Monday, February 21, 2011

Confession Time

I feel kind of guilty that I've wasted food. I just dumped a whole, previously-unopened carton of "natural beef flavored" broth down the sink.

Its expiration date was March 18, which is not too bad, except that it was also 2006, which if I'm calculating correctly was some time ago now.

We don't like to throw away food in this house. Much better it sit in the cupboard untouched for a minimum of five years.

I don't so much feel guilty about throwing it away just now, which was probably a wise call.

Although it still smelled OK, as far as I could tell given my limited experience with such products, and if I were of the meat-eating persuasion at this point I might have had a go at making something with it just to test the quality of modern broth-preservation technology and the steeliness of my own stomach.

That would have made a much more entertaining story to have related here, assuming I survived. Alas, it is not to be. My apologies.

I more feel guilty about ever having bought it in the first place.

I don't think we've ever used broth for anything. Why did I think we'd use this? But it was on sale on the "dented carton" shelf ($1.25 marked down from $2.49! I have no idea if that's a good price or not!), and I was filled with the optimistic notion that I'd one day make some enticing recipe that called for broth.

Anywhere from five to probably eight years later (I have no idea when we actually bought this item, or how far away the expiration date was at that point), I have been proven wrong. For shame.

Clearly, we should stick to our usual purchasing habits, heavy on the peanut butter, to ensure that we do not make this type of error again.

And indeed, this type of error weighs heavy on my head, so for the most part we do stick to our usual purchasing habits, and consume pretty much everything we buy, limiting my food-waster's guilt to the point that I can become convinced it's somehow an interesting story for this blog. Yay! I rock!

I'm still working on an ancient jar of grape jelly that has half crystalized to sugar. I'm determined, I tell you. I will finish the jelly! It will not be wasted! I have some about every couple of months. We'll get there, the jelly and I.

Or else I will pass it on to my descendants. Either way.

The thing is, sometimes I fear this caution may limit my ventures into trying new things. We don't buy much outside the staples because I'm not sure we'll do anything with it and I don't want it to go bad, so my diet is a bit limited. Though deliciously heavy on the peanut butter.

I was very tempted to buy into a CSA last year, but I wasn't sure we'd use that many vegetables and I couldn't face the thought of having them go bad.

But this year, I've been thinking maybe I'll buy in anyway, and just count on that guilt to prod me into doing something with pounds and pounds of vegetables.

We should be eating more vegetables anyway, that's basically a given. Unless you subsist entirely on moss and radishes, you pretty much know you should be eating more vegetables.

And even then, you should be eating more kinds of vegetables.

So if we have lots of vegetables hanging around, weighing heavy on my head with the potential of going bad, then I'll simply have to find some way to make them into food.

Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew. I can surely come up with something.

Use guilt as a force for good, is what I'm proposing.

I mean, even more than I already do, given my low levels of wasted food.

So use guilt as a more powerful force for good, is what I'm actually proposing.

It's a small step from eating more unwasted vegetables to saving the world, right?


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