The best strategy to stop being a notorious food waster.

Food waste infographic

We waste far too much food. Have you heard that before? I’ll bet you have.
I’m also sure that many of you have read countless of advice about how to minimize food waste.
The problem is that it’s so time-consuming. You should plan your meals, find recipes for leftovers, freeze, pickle, preserve, compost…..
The list is endless. And you feel exhausted by just thinking about it.
Where on earth are you supposed to find the time for all these activities? You have a full-time job, kids, the dog, a house, and your old aunt to take care of.
If you are lucky, you may get one hour for yourself before you go to bed.

At the same time, you can read about the enormous amount of food that is wasted every year. Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tons — gets lost or wasted according to FAO. And that makes you feel guilty. For you know that you don’t do much, if anything, to reduce your food waste.
I know how it feels. I used to feel the same.

What you need is a strategy. A strategy which makes it easier to become a more responsible person. And the strategy is easier than you think.

Do not try to do everything at the same time.

Just pick one activity that you think you can manage. It doesn’t matter how simple it may appear. The important thing is that it somehow reduces your amount of food waste. Don’t feel guilty that you can’t do more. Put all those feelings aside and just concentrate on one thing. To make that specific task to a natural part of your everyday life.
Here are a few examples of simple activities that can reduce your food waste.

  • How often does it happen that you throw away the last piece of bread because it has become stale before you could eat it up? If it happens at all, divide the loaf in two when it’s fresh, and put one piece in the freezer.
  • Put new groceries in the back of your fridge or pantry, so you’ll use older food first before it expires.
  • Buying in bulk is not always a good idea. I know, it’s tempting to buy that 5 dollar bag of avocados. It’s such a good deal. If you manage to eat all of them before they become a brown mess that will say. You can, of course, freeze some of them, but will you remember to do that?
  • Convince yourself that the expiration date is something that is totally insignificant, invented by evil, greedy individuals who want you to buy new food instead (I know it is not like that but it has a good effect on the motivation). Trust your sense of smell instead. Most of the food is perfectly edible long after the expiration dates.

All these examples require a minimum of effort. But they can be a good start to something really good. A new conscious human being who cares about our environment. Yes, I’m talking about you. Just pick one of these examples and follow it slavishly until it’s as natural as brushing your teeth. Then pick another example. Before you know it, you will be what you thought was impossible.
One of those super humans, that plan your meals, find recipes for leftovers, freeze, pickle, preserve, compost……

You are a bit skeptical now, aren’t you? OK, maybe I can manage to cut the bread in half and put in in the freezer you may think. But pickles? It sounds so complicated. And who likes pickles anyway?
That’s a normal reaction. Most of us find excuses when we are confronted with something that makes us feel uncomfortable. We’re starting to invent all possible sort of problems and obstacles that will probably appear.

Ignore all these problems. They are insignificant. The only thing you have to concentrate on for now is to cut that damn loaf in half and put one piece in the freezer or whatever activity you choose to do.
All other problems are on another level that you can deal with in the future. And even if you never reach that level (which I think you will) you can always console yourself with one thing. At least you are doing something. And that’s so much better than doing nothing at all.

 

Imagine walking out of a grocery store with four bags of groceries, dropping one in the parking lot, and just not bothering to pick it up. That’s essentially what we’re doing.

Dana Gunders

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5 minutes basil and parmesan mayonnaise

Basil mayo

Aioli or mayonnaise goes with almost everything. If you do it with olive oil and garlic, you get a classic aioli which is second to none with fish and shellfish.
If you’re using mustard and a neutral oil, you’ll get regular mayonnaise. Both the aioli and mayonnaise can then be flavored to desired taste and become the perfect sauce to most dishes. It doesn’t matter whether it is meat, fish, chicken, or vegetables.

Unfortunately, many become reluctant when it comes to making own homemade mayonnaise because they think, for good reasons, that it’s difficult. Whisking your mayonnaise by hand is a nightmare. It’s much easier with an electric mixer. But you still have to be a bit careful, not to add to much oil too quickly.
Then there is a third option. You can use a hand blender.

Ingredients

There is only two thing that you must consider.
All the ingredients should have approximately the same temperature. At least, that’s what most recipes say. Personally, I have never experienced it as particularly critical. Normally, I don’t wait for the ingredients to get the same temperature, and I don’t remember when I failed last time. And I do mayonnaise and aioli often. At least once a week.
Also, try to find a narrow blender cup. It should be just slightly wider than the head of the blender. I think this is more important than the temperature.
Blender head should rest against the bottom of the jar when you start. There are a lot of videos that shows how it works. You can watch one of them here.

For this recipe, you just have to grate the cheese before you add it together with the rest of the ingredients in a jar. All of the ingredients, even the oil. After that, you just press the run button on the hand blender for a few seconds until everything has the desired consistency. Voilà. You have a mayo that tastes just great to almost everything.
If you think the consistency is too thick, you can add a few drops of water. But be careful. Only a few drops at a time. It becomes runny very quickly.

About eggs.

Eggs in cupAlways use organic eggs if possible. Or at least free range eggs. Eggs from caged hens is a sad story. Both for the hen and for you. You don’t have to waste the white by the way if that makes you fell uncomfortable (I always feel uncomfortable about that. All unnecessary food waste is bad). If you use the whole egg you might have to increase the amount of oil a bit.

Of course, you can use this concept to make a regular mayo as well. So from now on, there’s no excuse for buying mayonnaise in the grocery store. It’s easier to do it yourself. And you avoid all the preservatives and other additives. And the taste will be far superior. I promise.

 

Chic is a kind of mayonnaise, either it tastes, or it doesn’t.

Karl Lagerfeld
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5 minutes Basil and Parmesan mayonnaise
5 minutes. That's all it takes to do this mayonnaise with Parmesan and Basil.
Basil mayo
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
portions
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
portions
Ingredients
Basil mayo
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a narrow jar, just wide enough for the head of the hand blender.
  2. Run the hand blender for a few seconds or until you've got a thick, creamy consistency.
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