If you're on of those people who despises food waste, like me...

(87 Posts)
Thisusernameistakenagain Tue 22-Dec-20 15:38:43

Why?
I cant put my finger on it. I would understand if I were brought up impoverished but I wasnt and neither were my parents. They had less than me but definitely not unhealthy or malnourished etc. I didnt have it drummed into me to not waste food either. I just despise it!
Pre covid I had friends round. I made potato wedges to soak up the wine. We didn't use them all. When I came down in the morning one friend had kindly cleaned up, and threw the remaining ones straight in the bin! Almost a full tray.

I was recently seeing someone and when they stayed over I asked them to take home food theyd brought and not consumed as it wasnt the sort of thing I'd eat. 'Eew no! Wouldnt eat it after being in the car not fridge! Chuck it!'

I've lived with people who will make a whole pie,if not all eaten in one setting, half goes in the bin. It really winds me up. I don't think about the 'starving people in other parts of the world' as justification for this sort of thing as it hardly directly affects.

But I'm pretty militant about it. I save food or freeze it if possible. Make stock from unused veg parts. Anything totally inedible goes in compost.
I'm the same with any sort of waste really. I accosted a neighbour going to the tip the other day and asked if I could take the plantpots he was chucking!

Why am I like this, with no 'cause and effect' reason?
Why are you? smile

OP’s posts: |
yeOldeTrout Tue 22-Dec-20 15:49:08

I don't try to police others, but I do try to stop my own waste. I hate all forms of waste. It just seems obviously wrong.

BarbaraofSeville Tue 22-Dec-20 15:52:38

I'm a lot like that. The waste just saddens me so much. In a way I'd like to be free of the guilt and be able to get rid of things I don't want, like others seem to be able to.

It's not always a money thing, but the waste of the resources used to produce the food. The disregard for the animal's life if it's meat. The waste of time and effort to cook something. The shameless privilege from those who can just throw half a pie in the bin, or if its someone who's struggling, I'd think they could help themselves make their money go further by being less wasteful.

Or sometimes if its something I really enjoyed, I want to have the rest of the pie for lunch the next day, so would be annoyed if someone else threw it away.

I don't pull plant pots out of skips, but I do feel guilty when throwing things away I don't want, because it seems a shame.

But there has to be a balance. I've had to stop making lentil soup to save a couple of bendy carrots, because I don't always want to eat it, so it goes in the freezer, along with other lentil soup, so I spend time and money (electricity, other ingredients) to make soup I don't particularly want to eat, to take up space in the freezer, that I don't really have, to save wasting about 10 pence worth of carrots - a lot of shops don't sell them loose, so even if I only want a couple, you can't buy less than half a kilo's worth. I do try to use them, but sometimes they seem to go bendy very quickly.

WorraLiberty Tue 22-Dec-20 16:04:22

Well it's not just poor people who tend to hate waste

Most people are fairly environmentally aware nowadays.

QuantumJump Tue 22-Dec-20 16:07:14

Me too OP. Also no particular reason behind it from my upbringing. It's not for environmental reasons either as I've always been like this, from before I was environmentally aware.

TornadoOfSouls Tue 22-Dec-20 16:13:42

I think it’s because I was brought up to eat leftovers (which is totally fine, indeed a good thing) but also because my DM has a very bad habit of buying too much, so things go out of date, but because she doesn’t want to waste them there is a perpetual cycle of eating things that are past their best - meanwhile the fresher stuff gets past its best - and so on. I get stressed eating at her house sometimes, especially as she gets older as I think her judgment on what’s okay past its sell by date and what isn’t is starting to go. She hates throwing food away but it often goes to waste anyway because there is not much plan to use it or store it properly.

I always have a mental list of what fresh stuff I’ve got and how I’m going to use it, to avoid things getting stale, mouldy, etc, and try to let my supplies run right down before restocking, but that’s changed a bit this year!

DelphineWalsh Tue 22-Dec-20 16:15:56

After having an allotment and spending MONTHS looking after a few measly vegetables growing them from seed I suddenly had a new found respect for not wasting anything. I knew how much time and effort had gone into producing it all. Fighting off the pests and feeding it all the love I could and agonising over the weather. I have a deep respect for agricultural farmers.

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lynsey91 Tue 22-Dec-20 16:27:13

I hate food waste too but not really sure why. My parents were not well off when I was young and I am pretty sure nothing was wasted then but now they throw so much away.

There is literally no waste in my house. Even veg peelings are used in soup, cauliflower leaves used in stir fries, stale bread made into breadcrumbs or bread and butter pudding, bread pudding etc. Left over mash becomes potato cakes, left over veg becomes bubble and squeak.

My mum throws food out just because it has reached it's best buy or sell by date. She doesn't even attempt to see if it is still ok. If she cooks too much of something that too is thrown away. I live too far to rescue it or otherwise I would.

I think it is awful that there is so much food waste in this country. On the one hand you have people having to use food banks and children going hungry and on the other you have people throwing perfectly good food away and on a regular basis

TheChosenTwo Tue 22-Dec-20 16:44:13

I wouldn’t bother saving leftover potato wedges but wouldn’t bin half a pie.
Veg that’s looking on the turn goes in the bin and I don’t really freeze things unless it’s going to be a substantial enough meal to feed someone.
We don’t actually throw much away though, it’s not like I’m binning loads of food, more like half a pepper that was cut and forgotten about, the last bit of a tub of cream cheese that goes bad.
We used to be terrible but are now pretty on top of food wasteage. I find it quite grotesque thinking about what we used to throw away because we hadn’t got round to eating it.
I grew up hungry in a very poor household. Dh grew up with plenty. He is far less concerned about chucking food out but does use up all the leftover bits in the fridge whereas I don’t really like leftover food being made into something else.
Particularly meat, it doesn’t do so well being cooked and then reheated unless in a curry or something with a sauce. It just dries out horribly!

Fifthtimelucky Tue 22-Dec-20 16:51:29

I'm like this too, but I know why.

My parents were teenagers during the war and obviously their food was rationed. They brought us up to eat everything on our plates and not to waste anything. I'm nearly 60 now, but still hate to waste food.

MotherWol Tue 22-Dec-20 16:54:43

We’re pretty good at not wasting food, but I understand completely - for me it feels like if there’s stuff going to waste, it means that I didn’t plan well enough. Either I bought too much, or I got my meal planning wrong, but but it’s a failure on my part to anticipate what we’ll need. I hate that!

thegcatsmother Tue 22-Dec-20 16:58:16

Barbara There's a cracking carrot and coriander soup (but I use garam masala) recipe on the Good Food website, Not a lentil in sight, it freezes well, and I really enjoy it.
www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/carrot-coriander-soup

NotMeNoNo Tue 22-Dec-20 16:59:17

There's no shame in avoiding waste but sometimes there's a bit of a cost-benefit. I really and truly do not have time to go boiling up leftovers for stock. It doesn't necessarily avoid waste if you need to add a load of extra ingredients, effort or fuel you wouldn't have needed otherwise. Virtually all magazine waste avoiding tips fall into this category.

Having said that we generate a lot of waste by over-buying/over-cooking in the first place. If you made a home made pie it would be the right portions. And buying things like ready prepared veg, the waste is further up the supply chain.

Gwenhwyfar Tue 22-Dec-20 17:03:54

I despise all this talk about not wasting food. I think it's not appropriate in a country with an obesity crisis. It encourages the finish your plate mentality. Sometimes it's better to stop eating when you're full. Obviously, if possible you keep it for later/doggy bag, but it's not always possible.
There was a complete rant here a while ago about someone who regularly bought a pre-prepared salad, but threw some parts away. That would be the situation for me too, but I think it's healthier for me to do that occasionally than just eat sandwiches all the time.

Gwenhwyfar Tue 22-Dec-20 17:05:40

"I'm the same with any sort of waste really. I accosted a neighbour going to the tip the other day and asked if I could take the plantpots he was chucking!"

Do you have plants that don't have pots or are you planning to get plants soon because otherwise this sounds a bit like hoarding to me.
I will take things that other people are throwing away - my office chair was picked up from the street, but I only take things I need/really want.
I suppose if it's just the 'waste' you don't like, you could take them to charity shops, but I wonder if you have problems getting rid of things.

PickAChew Tue 22-Dec-20 17:09:25

TheChosenTwo

I wouldn’t bother saving leftover potato wedges but wouldn’t bin half a pie.
Veg that’s looking on the turn goes in the bin and I don’t really freeze things unless it’s going to be a substantial enough meal to feed someone.
We don’t actually throw much away though, it’s not like I’m binning loads of food, more like half a pepper that was cut and forgotten about, the last bit of a tub of cream cheese that goes bad.
We used to be terrible but are now pretty on top of food wasteage. I find it quite grotesque thinking about what we used to throw away because we hadn’t got round to eating it.
I grew up hungry in a very poor household. Dh grew up with plenty. He is far less concerned about chucking food out but does use up all the leftover bits in the fridge whereas I don’t really like leftover food being made into something else.
Particularly meat, it doesn’t do so well being cooked and then reheated unless in a curry or something with a sauce. It just dries out horribly!

So you don't eat leftover roast meat then? Often it reheats just fine in gravy or added to a pasta sauce, curry or even a stir fry.

Iminaglasscaseofemotion Tue 22-Dec-20 17:09:53

I'm the opposite and I annoy myself. I can't stand leftoversying around. Usually because I now there's no point keeping jt as no one ever eats it. My mum however hates to through anything in the bin . We burnt 8 Yorkshire puddings last time she came for dinner, to the point no one could eat them, but my mum took them home confused no idea what she used them for.

Frouby Tue 22-Dec-20 17:10:05

Hate it too OP but it's got to be a balanced approach. So for instance I'm not going to waste a load of plastic wrap storing a half portion of rice or pasta, but if it was a complete portion it's worth using a tupperware tub (that will have to be washed, take energy in the freezer to feeeze, will degrade the tub 1 more time etc). We have an allotment and chickens and Guinea pigs and a dog so can usually feed something with some leftovers.

BarbaraofSeville Tue 22-Dec-20 17:17:46

Thanks for the carrot and coriander recipe.

I keep trying to keep supermarket plants alive by repotting them, sometimes it works.

Or I end up paying 50 pence for a new coriander plant to save 15 pence worth of carrots.

I'd fry up leftover potato wedges with bacon or similar or put in an omelette.

Leftover peppers get chopped into bits and frozen, along with part used tins of beans, chick peas, tomatoes etc.

Every so often I pull them all out of the freezer to put in a chilli, which I find quite satisfying.

I think it's just the 'freezer graveyard' that gives me stress, because I've cooked the thing, so I need to benefit from the effort by eating it.

Or the cycle of needing to use things up in order to stop them being wasted, but there's always a missing ingredient to make into a recipe. Need to be stricter with meal planning.

woodhill Tue 22-Dec-20 17:19:49

I hate food waste too. We do have a food waste caddy.

I always use up leftovers

VettiyaIruken Tue 22-Dec-20 17:24:55

I feel guilty. I'm not even sure why. It's not just food waste. Its recycling, reusing, everything.

Plussizejumpsuit Tue 22-Dec-20 17:26:49

In those situations I wouldn't have chucked the wedges and would have taken food home. But if I put leftovers in the fridge nf the go uneaten I don't beat myself up. My reasons are:
I can feel shit enough about myself so I don't want to make it worse.
I haven't had children so I'm not contributing to the climate crisis this way.
I don't fly much
I live in an urban area in a smallish home therfore reducing carbon footprint.
I give anything I'm decluttering etc to charity or free cycle.

So overall I don't feel like I'm setting the earth to burn by chucking a portion of pasta away!

TheChosenTwo Tue 22-Dec-20 17:29:56

@PickAChew not really. We tend to buy and cook what we know we’ll eat. We have big appetites (family of 5), a 2.4kg chicken tends to feed us once and then there may be enough for dh to mix with Mayo/bacon to put in a sandwich the next day. Or maybe not if there’s no leftovers.
Roast beef leftovers are okay in a curry.
Meat reheated in gravy reminds me of school dinners!
But on the whole, no, we cook an appropriate amount for one meal to start with. Faffing about with leftovers sounds annoying unless there’s enough for the 5 of us to eat again. But I don’t like eating the same thing twice in a row.
Leading me back to my first point of cooking what we need...

WitchFindersAreEverywhere Tue 22-Dec-20 17:32:45

They’re planning on a waste food caddy service in my area, and tbh, I’d be stuck for things to put in it. I’ve got a compost bin.
I dislike food waste, get round it by only cooking a reasonable amount, and using serving dishes so I can freeze leftovers.

Judashascomeintosomemoney Tue 22-Dec-20 17:33:54

I agree with every word. I abhor wastage of food but, as PP said, also wastage of other items like household goods, clothing etc. I would never police other people who don’t share my view, and I don’t particularly judge them, but I do wish more people could be even a little bit more thoughtful about it.
I’m not entirely sure why I feel so strongly about it, I did have an impoverished upbringing though. There was definitely minimal wastage in our house whether it be food, or socks that got darned, or trousers that got patched, and everything was handed down - more than once, etc. My mother even learned things like basic diy skills in order to fix things that got broken. EG she bought a soldering iron, a sewing machine, had tools that other mothers of my peer’s generation just didn’t own, and didn’t dream of owning (all braved for veeeery slowly and all second hand, by saving a few pence a week out of her extremely tight budget - she had different marked up white envelopes that she’d put a pound coin in when she could) Skills were learnt at the library by borrowing the relative books (she borrowed a book on car maintenance for a while and managed to keep our ancient rust bucket going longer than was decent 😂). This is going back 40 years to the early 1980s. I knew we were different to other families in my friendship group, and though it didn’t make me isolated, it easily could have done. I hated it. I’ll never forget the shame of starting my (selective, luckily social mobility was a benefit of the selective system for me) secondary school, in my home made uniform. Every other girl had the hideous, uniform-shop bought, baggy, wide tri-coloured blouse and below knee length sludgey coloured A-line skirt. I had my mum’s homemade, fitted, striped blouse and grey ra-ra skirt. It actually made me wildly popular, they all wanted her to make theirs😂! But I didn’t want to be different. And so, when I left school, and home, at sixteen and was first in full time, paid work (I couldn’t afford to stay in education even if I wanted to because I had to leave home), I rejected that way of life and became quite wasteful and extravagant (well, as far as I could afford to). I got in to a lot of credit card debt as I’d just buy and buy and buy stuff I didn’t really want or need. I look back on that now as appalling (though I clearly had unresolved issues, so forgive myself😉). But I obviously never really forgot what it was like as a child because I have definitely slowly got back to it. When it comes to non wastage of food, I’m gold standard! But it takes a hell of a lot of time and effort to effectively plan and cook, and I have a lot of cooking experience and knowledge from my younger days, that many people might not have. Becoming vegetarian as a family really helped with that too, though sometimes I think vegetarian cooking is more labour intensive, and I do cook everything from scratch and batch cook (no ready prepped veg etc). I reuse, repurpose or recycle everything I possibly can, and try to buy less in general. Clothes are usually worn til they fall apart, though I have good quality clothes that last ages because I’m lucky enough to be able to afford them in the first place I suppose. Same with furniture and the like, I buy things with the intention of them lasting a lifetime or as near as, but that not that doesn’t come cheap. Cars (we need more than one as a family) are bought outright and kept til they start falling apart (or get too expensive to fix each MOT). Maybe, for me anyway, non wastage is a by product of being privileged enough to be able buy quality things in the first place, plus a little bit of knowledge and desire to minimise my impact on the world. So, to summarise, for me it may have started as a living on the breadline thing but now it’s more that I can afford to have little waste, because I can afford the good quality things in the first place and so, to not live that way, would seem appalling to me.

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