Food Waste: What Can You Do?

You know that food waste is a huge problem in this country.

A look in your refrigerator will reveal a little of everything and a lot of nothing.

You don’t want to throw out the leftovers.

Americans throw out 50% of our produce.

Some of it’s just not pretty.

Some of it’s spoiled—we just never get to it.

The Accidental Locavore’s friend Janet Irizarry is one of many people in the Hudson Valley who is working to change food waste, one onion at a time.

Accidental Locavore Food Waste OnionsYou’ve heard all the talk about writing things down and making them happen, but maybe the first step is just to be conscious of it.

That’s what Janet has done for me.

This week, I made Dorrie Greespan’s “Pumpkin Stuffed With Everything Good” from Around my French Table.

I did not (really) make it according to her recipe.

My pumpkins were stuffed with everything I found in the fridge.

Accidental Locavore Food Waste Leftovers for StuffingSome croutons, a couple of Italian sausage links, some unknown cheese chunk, leek tops, the last three slices of bacon, three broccoli florets, the remnants of thyme from my garden and the rest of the heavy cream.

They were great (and you’re dealing with a couple of non-pumpkin/winter squash fans)!

Last night, rather than just heating up some left over rigatoni, I chopped up a piece of leftover pork chop, threw it all in a gratin pan, topped with some mozzarella and the last of the Parmesan and baked it. Also great!

Next up? What to do with a half a duck from Sunday night.

Thai duck curry?

A fancy shepherd’s pie (substituting the duck confit for some of my leftover duck)?

Duck fried rice (still have some of those leek tops)?

Accidental Locavore Food Waste Thai Fried RiceCross-cultural quesadillas with some of the plum hoisin sauce (which was wonderful with the duck)?

Maybe the solution to food waste starts very small.

In your head.

With awareness.


And just plain messing around in the kitchen.

Three of the meals I made, came from bits of three others.

Bits that probably would have gone in the garbage.

But because that seed had been planted, I started messing around to see what I could create.

And it was all good.

What will you make?


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