Waste Not, Want Not-True word to live by in the kitchen

I have a dirty secret for my foodie friends and you, my readers. I tend to squander some very, very valuable food in my refrigerator and my freezer due to ... well, due to what exactly? At least weekly, I find myself going through the crisper drawers and tossing lettuce that wilted before I got to it ... carrots that have shriveled into veritable shrunken heads of their former selves ... a bit of salsa that grew some white fuzzy mold on top of it ... Hmm. Due to laziness, I'd say.

I find it almost criminal. I know it is certainly wasteful. And as a food writer, it is embarrassing. I'm hoping coming clean about it here will help me clean up my act and cook it already! (I will add that I very happily never ever waste beef. It alwasy gets cooked and consumed.)

If I am honest, and I am trying to be honest here, I fall in love with the food in the markets. Whether it's at the farmers' market or the grocery store around the corner, it's all about the potential fabulous food I'll be feeding my family.

Then reality sets in. I work a little too late. I sleep a little too little. I'm tired. My family is busy or not hungry or hungry for anything BUT what I have to cook. And we head out the door to let someone else do the cooking. So not only do we waste money, but we waste food at the same time. Double waste. Shameful waste.

One of the many links I've just discovered is to Jonathan Bloom's Wasted Food Blog. I was particularly intrigued by his post on a book called Wildly Affordable Organic by Linda Watson. Make "planned overs" instead of leftovers. And don't be enticed by the bargain on 10 pounds of frozen peas. After all, if you just toss them anyway (when they've turned into tiny, freezer-burned, pale green imitations of what they once were), you are not saving any money at all.

So my new vow: Buy less. Cook more. Eat out less. Waste as little as possible. Check out Wasted Food and Watson's Wildly Affordable Organic. And hold me accountable.

Any secrets you'd like to share? Even better, how about some tips about how NOT to waste.


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