We are not always aware of the abundance we live in, and grateful and thankful for it. As a result we create a lot of waste, personally and as a culture. This is the first of several blog posts on becoming more aware of the abundance that surrounds us and at the same time reducing waste in different area of our lives. Why waste reduction? When we respect something, when we are truly appreciative of it, then we handle it with a certain reverence and wouldn't carelessly throw it away. That goes for food as it does for other things in life. Sometimes one of my kids will come home and put their school sandwich back in the fridge. Now what? I have repackaged them the next day but often end up eating them myself so they don't go to waste. When my son was much much younger he threw out a perfectly good (wrapped) sandwich he did not care for. I was so incensed that I made him take it out and eat it - he still talks about it.
With a bit more reverence for all the food we have (just today it struck me at the supermarket how much food we have access to so easily, what abundance!) let's try to reduce food waste, the first of the wastes I will be addressing. One rule is to be a good leftover processor - eat them, freeze them, or cook them up with something new, but don't let them go bad. I save leftover bread pieces in the freezer until I have enough to make a sweet or savory breakfast strata. My mom makes a "tapas" meal every so often with all the little frozen leftover dishes. If you do buy produce in bulk, like I do, process those vegetables you can't eat right away by blanching and freezing them as meal building blocks for later use, or cooking them up in a soup or stew to be frozen. If food does go bad in your fridge reduce how much you buy or space your supermarket trips further apart. And how about going through your fridge once a week and either making a meal from all the leftovers right then or freezing what you can't use immediately?
We have so much, let's be grateful for it.