|Obviously in my kitchen in October is Halloween candy!|
For more than half the month of October, we were out of town and eating mainly in restaurants, so not much has happened in my kitchen lately. Therefore this wrap-up will be short. I'm sharing my kitchen thoughts with the many other bloggers who summarize new foods and gadgets each month and link up at Sherry's Blog.
|New from Trader Joe's: a nice French snack.|
I had it waiting in the freezer for when we arrived home after a day in the car.
|Brought back from our visit to Fairfax where there's a Wegman's.|
|Simple classic: roast chicken, bread dressing, cranberry sauce.|
|Len’s latest bread, with raisins and dried cherries.|
In my kitchen is a new trash can. The old one was broken, so we had to get another one for household trash that can't be recycled or composted. Very unexciting, but it reminds me of an issue that’s getting a lot of attention these days: FOOD WASTE.
"According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), approximately 31% of the available food supply is wasted, with 21% occurring in households and 10% in consumer-facing businesses....About 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions are linked to food loss and waste." (source)
Here in Ann Arbor, compostable household garbage is collected with the garden waste (like raked-up leaves) and is turned into usable compost. Nationally, around 27% of the US population has access to a program for composting food waste. (source)
- Buying too much at the grocery store, especially produce, and then not using it in a timely way. You get a good deal: 20 pounds of potatoes and 10 pounds of onions at Costco. What happens to them?
- Cooking a big quantity and not using the leftovers. Trying a new food and not liking it. Or just overfilling your plate: especially an issue at restaurants. Abundance is our enemy in fighting waste.
- Purchasing unusual ingredients when planning to cook a complicated recipe and it doesn't happen — so you never need the materials. Or buying a big package/bottle/box of an exotic Asian sauce or special condiment that you only use once and throwing it away a year later.
- Over-reacting to “sell by” and “best by” dates on packaged and processed foods. These labels encourage people to throw away still-usable food. We are now told that other than deli meats and a few other things, most foods are still fit to eat (if they don’t smell bad) for quite a while after the date on the package. I partly believe this, and try to make responsible trade-offs between eating something that might be too old, and tossing something that might be fine.
- And just a seasonal note: in my experience, any leftover Halloween candy should be thrown out just before Valentine's Day. (For a more nuanced view on candy shelf-life see eater.com.)
Neighborhood Update: Decorations at Night
Happy Halloween, Everyone!
Blog post © 2023 mae sander