Friday, January 10, 2014
2014 Food Resolution- Waste less food
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.
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 hope I never see it again in my lifetime.
Stay safe people and don't waste the resources still left on this planet.