How I Do and Do Not Waste Food, and How Others Do

Why do people waste food?

Maybe it is because I am part of a frugal family and throwing out food was throwing out money, but I rarely toss the edibles. I go to a restaurant, eat what I can, and take the rest as leftovers. Sometimes the remains feed me for multiple home meals.

When I go to the grocery store, I buy for the week and do not come back until the fridge is practically empty. What if I want a different kind of cereal? Well, I have to clear the cabinets before I stash them again.

ladder and jelly beans

There are other kinds of food waste. Some may consider my food photography outing as a waste of time at the very least.

food battle

Rest assured, after the epic jelly bean journey I ate them all–even the ones that survived the battle with the trail mix (all deaths resulted in mastication and ingestion).

Coconut milk is best used within seven to 10 days after opening. Now, I am not sure how long after that before the milk goes bad, but I make sure I have enough uses for it so I can complete the jug in the allotted time.

Once in a while an item in the back of a refrigerator door. That is usually a vegetable because if I am not eating as much meat as I intended, then I can put that in the freezer. If I struggle to finish an item before it goes bad, I do not buy it again in the near future–I have to REALLY crave it and know I will finish it before I purchase it.

Tomato sauce has mold growing on top? Scoop it out–the rest is still good.

So sometimes I have to escape the frugal life and look at what the “average person” does. By average, I mean the people that media focuses on, which may or may not be average for all the circumstances they are pinned for.

The “average” American should eat one less burger a week than he or she normally would. I have heard this statement in a handful of documentaries and news segments. This implies that not only does the “average” American eat a burger every week, but MORE than one burger every week.

I will not judge that right now, especially since the rare occasion I eat out it is for bakery goods or the burger’s rival, the pizza.

If you want to see how much food the “average” American, who is a composite hypothetical being representing over 300 million different real individuals, wastes, check out this amusing video from MinuteEarth.

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