So sad to see food waste :(

Branching Out

Deeply Rooted
Joined
Dec 2, 2022
Messages
1,514
Reaction score
4,778
Points
175
Location
Southwestern B.C.
Those of us who grow fruits and vegetables have a much deeper appreciation of how much time and effort go in to getting them from seed to table, and I think this makes us gardeners especially horrified by food waste. I have told my husband that we need to go back to eating more of what is in season or what we can grow to store for the winter, like in the old days. Southern style mustard greens and collards are not part of our culture up here, but we are going to grow those in the coming year (and also far more varieties of kale) to increase our self-reliance. I have grown collards in the past, but never eaten them; they always seem to end up in the compost, perhaps because we are not accustomed to cooking with them. Green Wave greens will be totally new for us too.

On this snowy Sunday morning, bacon and eggs will be on the menu for breakfast. We bake our bacon on parchment paper in a sheet pan in the oven, and I will add a teaspoon of the bacon fat to the cast iron pan for the eggs. Apart from that the parchment with bacon fat always gets tossed in the green can with other green waste, and I am thinking that we should be using that fat for cooking instead. With butter at more than $5 a pound it makes economic sense too. I got a good deal on buttermilk the other day and plan to make buttermilk yeast rolls; I may try a bit of bacon fat in place of the melted butter in that recipe. I freeze everything in glass jars, and bacon fat could certainly be poured into a small jar, frozen, and then used for sauteing onions I am sure.

Do any of you cook with bacon drippings? And will that perhaps be part of my learning how to cook 'a mess of greens??'
 

Phaedra

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
2,793
Reaction score
13,771
Points
205
Location
Schleiden, Germany USDA 8a
Those of us who grow fruits and vegetables have a much deeper appreciation of how much time and effort go in to getting them from seed to table, and I think this makes us gardeners especially horrified by food waste. I have told my husband that we need to go back to eating more of what is in season or what we can grow to store for the winter, like in the old days. Southern style mustard greens and collards are not part of our culture up here, but we are going to grow those in the coming year (and also far more varieties of kale) to increase our self-reliance. I have grown collards in the past, but never eaten them; they always seem to end up in the compost, perhaps because we are not accustomed to cooking with them. Green Wave greens will be totally new for us too.

On this snowy Sunday morning, bacon and eggs will be on the menu for breakfast. We bake our bacon on parchment paper in a sheet pan in the oven, and I will add a teaspoon of the bacon fat to the cast iron pan for the eggs. Apart from that the parchment with bacon fat always gets tossed in the green can with other green waste, and I am thinking that we should be using that fat for cooking instead. With butter at more than $5 a pound it makes economic sense too. I got a good deal on buttermilk the other day and plan to make buttermilk yeast rolls; I may try a bit of bacon fat in place of the melted butter in that recipe. I freeze everything in glass jars, and bacon fat could certainly be poured into a small jar, frozen, and then used for sauteing onions I am sure.

Do any of you cook with bacon drippings? And will that perhaps be part of my learning how to cook 'a mess of greens??'
I did. Not only the fat from bacon, I used to chop pork/beef/chicken fat into small pieces and then pan-fry them until all oil came out. Then, we use such fat/oil for frying other ingredients. This is very common in my culture.

The principle is, making the best use of the food. Most of the refined oils available on supermarket shelves are not really better than animal fats.

3212.jpg

Delicious meals can be created from simple ingredients - and they do offer what we need, much better than processed alternatives.
317717012_157227933694260_663734145949962102_n.jpg


It's a bit funny that my parents seldom cooked and didn't garden at all. AMuch of my current lifestyle was created from all kinds of literature, documentaries TV programs, movies...a etc

I almost finished the documentary and appreciated tour choice to havechickens. They are so far the strongest competitors for our compost heaps. I will save whatever is safe and good for them. Once, I listened to a Podcast and it mentioned (I forgot which country) an experiment that successfully reduced certain food waste and landfill issues after offering each family three chickens free of charge.

Yesterday, I brought back a bag of greens from a supermarket, where they removed and offered outer leaves for Pets. They are perfect supplements for chickens. I gave them all kinds of row peels and leaves; for the parts difficult for them to take, I will use the processor or simply cook them.

331304243_207769395165792_6099924835130137777_n.jpg

I also save some meat scraps for them. Like today, our hens enjoyed a warm Sunday brunch - all kinds of good things mixed with the commercial feed.
3213.jpg


3215.jpg


And they have afternoon tea, too. :lol:
3204.jpg
 

Phaedra

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
2,793
Reaction score
13,771
Points
205
Location
Schleiden, Germany USDA 8a
What we rescued with 50% discount last night. Dumpster diving is illegal in Germany, and supermarkets simply locked everything.

We were the last customer yesterday, and there were still a lot of bananas, strawberries, potted basils, rockets, and tulips. To be honest, I don't know where those veggies, fruits, and flowers will go if nobody buys them after 8 pm on Saturday. They are totally fine and very good in quality. :(
3216.jpg


As an individual, what we can do is always limited, but better than doing nothing?

After checking my pantry, I decided to make some jam.
3217_0.jpg

Fruits for our hens and quails
3220.jpg


The entire house smells lovely.
3218.jpg

No waste; citrus enriches the flavor as always.
3221.jpg

We got 9 cans of jam and shared three with neighbors.
3190_0.jpg

It's rewarding in many aspects.
3206.jpg
 

AMKuska

Garden Master
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
2,247
Reaction score
5,478
Points
317
Location
Washington
I did. Not only the fat from bacon, I used to chop pork/beef/chicken fat into small pieces and then pan-fry them until all oil came out. Then, we use such fat/oil for frying other ingredients. This is very common in my culture.

The principle is, making the best use of the food. Most of the refined oils available on supermarket shelves are not really better than animal fats.
I think we could use cooking classes from you :eek: that looks really good!!!

Food rarely goes to waste here. Plain meat scraps are added to the dog's food. Chicken safe scraps are given to the chickens. Moldy or inappropriate for pet items go in the composter. The only food that escapes into the system is stuff mistakenly scraped in by family, or really doesn't belong in any category.
a while back when the news came out with the story about how much food is wasted by the average family it made me think of all the resulting pollution and waste of energy it took to produce and package all that plus all the packaging ending up in landfills and the land use it represents along with the destruction of topsoil, use of fertilizers, *cides, ...

330 million plus people doing that.

we're an incredibly rich society that we can afford such waste.

personally i'm rather upset by any food wasting that goes on here and i try to make sure it doesn't happen. we've probably kept it down to less than 1% that spoils and even if it does i can feed it to the worm farm i many cases. the other aspect is that i hate wasting money and to me money spent on food that is eventually wasted is also a wasted expenditure.

when i've grown it (and sometimes canned it myself) and it has ended up being wasted or spoiled that doesn't bother me as much because i know there weren't any *cides used and also it goes right back into the system without it being transported very far (100 feet max). the loss of time and labor is more important but this kind of thing doesn't happen very often either. beans are good fresh, shelly or dry so i have one to three chances of production for each plant not counting the fiber grown that gets put back into the ground when the crop is done. moving pods around and shelling and then putting the pods back out happens as needed, some pods go through the worm farm.

small local circles are more efficient than things that look more like local straight lines. you can make those lines more circular but the further away you get the more energy it takes (recycling or incinerating it still takes energy to haul the stuff around).
Most of the food waste doesn't even happen at the customer level! It's wasted in fields by farmers, at warehouses before it gets to the store and by the store itself. By the time it gets to your level to waste, a vast quantity of wastage has already occurred.

It's shocking to think that we are looking for ways to grow more food to feed our growing population, when the reality is we already have enough food--we just waste it all. >.<
Those of us who grow fruits and vegetables have a much deeper appreciation of how much time and effort go in to getting them from seed to table, and I think this makes us gardeners especially horrified by food waste. I have told my husband that we need to go back to eating more of what is in season or what we can grow to store for the winter, like in the old days. Southern style mustard greens and collards are not part of our culture up here, but we are going to grow those in the coming year (and also far more varieties of kale) to increase our self-reliance. I have grown collards in the past, but never eaten them; they always seem to end up in the compost, perhaps because we are not accustomed to cooking with them. Green Wave greens will be totally new for us too.

On this snowy Sunday morning, bacon and eggs will be on the menu for breakfast. We bake our bacon on parchment paper in a sheet pan in the oven, and I will add a teaspoon of the bacon fat to the cast iron pan for the eggs. Apart from that the parchment with bacon fat always gets tossed in the green can with other green waste, and I am thinking that we should be using that fat for cooking instead. With butter at more than $5 a pound it makes economic sense too. I got a good deal on buttermilk the other day and plan to make buttermilk yeast rolls; I may try a bit of bacon fat in place of the melted butter in that recipe. I freeze everything in glass jars, and bacon fat could certainly be poured into a small jar, frozen, and then used for sauteing onions I am sure.

Do any of you cook with bacon drippings? And will that perhaps be part of my learning how to cook 'a mess of greens??'
I can't abide collard greens, so you won't be getting advice from me on that. There isn't enough bacon fat in the world to make those hard, fiberous vegetables taste better. I do like bacon drippings to cook a stir-fry with, to drizzle over roasted vegetables, to fry grilled cheese with, etc.

Since I have dogs though, primary usage for me is as a tempting dressing for my dog's food. They're all seniors, and sometimes coaxing them to eat a medicine laced food isn't easy. The bacon grease helps that arthritis medication slide right down.
 

Phaedra

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
2,793
Reaction score
13,771
Points
205
Location
Schleiden, Germany USDA 8a
I think we could use cooking classes from you :eek: that looks really good!!!

Food rarely goes to waste here. Plain meat scraps are added to the dog's food. Chicken safe scraps are given to the chickens. Moldy or inappropriate for pet items go in the composter. The only food that escapes into the system is stuff mistakenly scraped in by family, or really doesn't belong in any category.
Same here. Besides some organs I still need to buy from Turkish supermarkets or online BARF shops, we share a lot of ingredients with our cats/dogs/chickens/quails. That makes my life simple.

And our composters usually stay hungry, especially in winter. Besides citrus peels, faded-cut flowers, and used coffee grounds, we seldom have anything to feed the composters.
 

Branching Out

Deeply Rooted
Joined
Dec 2, 2022
Messages
1,514
Reaction score
4,778
Points
175
Location
Southwestern B.C.
And our composters usually stay hungry, especially in winter. Besides citrus peels, faded-cut flowers, and used coffee grounds, we seldom have anything to feed the composters.
I grow a lot of cut flowers and my mom used to have a home florist business, so we also value bouquets of colourful blooms. Last year I read the book Flower Confidential, by Amy Stewart and it was a real eye opener for me. Each chapter of the book is a vignette about a different type of flower, detailing how that flower is grown commercially and in some cases providing interesting glimpses in to the life of the breeder or hybridizer who dedicated their career to developing them. The story of the Star Gazer Lily alone is worth reading the book, as well as the chapter detailing how many flights your average case of flowers boards before it gets to our corner supermarket. There is also a chapter on the tulip auctions in the Netherlands, and what I didn't realize and found most shocking was the level of fungicide use on cut flowers, and specifically on tulips and roses.

Zeedman has mentioned that he does not put store bought vegetable waste in his compost, and after reading this book I am very reluctant to place store bought tulips or other cut flowers in my home composter anymore. I think they are better composted at the city level, where very high temperatures are able to compost more effectively.

And AMKuska, a friend used collards in place of pasta noodles when she made lasagna for us a few years ago and it was memorably delicious, and probably one of the best lasagna I have had. I am wondering whether the collard greens should be harvested young when they are still tender, or else braised so the savoury cooking liquid tenderizes them as you would with southern mustard greens. Either way, I told my husband we are going to learn to like them (I hope). :D
 

Rhodie Ranch

Garden Master
Joined
Nov 19, 2009
Messages
3,544
Reaction score
5,790
Points
333
Location
Southern Washington State, 8b
My DD saves all her leftovers for me. We got there yesterday and picked up a paper grocery bag full of bread products. The moldy ones go into the compost and the worm bin. The good stuff we will eat and the stale stuff goes to the chickens.

Two cooked chicken carcasses from her. I simmered them last nite and then put outside in the snow to cool. Will pick the bones today.

Two bags of wrinkled grapes. Chickens and compost.

Leftover rice and tortillas - chickens.

A large plastic thing of petite tomatoes. They were wrinkled. They were used in some stir fry last nite.

And so it goes....
 

SPedigrees

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jun 9, 2018
Messages
624
Reaction score
1,913
Points
237
Location
Vermont, USA (zone 4)
Do any of you cook with bacon drippings?
I mostly cook with extra virgin organic olive oil (for health) but I keep a dish of bacon drippings in the freezer for seasoning and as ingredient in my home-made dog biscuits. I cook with butter also in some dishes (mostly dishes cooked at lower heat) that benefit from the flavor. I guess it's sort of hit-or-miss when I reach for olive oil versus butter to cook in, but I tend to add bacon grease into foods already cooking in the pan.
 
Top