Friday, January 10, 2014

2014 Food Resolution- Waste less food

I am a little late but I haven't had the chance to sit down and work on this post but have been thinking about it's content since the Big Ice Storm in Toronto in December.

My #1 Food Resolution for 2014 is reducing Food WASTE.

If you were one of the people in Toronto or almost most places in the East Coast of North America you may have been hit hard by the Ice Storm and may have lost power from a day to a week.   I was one of the lucky and unlucky ones.   I lost power on saturday night and my power didn't go back on until late monday afternoon.   But the big thing was that our water was shut off too.   That was harder for me than the power going off as I had a wind up radio and was charging my cell phone in my car.  But not being able to take a shower, go to the bathroom, wash a dish or anything that had to do with water was tough.   I am not the camping type of person and living on the 19th floor in an apartment doesn't allow me to have a BBQ or make it easy to get in and out of the building.   We were lucky that the building had a generator that operated one elevator and the lights in the hallway were at half power.

Well I gave up the roaming around my building trying to charge things and get bathroom breaks and I decided to stay at a Hotel downtown next to where I am working right now.  So around 5pm on sunday evening I packed a bag and took the subway downtown just in time because a part of the subway that I bypassed had been shut down afterwards.   I was able to go to the Keg for dinner, watch cp24 to find out how widespread the damage was and charge up my electronic devices and check my emails.   My how we depend on electricity and water for everything in life these days.   The next morning I got up packed up my stuff and walked to work at the building next door.   I wish my commute was that easy every day.   After work I took the subway back home and prayed that things were back to normal.  Luckily the power was back and I think probably not too shortly before I arrived home because it was very cold and I checked with management in the morning and it was still off then.   Thank God it was back.   BUT in my haste to get out of my powerless apartment I didn't do anything about the food in my fridge.   Here's were my NEW YEAR"S RESOLUTION comes in.   I then spent the next couple of hours going through my fridge and throwing out almost all of the contents of my fridge and then spent at least an hour cleaning the fridge and the mason jars and containers that were in my fridge.
Here's the thing.   My refrigerator was fully packed because I was planning on having my year end party with my friends and had picked up a few things and was planning on making some of the things I had in my fridge.

Here's what my fridge looked like before I had to purge the food and afterwards.   Also note that I ended up throwing out the chocolate cakes in the after because I didn't know what was in them and didn't want to take any chances. And a couple of things were transferred from the freezer.


And here's the pile in my sink that I had to clean up after I dumped the contents.

Here's what I learned through this whole experience.

1. You only have 4 hours after your fridge's power is turned off until things start going bad.

2.  You have 48 hours for the foods in your freezer if your freezer is jam packed.  I was lucky here and only tossed a few things.

3.  If your freezer is half full you cut the time in half for how long your food will be good.

4.  What I learned is to always have things like peanut butter and jam on hand and things that don't need refrigeration or cooking so you can always have something you can eat in case of power or water outages.

5.  Buying bottled water becomes a good thing in these cases of emergencies and thus our unpredictable planet will probably never be rid of them at this point.

6.  Don't count on anyone to help you and find a way to be prepared to help yourself.   For me it was the wind up radio, bottled water, and finally getting a hotel room.

7.  Buy what you need and don't store excessive things that need refrigeration because you never know what will happen in our ever changing extreme disasters.  

8.  Keep cash on hand for these types of emergencies in case the banking systems go down or in the case of my nearby Loblaws who's terminals went down and they were only taking cash at one point.

There were a lot more people that were a lot worse off than I was and there were many of my friends that never lost any power.   It's random so you never know what will happen.

Back to my New Year's Resolution.   I am going to try and shop smarter.  Although I now have food in my fridge I am going to try not to pack it full of things I can't possibly eat before they spoil.  
I have pickled jars and preserves that I just made and just enough to be able to make something for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

I spent a better part of 2013 wasting a large amount of food and money because I tried to buy more organic foods and more vegetables but unfortunately cooking for one is difficult to use up all of the produce and larger packaged items and I ended up throwing away a lot of money I couldn't afford to waste.

You know when you were a kid and your parents told you to eat your food because some kid was starving in Africa.   I found myself thinking about all the food that was tossed out after the storm that probably could have fed all the starving kids in Africa and other third world countries.

Imagine how we (myself included) take food, water, electricity for granted when there are still people in third world countries or war torn or disaster ridden areas that don't have these necessities.

Maybe Mother Nature has been trying to send us a message.   I got it LOUD and CLEAR.

We are all wasting the Planet away and don't appreciate what we have until it's gone.

I think Mother Nature is trying to get us to Wake Up and look at what we have done.

I am not a young person and have been through an ice storm in this city before but I have never seen so many trees devastated and destruction caused by a winter storm.

I hope I never see it again in my lifetime.
Stay safe people and don't waste the resources still left on this planet.


  1. Very good post. My mom was without power for 5 days and lost everything in her fridge & freezer (4 large garbage bags full of food). As a result, and after I completely cleaned out her chest freezer in the basement, she has decided that she does not need to use it anymore and we will not be plugging it in again. No need to store all that frozen food for one person.

  2. Glad you liked the post. I hope that a lot of people have made adjustments to the way they shop and store their food since the storm. my freezer is still full but my fridge isn't so much anymore.


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