Monday, August 25, 2008

Throw it Out

When I didn't prepare and cook most of my own foods I didn't care what I had, or didn't have, in my fridge or freezer, and routinely threw things out, especially fresh foods that I never "got around to", because most of the foods I ate were fast foods already cooked and prepared for me and I could go out and get more if I wanted . But now I can't stand the thought of not having lots of good, fresh, healthy foods to choose from in my own home, so I overbuy (but I'm getting better, much better), over prepare, and over cook (so wonder I sometimes overeat). For instance I woke up early this morning and couldn't get back to sleep around 3:30am, so I just went into the kitchen and started some beef, barley and mushroom soup in the pressure cooker, then made kale salad with citrus dressing, and pre-prepped cabbage, carrot and green onion for salad another day. I also reorganized what fresh veggies were left so I can use as many as possible before anything went bad.

I recently realized that part of the reason I eat too much is because I hate waste. I had even started to eat foods that I know aren't as agreeable with my diet just because I had them and I didn't want to throw them out, like beets. I love beets and I know numerous ways to cook them and use them, but for some crazy reason beets do not move through my intestines (sorry) as fast as I would like them to, staying a day longer most times. I will always weigh heavy the day after I eat beets, but sometimes I'll eat them anyway because they come in my CSA box, although I've gotten good at not purchasing them myself, even though I love the beet greens. This week I tore the greens away, and left the beets in the "trade box", that was a big move on my part. ( I currently have golden baby beets AND chiogga beets in my crisper from 2 and 3 weeks ago.....I swear I'll throw them out soon, lol)

A couple of weeks ago I had bought some peaches from Wayne's garden, too many to begin with, and the last two were starting to shrivel....isn't the point of fresh food to eat it when it's fresh? Not shriveled, lol! But I still was resistant to throwing them away, that's when Mark said, "Honey....throw them out, let it go....there's more where that came from, you know peaches grow on trees!"

Being reminded again by a client, Megan, telling me about growing up on a farm and seeing natures abundance run riot, overproducing and rotting in the fields....there's more where that came from! This stuff grows like crazy!

I mean, do you know anyone that cooks the stems of kale and chard (and beet green stems) just because they hate the thought of wasting them? They've got to have some nutritional value, at the very least water and fiber (as if I don't get enough from the field of veggies I eat everyday, lol). But in the past few weeks I have thrown away more extra veggies than in the last few months, combined, I can only eat so much....or...I should only eat so much!

Of course, not overbuying comes first, I currently have over 12 quarts of soup in my freezer, (picture above), and at least 4 quarts of make more soup, lol! But I can't keep putting this pressure on myself to save the planet's landfills by not throwing anything out! (I know, I know, I need a compost, but I don't garden....yet!) Throw things out, let them go, and quit carrying around the extra weight of the pressure to be perfect.

(Always have a piece of meat with a bone in your freezer so you can get up at 3:30am and make a pot of soup without wasting any precious pre-made stock, lol! I also have a problem throwing away bags and paper towels....I'll actually hang up a damp paper towel to dry and re-use again! I must of been very poor and starved to death in another life.....)


Unknown said...

You've probably heard this before, but remember "you either waste it or waist it." LOL

megan said...

tracy - my crystal ball tells me that you are going to get heavily into canning! -- which is a super way to preserve all that glorious produce and is another bit of down home farm wisdom from my family. and doesn't take up any more room in your freezer. here's another thought too, what about next year not doing the csa box and instead just shopping for what you need each week at the farmer's market? is that a possibility?

fawn said...

Tracy, I think you were a French house wife in your past life. I used to work with people like you! LOL!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I've heard similar phrases, and I know it's true!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Tomatoes will be the first thing I learn, because I use canned toamtoes for chilis and stews in the winter mostly. I'll make a deal with you....if you learn, I'll learn, lol! And you have the luxury of a family member teaching you!

As far as my CSA box is concerned, because alot of these CSA services have a waiting list, there's no way I'm giving up my spot. Besides, it's a great $ deal. My CSA is not the problem, I've grown as a home cook and I've expanded my food experience because of it. I'm workin' it out, lol!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Wow, that sounds kind of cool...unless french house wives are tired and dowdy!