Let’s shame myself a little again: Food Waste Friday, week 28 of 2024

CW for relationship with food, but in passing.

(tl;dr below, but if you have an itch to comment, then please at least skim the words diagonally.)

I think this is going to be even more excruciatingly painful to do than my roundup of thrift posts. Partly because I don’t really mind spending money – would if I could, especially considering that I did it when I couldn’t. But I abhor food waste. So much so that when I would open a garbage bin at my old job and see perfectly fine salads or soups simply not to the taste of my colleagues thrown into the bin, I wanted to either scream or pick it out of the trash and enjoy the next day, with anyone being none the wiser. But alas, a bin is a bin, and my stomach is not what it used to be. I’m not against dumpster diving, truly, but I imagine I could only partake for non-edibles, or vacuum sealed/ tinned/ you-get-it edibles.

This post is not about dumpster diving, however. It’s about my entire disconnect from my values when it comes to food waste. Part of it, and the bigger part of it too, I can write off to my mental health. Again not delving into it too much in this post, but let’s just say that it is. Part of it is my weird relationship with food – which, if you think about it, can also be attributed to my mental health. But then there’s another part which is just… dumb. I used to plan for every bite and scrap – I no longer do. I keep forgetting that certain foods can be triggering, and that I would stop eating them mid-bite and simply would not be able to return to them – not normal behaviour, but can’t be fully attributed to mental health, because it happened before, and I’m aware of it, I just forget it, because I’m a scatter brain.

Which, on the other hand, can also be explained by the ruckus.



I think food waste bears little to no excuse. If I can’t eat it, surely I can easily find someone who can – human or animal. So many people in my city live below poverty line or in the streets or both – I can just put out what I know I would not consume close to the communal bins, and it will be picked up. Sometimes I do, most of the times I don’t, I just let it rot to the point of no return in bizarre hopes of doing something with it.

Out of all my beliefs and values, food waste is probably that rare thing (together with animal rights and sexism) that I could endlessly lecture people about. Because it’s a problem, you know. I’ll use American stats as an example because American stats are easiest to come by – but did you know that 30% of all the food produced does not reach the metaphorical table and is basically produced to go to the landfill? 30%. Thirty percent. That’s one third. Imagine every time you buy three apples, you just immediately throw one perfectly good apple into the garbage. You buy three coffees – you just dump one directly down the drain for shits and giggles. Three packs of ramen noodles – you just throw one into the bin. I must emphasise – you throw it away. You dispose of it. You don’t give it to a neighbour, or a food pantry, or a stray cat – you throw it away.

So yes, I could endlessly lecture people on this – but I don’t, because I’m guilty of it myself, and I either walk the walk and talk the talk, or I don’t walk, but I don’t talk either. Lead by example, as they say.

So every Friday for the foreseeable future I am going to take a picture, or at least write a list, of all the edibles that have gone bad in my fridge and pantry, and post them for all the world to see. I know Kristen from The Frugal Girl did something like that back in the day when she was combating food waste in her house. She later stopped, because there was no food waste to write about, and this is something that I aspire to achieve. I will only stop once there is no food waste to write about.

This post is a bit of a cheat, because I did a massive fridge clear-out on a Sunday, and my weeks begin on a Monday. Which means it’s not as shameful to look at the exposé below. Still is, but not as shameful as four kg of fruit, one kg soft cheese, a pack of corn tortillas, and about a loaf worth of various breads, etc. etc. could have been, coupled with today’s clear-out.

tl;dr: Food waste Friday is exactly what it says on the tin – I write a list, sometimes accompanied by pictures, of all the food that I wasted during that particular week.

So. Food waste, week 28 of 2024.

Photographs mine, but unrelated to food waste.


  • 1/3 cup of sour cream;
  • 3 cucumbers;
  • a significant amount of cherry tomatoes;
  • several eggs;
  • 1L of soya/almond milk. A remark, then, that it is not my fault. I ordered groceries, and they sent me a full pack of rotten milk, damaged seal and everything. ♥ Thank you ♥ I don’t complain often, but this time I did, and got my money back;
  • a loaf or so worth of various breads. I have a Very Bad Habit of keeping heels of bread for ‘another day’, and then they just go bad in my fridge.

And I think that’s it for this week. Anything else I will unearth when I do my fridge clean will be added to next post.

Gratitude Sustainability

I have enough: Soap

If you’d like to know what these posts are about overall, please head to the first one in the series.

Some of these things will inevitably be silly. Or little and seemingly inconsequential. Pens, soap, notebooks – who cares? But if I truly end up being steadfast in my decision of not getting any more soap until I use up the soaps I have, I might end up not buying soap for years. I haven’t counted the bars when I took out the box to pick out a new bar for the bathroom sink, but there’s easily at least fifty. And bar soap is much more economical than liquid hand soap or shower gel – and I have those too. So 50 something bars of soap and all the shower gels and liquid soap will easily last me 5 years.

I think it’s a good backwards exercise is sustainability and finances. Having these hoards of things that would last ages shows me how much money we tend to spend in excess on small inconsequential stuff – that would have enjoyed the effects of compound interest otherwise, were I not mad or stupid or both.

I used to collect soap, and up to this day I really enjoy receiving it as a souvenir. It was surprising to me that not everyone shares this sentiment, and view soap as cheap or useless. Not everyone likes bar soap. Some people are averse to the idea of sharing a bar of soap with another person. It’s not the case for me, especially when it comes to hand soap. I also like making frankensoaps. It’s when you melt the last bits and pieces of several bar soaps into a new one.

My collection used to be much bigger, too. Apart from using it up myself, I also gifted it occasionally. Some I even sold. Plus back when my brother could visit me, he’d raid the box and pick a couple bars to last him until his next stay. I think he also took some to give as small souvenirs to his lady colleagues.

Anyway, yeah. Soap. It doesn’t go bad as much as it dries out. I have several novelty-shaped ones that are around 12 years old that began drying out a little. They are difficult to use as they’re in the shape of fruits and cartoonish bugs, and I had thought about just keeping them as figurines, but as they dry out, they begin to crumble. So I will either melt them into square shapes and use as hand soap, or maybe I will grind them and add a spoon or two to my laundry together with soda bicarbonate or washing soda. A teaspoon would do no damage as it wouldn’t be sudsy enough.


Random thoughts on sustainability

I wanted to title this ‘sustainability myths’, but then decided that I’m not sufficiently educated to be dropping supposed truths around. Not a scientist or anything. Just a woman with a whole lot of environmental anxiety and desire to do better in at least some areas. Here’s some thoughts on sustainability, then. I’m pretty sure more is coming.

Individual action is worthless

It will be if nobody does anything. There’s 8 billion of us. Even if 1/3 does something, it will be a huge improvement. An even bigger improvement will be actual policy, system changes, and leaving Jeff Bezos aimlessly floating in space.

Glass is better than plastic

It is if it is reused, and reused, and reused. And then reused some more. And then reused again. Glass is incredibly impactful to produce. It’s a little less impactful to recycle. The best course of action is – yeah – reusing it in a closed loop for as long as possible.

plastic is the least problematic thing in this photo

Plastic is the devil anyway

It’s not plastic, it’s the way we use it. We’re accustomed to treating pretty much anything made from plastic as disposable when in fact a lot of the things are quite durable and can be reused for long, long, long periods of time. Remember that dude with a vintage supermarket plastic bag? The article is from 2015, and at that point the bag was 34 years old, so now it’s what – 43?

(How come 2015 is 9 years ago, Jesus.)

My brother is apparently trying to give that grandpa a run for his money, because he reuses his supermarket bags all the time. Nowadays they aren’t as durable, though, and I hear they only last about a year and a half until they rip. It’s worse here, because the local ones are either paper or biodegradable plastic, which is very fragile. You can reuse it, but not for long. I designate most of mine as garbage bin liners.

But why am I fixating on plastic bags? Food containers. A lot of foods manufactured here, especially the ones that aren’t supposed to be preserved for a year or more, like hummus or marinated tofu, come in PP plastics. Well, most of the containers I bought for my lunches are also PP. Who’s to say I can’t use the hummus container to pack my pasta? No one, that’s who.

When I was younger and plastic straws were still de rigueur, my grandmother used to wash them. And we’d reuse them. As I’m still kicking, I suppose the practice wasn’t that detrimental to my health. I have stainless steel straws now because I am not a fan of bio plastic or paper, but I’d wager if I were to stumble upon a pack of plastic ones, I’d just wash them using the little brush that came with my stainless steel pack.

And then of course there’s the old plebeian custom of washing and reusing small baggies, like the Ikea ziploc ones. My friend left a couple the last time she was visiting – I’m still using them. I bought pasta in a plastic bag – I’ll use it to store bread, pack fruit, or freeze something. There’s still an ancient – I mean it, it’s like… 20+ years old – milk plastic bag kicking around the house somewhere – I think it holds reusable hankies. The only bags I don’t reuse are ones from meats and the very flimsy ones that one would pack veg in at the supermarket. The first one is unhygienic. You’d end up using more plastic on your hospital trip after you try to reuse that one. And the second one would require more energy to wash and reuse than to dispose of.

Turtles choke on plastic straws, stop using plastic

Turtles choke on things we pollute the oceans with. Said pollutants are not necessarily made from plastic. A cotton ribbon carelessly thrown into the ocean will be as deadly to a bird or a turtle as a piece of plastic. Same goes for a metal bottle topper. The answer to happy living turtles is not ‘ban plastic’, it’s ‘stop throwing shit into the oceans’.