"I'm Too Good For Leftovers!"
Warning Warning Warning: This is a Preachy Hub
Let me clarify a few things first:
- I love my friends.
- I know I shouldn't be a judgemental person. I don't want people to judge me for what I am or what I do, so I should try to be more understanding
Ok, that being said, dear readers, maybe you can clarify some things for me?
- Americans are all whining and moaning about tightening our belts during this horrible recession. We complain about the rising price of gas, cigarettes, liquor, etc. But yet, "Almost 100 billion pounds of food is wasted in America each year". (Source: http://www.soundvision.com/Info/poor/statistics.asp)
- I realize that some of this food is wasted by the food industry, but a lot of this food is wasted by individual families. Trust me, I've seen it.
Nothing disgusts me more than the wastefulness of people. I know several people who absolutely refuse to eat leftovers; in their household, tons of food will go to waste because they are too spoiled to take it for lunch the next day.
Thank Goodness my family isn't like that! Well, I think it depends on how you're raised. Spoiled children, raised by a mother who was basically a short-order cook, will grow up expecting the same. They will turn their noses up at anything else. My husband and I were raised to eat what's in front of you and like it, or go hungry.
Here are several reasons why you shouldn't waste food
- Obviously, saving money on food. No-brainer, eating leftovers saves your family money.
- Less trips to the supermarket. Personally I HATE grocery shopping, it's a huge chore. It not only costs me money to shop, but money for gas, and time lost when I could be working on writing or household chores. So, you are saving: money, gas (and less pollution!) and valuable time.
- Less time in the kitchen. I like to cook, but there are times I don't. Reheating food is a life saver!
- There are still starving people in the world. Yes, every mom has said it. And, there is also another saying: "Live simply, so other's can simply live." There are 700 million hungry people in this world. How can you possibly justify being selfish and spoiled when so many people do without?
Turkey Wedding Soup:
- 4 cups of chicken or turkey broth
- 1 cup of frozen spinach
- 4 oz of turkey-cooked, cubed, or shredded
- 4 oz of ground beef-in meatballs, cooked
- 2 TBS onion-chopped
- 2 TBS of celery-chopped
- 1 egg-beaten
- 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Simmer turkey, beef meatballs, onion and celery in broth for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bow, add Parmesan to beaten egg and mix thoroughly. Add egg mixture, spinach, and spices to soup. Stir to distribute egg mixture. Simmer 5 min. and serve hot.
But...I just can't do it!!!
However, I realize despite all these valid points, people will continue to be stubborn and waste perfectly good food. I plead with you, if you are one of these people, I suggest:
- Only cook enough food for one serving. Not every economical, but neither is wasting food!
- If you have a ton of leftovers at the end of a party or get-together, ask everyone if they want to take something home. Oh, me! Me! I'm not proud! Means less cooking for me!
- If you want to try out a new brand of cereal or other product, buy the smallest portion available. Therefore, if you don't like it, only a small amount goes to waste.
- Recycle your wasted food. Start a compost pile, or give your day old bread to the birds.
Sometimes, you have to throw it away
Now, there are cases which you shouldn't keep food, purely based on safety. I'm not crazy enough to eat something if I think it's going to make me sick! Obviously, you should throw away food for these reasons:
- Doesn't smell or taste right. Well, some people would argue that all leftovers never smell or taste "right", and there's no help for these sort of people! But there are people who live on the other extreme; they will eat something that's questionable (safety wise), just because they zealously cheap and/or lazy. That's dangerous and just plain silly! So blanket rule: if it smells or tastes funny, throw it away.
- Improperly stored, refrigerated or canned. You should refrigerate leftovers right away. If they have been left out in the hot sun or overnight, throw it away. If you have any suspicion of improper storing or canning methods, throw away!
- Mold on the food- Duh.
- Expired food- Now I bend this rule slightly, depending on the product. Eggs usually last a few weeks longer than the expiration date, milk a few days (does it smell? Nope, it's fine), and etc. But meat isn't something I fool around with, especially poultry, which tends to go bad fast.
Overall, leftovers aren't something to be scared of. Oh, and please check out these valuable links from my fellow hubbers! Remember to waste not, and you'll want not! :)
Check out this hub for proper food storage:
Check out this hub link for proper canning:
Recycle your rendered fat into a tasty treat for the birds!
- Frugal Suet, It's For The Birds
You can use your rendered bacon, beef, or ham fat to make your own wild bird suet. It's cheap and easy!