Monday, April 5, 2010

The Clean Kitchen Club

We've all heard of the "Clean Plate Club," right? The one where members can still hear their parents tell them to "clean their plate" before they get up from the table? I've heard many people say that that phrase alone made them obese - because they choose to always follow the clean plate rule, even as an adult.

I, personally, don't have that problem anymore. If I don't like something I typically don't finish it and at restaurants, I've gotten really good about stopping halfway through my meal.

The one exception I do make is with water. In Colorado, we're reminded often of our drought and I guess I feel like I should finish all of the water in my water glass. So I do. Every time. Besides, overindulging on water (really, is there such a thing?) doesn't seem harmful to my body.

At any rate, with the packing up my house that I've been doing, I'm aware of just how much food I have in my freezer, refrigerator, and pantry. And let me just tell you, it is A LOT.

Two years ago, when I moved into the place I live now, I was moving from a suburb of Denver. I packed up all of my perishable items and put them into the fridge right away. I put the items from my pantry immediately in my new one. I didn't have to waste anything.

But this time, I'm staying with Joe. Joe already has ketchup, mustard, and various other condiments. Joe already has a full fridge and freezer. This means I have two choices: eat it (or have it be eaten by friends/co-workers) or throw it away.

This morning was trash day - it's one of the last trash days that I can take advantage of in this house and I spent about a half hour going through my freezer and fridge trying to make decisions on what is edible and what isn't. I had countless dessert cups of Weight Watchers ice cream or individually wrapped fudge bars. The only problem is I bought these items so long ago that I'm sure they've got freezer burn...which means that I definitely don't want to eat them. So into the trash they went.

I had about a case of beer in my fridge from various parties and float trips that I never got around to drinking. The beer is about 8 months old, so I'm pretty sure that it wouldn't be good any longer. I drained it and threw the cans/bottles in the recycling bin.

I have about 15 frozen dinners that I will put my name on and bring to work (to store in our work freezer) to eventually eat my way through.

I have four bags of broccoli. FOUR - what the heck was I thinking? Do you know if any food pantry can or will take frozen food items?

I have tasty tortilla encrusted talapia fillets that I know are good but since I bought them at Costco there is around 45 thousand of them in my freezer...and I know I can't go through all of those.

I have bags of rice and boxes of pasta. I have jars of opened peanut butter and cans of mushrooms.

I cannot eat all of the food I have and something tells me that my co-workers will be less than thrilled if I bring cans of pumpkin mix to work and tell them to "have at it."

I don't want these things to go to waste. I also, don't want to stuff myself with them because WOW - overeating deli meat and milk seems silly and not appetizing at all. :)

I can donate the unopened dry and canned goods to a shelter, but the rest of the stuff? I guess I'll throw it away.

I read recently that when you eat because you don't want something to go to waste, it's silly. Because it DOES go to waste even if you do eat it. Eating when you're not hungry is wasteful - no matter how you slice it.

But still, I'm cringing throwing away perfectly good food...I mean, I spent money on them...hundreds of dollars on this food - do I really want to throw it away?

Do you all have any suggestions that I'm not thinking of?


TinaM said...

I know what you mean about not wasting stuff, I had a post similar called "Human Garbage Disposal", because i would ALWAYS eat stuff I didn't really want just so it didn't go to waste. I am much better now, but still fall into that sometimes...

Donating is a great idea, maybe call and ask them if they take frozen foods? If not, ask your neighbors if they think they could use any of it...
Otherwise throwing it away is better then eating it :)

POD said...

This same thing happened to me when I had a power outage during a storm. I found amongst the fridge waste, 347 containers of assorted diet pudding. I couldn't toss all of it so some of it, though ruined an inedible, is still sitting in my fridge.
Maybe we should make a soup with all the combined ingredients.

Katy said...

Hmmmm, I'm trying to think of something, but I can't. Maybe a shelter? Instead of a food bank? Some place like a soup kitchen where they actually make meals instead of packing non-perishable boxes may be good.

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Margie M. said...

Is it possible to use some of the ingredients and cook up a big batch of something and take it to your office as a "free meal" to co-workers?

Just a thought. You could even make it more high fat or high calorie and they would eat more of it! LOL Just don't YOU eat it.

Margie M. writes at: