Bad vs. Worse


You would think that a single-use plastic take-away food container would be the last thing I would post about during Plastic-Free July.  Bear with me while I explain.

During the week there was a meeting at work which I was not involved in but this was some of the leftover lunch catering.  At the end of the day someone mentioned that if anyone could use the leftovers to please take them.  I am one of the last to leave the office so I had quite a pile to take with me.  The first stop was to leave a tray of sandwiches and wraps at the park for some of the homeless who are often nearby.

2017-07-15 01

This container had not been opened and contained a mix of pumpkin, onion and baby spinach.  It seemed to have a seasoned oil dressing on it.

This morning I decided to make a vegetable curry.  The pumpkin chunks had not been peeled so I removed the skin.  I know that it is edible, however, I choose not to do so.

2017-07-15 02

I fried a couple of small chillies (diced) and some curry paste, added green beans and capsicum (bell pepper), some coconut cream and finally the pumpkin and spinach.

2017-07-15 03

This was our dinner which I served with some brown rice.

So, I have acquired a plastic container.  However, I saved perfectly good food from landfill.  The container will be used many times over.

I also salvaged some fruit from the same event.  The container on the left is my lunchbox which I filled with fruit that was on skewers (kebab-style) and the other container was provided by the caterers.  This is now in my recycling bin.

2017-07-15 04

I put all of the fruit in the blender along with some frozen pineapple, passionfruit and mango from the freezer.  This made enough for 4 large semi-frozen fruit smoothies.  Here is mine which I had for breakfast.

2017-07-15 05

I could have refused to have anything to do with this excess food because of the plastic waste, however, I chose to take responsibility for it and use the food as well as doing the best I can with the plastic.  Much better than it all ending up in landfill.  Do you agree?






Too Much Food


I am sure you have seen the statistics which indicate that we discard between 20 and 50% of all food that is produced.  Although this is from the UK, the situation is similar in all developed countries.

It is disgusting that so much food is wasted while there are millions of people on this planet who go hungry every day.

When I first read these figures, a couple of years ago, I found it unbelievable.  However, since then I have realised that many people have very different ideas to me when it comes to food usage and storage.

I work in a city office of a large global corporation and from time to time there are catered events.  I understand the difficulties of predicting quantities when catering for unknown numbers and tastes.  However, the fate of the leftover food is disappointing, to say the least.

This week (Tuesday) there was a large tray of untouched green salad – specialty lettuce, red onion, cucumber, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrot and corn kernels as well as breads, dips and fruit.  This was placed on the bench in the kitchen area and generally announced in the open office.  I decided to have a plate of salad with hommus and basil pesto for my lunch and save my packed lunch for another day.  There may have been one or two others who had a little salad but there was still a substantial quantity left a few hours later.  I did not want to see it spoil so I packed it in the fridge.  I put as much as I could into a square plastic container that I had plus I filled this container that was on the bench.

2015-03-05 01That accounted for about half of the salad so I put the rest in 2 large noodle bowls, covered them and placed them in the fridge.

I brought the 2 plastic containers home which provided enough salad for 4 lunches plus dinner for both of us tonight, alongside our hamburger patties and some fried mushrooms and onions.  The salad remaining in the container is enough for my lunch tomorrow – last of the 4 lunches.

I was not in the office yesterday and when I arrived this morning the 2 bowls of salad were untouched but the midday they had disappeared.  I cannot be certain but most likely they were discarded into the bin.  I am constantly astounded by the lack of interest in using up perfectly good food.  I am not suggesting that people gorge themselves on the excess but rather use it for future meals.

On a similar note, I went to a small community gathering yesterday evening and the request was to bring a plate of supper to share.  This is what I took.

2015-03-05 02Does it look meagre?  I constantly witness over-catering at events where there is ‘bring a plate’ catering..  If you think about it logically, you should really only contribute the equivalent of what you or your family group would reasonably eat if there was no other food to choose from.  If everyone adhered to this principle, rather than bringing huge cakes or platters of sandwiches, there would be minimal wastage and less over-indulging.

What do you think?