Friday, August 15, 2014

Thought for the Day

If you are looking for a way to reduce food waste, get a small fridge.

"What??!!  Noooo..  I need a bigger fridge to put more food in because it's going bad!!"

Think about what you just said.  Really, think about it.  You already have a fridge, probably a fairly spacious one.  And food is rotting in there.  Why?  Did it get pushed to the back (rotting zone)?  Is there more than one so one is good and the other bad?  Did you put it in there with all the best intentions of eating it tomorrow? And then forgot about it?

See, I know whereof I speak.  I had one of those refrigerators.  It was big!  I mean really big!  It stuck out 6 inches in front of the kitchen counter.  And I was throwing away SO MUCH FOOD!  After a while, I started filling empty milk jugs and putting them in the back on each shelf, yep in the rotting zone.  That helped.  Finally when I opened the door, I could see everything in there without having to dig.

But the biggest change I made that has cut down on food waste the most was when we moved from the US (the land of bigger is better) to Australia.  Our fridge here is 120 liter, which is about 5' tall x 2' x 2', freezer on top.  And I LOVE it!  The biggest change I had to make with it was changing the way I think about condiments.

When you look into the history of condiments, most of them originated as a way of making foods last longer, preserving.  And most of them are vinegar and/or sugar based.  Vinegar and sugar are food preservatives.  So, all of our condiments now live in a cupboard.  Yes, even mayonnaise!  For those that don't know, mayonnaise originated as a way of preserving eggs.  It's base ingredients are egg, oil and vinegar.

Butter is a bit tricky, and during the summer heat, I could only take as much out of the fridge as we would use in a day because yes, it would mold that quickly.  Luckily, the extreme summer heat only lasted about a month.  And then I was able to put out enough butter to last a few days.

Oh, and I quit looking for and buying bigger is better size containers.  Buying fresh foods and using them up within a week is healthier and results in less food waste. No preservatives, flavorings, colors, enhancers.  Just good, real food.

And the bonus is, your smaller fridge will use electricity so you'll save money on that side too!

What do you think?

2 comments:

  1. I'm with you! Smaller fridges here in Ireland, too and I've managed just fine. Our freezer is on the bottom and is all drawers, so sometimes I have had to organize stuff to fit it in, but that's OK. And rarely do I see "family size" packages of anything, even though families are huge here. Many places do not even have a fridge as big as ours, but have under counter fridges. Smaller oven and washing machine, too :-)

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  2. We have the smaller stove and washer here too. I don't mind the smaller size at all. I do miss the more aggressive agitation of the US washing machine though. I've had pieces come all the way through that were dry in the center because the machine didn't agitate enough to open the fabric up and flip it all around.

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