! Freeze them until you have time to make banana bread. Make a smoothy with them the next morning. She threw out bacon? Freeze it! Garlic bread? Use it the next day for meat ball sandwiches. Or just melt cheese on it like a pizza. Threw out extra pancakes? Does this woman have no freezer? Four cobs of corn went to waste? Cut the kernels off and freeze them! Kids pour too much milk into the glass? Get smaller glasses! Gee, this woman isn’t even trying.
    I found that when I buy a big jar of applesauce I don’t get it eaten before it goes moldy. So, even though I dislike plastic waste, I buy the 6 packs in little cups.
    Her kids are the ones destroying the fruit! I took an apple to lunch as a kid, and never had it mashed too much to eat! If the school makes them have a fruit or vegetable, send carrot sticks. Again, this woman isn’t trying. She’s complaining and getting paid to write about it. Kids leave the chip bag open and the chips get stale? 1- kids eat all the chips 2- don’t buy chips then.
    She makes me mad!

    • Well said Lisa! I;m with you on all counts. She also works from home, yet doesn’t have enough time. How the other half live eh?
      Thanks for commenting.

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