Food Waste In America – Spotted Bananas and Tail Feathers

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food waste

Being able to get free scraps for our backyard chickens {and Girly Girls} during the winter months when our garden isn’t producing as much as we’d like has come in handy over the past year and a half.

After all, if I were a chicken, I’d sure get bored of eating the same old boring chicken feed day in and day out, wouldn’t you?
spotted bananas

Spotted bananas. They’re back. And it’s a good thing too because I’ve been craving strawberry banana smoothies lately and we all know the sweetest bananas are the ones that are a wee bit brown.

chicken scraps

This week Mr. Produce Guy set aside 2 boxes of leafy greens for our birds.

mottled java chicken pullet

Java, our mottled java chicken spent a good hour an a half munching down as much as she could before taking a rest.chicken tail feathers rooster

Do you remember me telling you about my suspicions about one of our Blue Laced Red Wyandottes? Well, she, is a he. Yup. So now we have 2 roos we need to find good homes for.

The boys haven’t made any noises yet {thank goodness} but since they are about 16 weeks old I suspect they’ll start attempting to crow any day now. Luckily the HH knows a family that might take the roos off our hands. I’ll keep you posted. But mark my words, I will never buy day old chicks from Wilco ever again.  We purchased our last two sets of chicks from them and BOTH TIMES we ended up with roos!

Remember Pablo? It was soooo sad to see him go. And I don’t want to have to go through that again.

free produce

Here’s what we kept from the free produce boxes this week:

  • 2 heads of lettuce
  • 5 pounds of bananas
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 6 apples

Not to shabby for free. :)

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



Food Waste In America – Chickens Love Cantaloupes

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free food

This past week there was quite the assortment of discarded fruits and vegetables in the “chicken scrap” boxes Mr. Produce Guy sets aside for us each week.

chicken scraps

The chickens scored big with a huge box of cantaloupe melons. Most of the melons were about a day or two past their prime, but the chickens didn’t seem to mind one bit.

chicken eggs

Being able to supplement their chicken feed once or twice a week with scraps from our garden and Mr. Produce Guy has really helps us to cut down on our feed bill over the past year and a half. Maybe next year I’ll keep track of how much it costs to keep a flock of backyard chickens. Then again, I have a lot on my plate already, so we’ll see.
barred rock chicken

Awkward Martha didn’t have to share. ;)

food waste in America

After sorting through the boxes, here’s what we kept:

  • 8 bananas
  • 7 apples
  • 5 pears
  • 3 sweet peppers
  • 2 melons
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 head of cauliflower

Not to shabby for free. :)

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Food Waste In America – Lettuce Anyone?

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food waste

I don’t think I’ll ever figure out how the produce section of any store makes money. What you see above is just a couple of hours of “waste.” Imagine how many boxes of produce would be on my porch if I collected free produce scraps for an entire month. I won’t, but I bet it would be pretty eye opening.wrinkled squash

Besides an entire case of good lettuce, there wasn’t too much else to salvage. There were however quite a few wrinkled squash {I didn’t want them for my family, but our backyard folk of chickens sure loved them}.

grapes

Soft grapes with cobwebs. Yum-O!

tomatoes

Soft tomatoes. Another treat for the hens.

reclaimed food

So what did I keep this time around? 2 heads of lettuce, 2 bags of Romaine, 2 cucumbers, 13 apples and 1 lonely tomato.  Everything else was fed to the chickens or tossed onto the compost heap.

Oh, and did you notice… No bananas for the second week in a row. Hmmm. There must be some sort of global banana shortage going on that I don’t know about. Either that, or Mr. Produce Guy is marking down his spotted bananas and people are gobbling them up like crazy.

Note to self – ask next time I’m at the store.

Have a great day everyone,

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Food Waste In America – The Monkeys Stole My Bananas!

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food waste in America

What? No bananas? Seriously? What happened? Was there a monkey convention or something we didn’t hear about? It’s been ages since we haven’t had at least 10 pounds of bananas in the free produce boxes Mr. Produce Guy sets aside for us each week.

fresh fruit

Shriveled mangos, soft grapes and super soft apples. Perfect for chickens, not so great for humans.

asparagus

The asparagus was a wee bit past it’s prime. So we tossed it onto the compost heap.
lettuce

Even though this lettuce was perfectly fine to eat, we gave it to the chickens. They LOVE their greens and when it comes down to it, we can really only eat so much lettuce ourselves. food waste in America

What we kept for ourselves this week:

  • 2 large fruit Bowls {retail $9.99}
  • 2 head of iceberg lettuce
  • 2 apples
  • 1 mango
  • 1 avocado

Not a bad deal if you ask me. :) What do you think?

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Food Waste In America – Chickens Scraps? No Way!

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dumpster diving

Another week, another couple of boxes of ugly discarded produce we hauled home because nobody wanted to pay full price for them at the supermarket. This week Mr. Produce Guy stuffed our reclaimed boxes full of all sorts of goodies for our backyard flock of chickens. There were practically 2 boxes filled with just greens! Which was totally awesome because chickens love lettuce, cabbage and pretty much anything else with a crunch.

brown bananas

Do chickens love bananas? Not so much. And to tell you the truth, I’m running out of ideas on how to use up all the bruised bananas we get for free each week from Mr. Produce Guy. A girl can only drink so many smoothies you know. ;)

food waste in America

Those radishes and sweet potatoes will come in handy this Thanksgiving.

food waste in America

Here’s the final tally:

  • 10 million pounds of bananas
  • 4 bunches of radishes
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 3 yams
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 pound mushrooms
  • 3-pack of Romaine lettuce
  • 2 bunches of cilantro

Not bad for free if you ask me. :)

Do you have any good banana recipes? I think I could use a few more ideas on how to use up all those ripe bananas this week.

Have a great day everyone,

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Food Waste In America – Can You Say Free Fruit?

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food waste in america

Well there was a heck of a lot of variety this week in the reclaimed food boxes we picked up from Mr. Produce Guy. Lot’s of melons, lettuce and miscellany for the chickens, and plenty of good stuff for us.

bananas

Bananas. I don’t think a week has gone by in the last few months where there hasn’t been a boatload of rips bananas waiting for us. It’s a good thing we like making smoothies and baking banana bread around here. ;)

lemons

And lemons? Heck ya I’ll take them. I have a lemon cookie recipe I’ve been wanting to try.

food waste in america

Here’s what I ended up keeping for my family this week. Do you see all those apples and oranges? Guess who’s making an apple pie for Thanksgiving? And cinnamon apple chips are on the menu this week too.

So much fruit, so little time. :)

Have you tried asking your local grocer for their “expired” fruits and vegetables yet?

Mavis wants to know.

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Food Waste In America – Free Fruit, Yes Please!

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food waste

This past week was a great one in the free food department.

I know I’ve said it a hundred million times, but isn’t it amazing how much food gets thrown out by grocery stores each week? The picture you see above is just what one store tossed in about 3 hours. Imagine what a weeks worth of discarded produce would look like.

chicken scraps

Our flock of backyard chickens were over the moon after I tossed an entire box of bok choy and cabbage leaves into the chicken run for them to munch on.
granny smith green apple slices

Our favorite thing this week was two bowls of granny smith apple slices. According to the date on the sticker, the apples were “expired” so the store could not sell them.

Umm, I’m not rocket scientist but they looked and tasted fine to me. :)

food waste

This weeks free food tally:

  • 3 heads of Lettuce
  • 1 bag of Romaine Hearts
  • 1 tub Watermelon Chunks {The Girl ate the whole tub}
  • 2 tubs of Granny Smith apples
  • 6 Stuffed Mushrooms
  • 15 Spotted Bananas
  • 4 Apples, 1 Pomegranate and 1 Grapefruit.

Life is good! :)

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Food Waste In America – Why Don’t People Buy Spotted Bananas?

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food waste in America

It’s a good thing our backyard pet chickens will eat just about anything, because this week there was a total hodge podge of discarded fruits and vegetables from Mr. Produce Guy.

Where else in the world are you going to find totally edible papaya, avocados, grapes,  lettuce, heirloom tomatoes and apples tossed to the curb {so to speak} at the end of October?

The typical grocery store in America, that’s where.

earthbound farms organic lettuce kale half and half

The Girl and I picked through this entire container of Earthbound Farms Organic lettuce mix and couldn’t find 1 single leaf that was not acceptable to eat. So why was it thrown out? The expiration date of course. Now we all know that expiration dates are only a guideline, but when it comes to grocery stores, the clock is always ticking, and they cannot {or won’t} sell food beyond the sell by date.

When I was a kid, they didn’t even have sell by dates. You actually had to look at the food to see if it was still good. Now days we trust the stamp on the package. Hmmm.

spotted bananas

Regular vs Organic Bananas? Apparently monkeys from neither group will buy spotted bananas. Which is sad, because real monkeys know the fruit is better when it has spots.
small apples

I’m guessing these apples were to small and therefore nobody wanted to buy them. So they got trashed. How sad is that?

lucy the puggle dog

Even inspector Lucy the Puggle Dog knows good food when she sees it.

food waste in America

Here’s what I ended up keep from this weeks free produce boxes. Everything else was either composted or fed to the chickens. Is this crazy or what?

Peace Out Girl Scouts, I’m off to go make some homemade applesauce.

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste

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This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. For more information, see my disclosure policy.

#SaveItSunday

I recently teamed up with Glad Food Protection to take the #SaveItSunday pledge to not only help eliminate food waste in my own kitchen, but to show you some cool and creative ways you can reduce food waste in yours.

What is the #SaveItSunday pledge?

Well basically it’s about loving food more and wasting it less, one day at a time.

#SaveItSunday

And guess who else took the pledge? Alex Guarnaschelli. How cool is that?

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know how I feel about food waste.  I. Can’t. Stand. It.  In days of refrigeration, freezers, dehydrators, canning, etc. it seems senseless to have food waste {not to mention, having already used up natural resources to ship food to the grocery stores in the first place}.

Even though most Americans think they are taking steps to preserve their food, we are typically throwing away totally edible food on a regular basis.

#SaveItSunday

Among the food Americans toss, fruits and vegetables are trashed most frequently {38%}, followed by dairy products 29%, and bread 29%.  That tells me that, one, we have plenty of food to feed everybody on this planet, and two, maybe if we got a little smarter about our food waste, we wouldn’t need to rely on factory farmed food so heavily {meaning we could withstand slower/smaller production methods}?

With the right preparation and protection on shopping day, the food we love could stay fresher, longer. I know that sometimes, life happens, and there is just nothing you can do to avoid food waste.  But, there are tons of simple ways to ensure that most of your food ends up on your plate, instead of landfills.

#SaveItSunday

Here are a couple of my favorite ways to reduce food waste:

  1. Meal plan.  Creating a meal plan means you’ll only buy what you need, instead of haphazardly throwing food into the cart with no real plan.
  2. Track your waste.  Write down everything you throw away.  If you have to throw out milk because you couldn’t drink it before it went bad, you are probably buying too much milk.  Buy a smaller carton.  It may look like you are spending more ounce for ounce, but if you calculated the money you have to pour down the drain, the numbers will look different.
  3. Organize your pantry like a grocery store.  Make sure to put newer items in back, so you can use up the older items first.  It helps make sure that you don’t have to throw an item away due to expiration because you grabbed a newer version of the same thing.
  4. Freeze leftovers/surplus.  I am a HUGE fan of GLAD freezer bags and GladWare.  I can toss in surplus fruits and veggies from Mr. Produce Guy or leftovers and freeze them for another day.  It really doesn’t get much easier. compost bin
  5. When you can’t eat it, compost it.  Food carries valuable nutrients, even when it truly is past the point of human consumption.  At the very least, throw it in the composter and “feed” your soil.
  6. Think about usage.  Just because fruit is mushy or veggies are getting soft, doesn’t mean they are inedible.  Use them a different way.  Get out the blender and make smoothies {smoothies freeze well for later too} or make soup with the veggies.
  7. Expiration dates are merely suggestions.  Use common sense–and all of your 5 senses.  If it smells, looks, tastes off, then of course, it’s probably no good.  Beyond that, be flexible.
  8. Use smaller plates.  This isn’t just for weight loss.  Less food on the plate means that you will be less likely to have uneaten waste.  You can always get more, but even I don’t scrape people uneaten food on their plates into GLAD bags. :)
  9. Grocery lists.  Even if you don’t meal plan down to every last detail, make a grocery list and stick to it.  Impulse buys can lead to more food than you can reasonably consume before some of it goes bad.organic vegetables
  10. Prioritize.  Eat what goes bad the fastest first {say that 10 times fast}.  For example, if salads are on the menu, plan to have them fairly soon after you grocery shop.  That way, it won’t have a chance to spoil before you get around to eating it.
  11. Don’t over prepare food.  Yes, leftovers are awesome, but at a certain point, you can only eat so much leftover potato salad before you are DONE eating potato salad.  Make enough to feed the crowd and be reasonable about how much you will eat in leftover form.
  12. Split it.  Can’t eat a whole watermelon before it goes bad?  Ask a neighbor if they want to split it.  The same goes for milk or a loaf of bread.  You can also apply the same principle when eating out–splitting a meal saves on food waste and cost.  It’s win-win.#SaveItSunday
  13. Donate food to your food bank.  Maybe you were starving when you bought a can of chicken with stars soup 3 months ago, and now you can’t imagine eating it.  Don’t let it expire, be realistic and donate it so someone can eat it.
  14. Before you go to the grocery store, take stock.  If you have items that are about to expire, you can plan your menu around those items.
  15. Store smarter.  Crackers, cookies, cereal, etc. tend to go stale rapidly in their original containers.  Invest in some simple airtight containers and keep the food fresher waaaay longer.

I know you all have more tips on food waste, and I would LOVE to know them so make sure to leave them in the comments below!

Mavis

#SaveItSundayFor more information about the #SaveItSunday Pledge and how you can enter to win a gourmet chef prepared meal in your home, head on over to SaveItSunday.com

Looking for more Glad Protection Pointers? Head on over HERE where you’ll learn lot’s of cool tips and tricks to keep the food you love fresher, longer.

You can also follow Glad on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Food Waste In America – What to Do with Iceberg Lettuce

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food waste America

This week there was a little bit of everything in our free produce scrap boxes.

Mr. Produce Guy knows our chickens LOVE lettuce and so we typically end up with at least one full box of leafy greens. There were also organic apples, organic strawberries and even some cut cantaloupe melon this time around.

lettuce tomatoes food waste

Now we like lettuce, but what does one do with an entire case of it?

I mean, it’s not like you can freeze it or anything.

silver laced wyandotte

Luckily our pet chickens LOVE lettuce. I thought about dropping some of the extra lettuce off at the food bank, but the deal I made with Mr. Produce Guy way back when, was that the produce was for my birds. Not human consumption. So even though I salvage a few things here and there from the free produce boxes for my family, I don’t want to get anyone in trouble by donating the extra edibles. Which is kind of silly really.

But a deal is a deal.

can I feed my chicken scraps

Any anyway, what the chickens don’t eat is composted into new soil for next years garden, so it’s not like the food is going completely to waste. I just wish ALL grocery stores had some sort of donation program in place where all their unsaleable merchandise could somehow be donated to an organization in need.

bantam chicken brown

I’m sure Squirrely, our bantam chicken wouldn’t mind sharing.

how to save on produce

This week I was able to reclaim 4 pound sor strawberries, 2 heads of lettuce, a bowl of cantaloupe, and about 10 pounds of apples. Not a bad day at the office if you ask me.

What do you think?

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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