food waste


Every week I talk about food waste.  Why?  Other than it’s so cool and fun?  In the hope that it will make me aware of how much food (and money) I’m throwing away when something gets tossed in the garbage and not eaten.

Americans waste more than 40 percent of the food we produce for consumption. That comes at an annual cost of more than $100 billion.    via Wasted Food

Kristen, over at The Frugal Girl started documenting her food waste in March 2008, added pictures and then challenged her readers to join the fight.  Don’t be a Grouch, keep it out of the can.


This week’s waste gave me the hee-bee gee-bees.  For real.  First was the rice.  I thought a bug had found his way into the bag.  Then I picked it up and found lots of little flying bugs in what appeared to be a sealed bag.  I can only imagine the eggs were already in the rice.  Gross.  Gross.  Gross.  The only flaw in my theory is the same bugs were found in my wheat germ.  And here they were trying to escape.  Straight to the garbage, do not pass GO.  I’m not that squeemish but lots of bugs in my food puts me over the edge.  I don’t know what the bugs were, where they came from or what they eat.  They don’t seem to like dried beans or coconut as those twist-tied bags are bug free and everything else seems clean as well.  Could the manifestation in 2 bags simply have been coincidence?  I guess I don’t really care as long as they are gone.

Unfortunately there was more waste.  Rice pudding.  Again.  I felt so bad the husband threw out his rice pudding last week, so I used some leftover rice and made a batch.  It wasn’t bad the first night.  Some days later I opened it up and it was definitely bad.  Note to self: eat more dessert.  (Yeah right, just kidding.  I don’t need a note for that.)  And finally a piece of cornbread that had been in the freezer for months.  It tasted terrible the night I made it and I kept hoping for a recipe that would mask the taste.  No such recipe has yet to appear so I finally tossed it.

I’m not proud of this week and after having to put it all up here I feel like a bit of a (gourmet) loser.  Congratulations Frugal Girl, public humiliation achieved for another week.


4 Comments to “food waste”

  1. I believe what you had/have is a grain moth infestation. If so you must be vigilant in getting rid of them.

    Check all products,that are grain based, left in original containers for bugs. Also check dried fruit in original containers. Sometimes you can find a little round pin hole where the bugs get in.

    I had a serious infestation some years ago. Besides tossing flour, cereal, crackers, raisins and rice I had to completely dismantle my pantry. Had to wash all shelves, inside the pantry walls and even the shelf supports with a bleach solution to be sure all eggs were destroyed.

    In the store take a moment to see if there are any tiny moths flying around the flour aisle – a sure sign of infestation that will get into your house.

  2. Oh Geesh, that’s gross about the bugs. I hope you get it sorted.

    We had a really bad week too with food waste and I’m so ashamed.

    Hopefully we’ll both have a better week. And you’ve reminded me – rice pudding, I must make some 😉

  3. My husband, the entomologist, tells me the bugs are probably “confused flour beetles”. Unfortunately, they have a two year life span and are rather hard to get rid of. They can live in cracks in the shelves, folds in the bags, and even manage to get into favorite foodstuffs that are in screwtop jars! In some countries they just give up and when they boil pasta, rice, macarroni

  4. Sorry, hit my Monday button by mistake. Anyway, they skim the dead weevils off the top when they boil it. They do eat beans of every kind. You will find frass (bug droppings) that looks like crushed bits of product at the bottom of the bag. That is usually a sign that there are bugs in it. When we are in third world countries. they sometimes heat the product (not in plastic bag) in a 250 degree oven for 20 minutes and then sift to remove dead insects.
    Spices are another favorite food and they can be found in some pretty unlikely places. Peppers and chili of every kind is a treat for them. Sorry you have these unwelcome guests. Uncontaminated spices can be kept in the freezer until you have them under control.

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