Food Waste In America – Lettuce Anyone?

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}.


Soft grapes with cobwebs. Yum-O!


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,


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.

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  1. ChrisM. says

    I would totally use the soft tomatoes to make some sauce. As long as there are no black spots or oozing. Sometimes they get soft because they are the tomatoes that were in the bottom of the bins or boxes and they get bruised internally. The wrinkled squash isn’t rotten, it’s just drying out. unless there is slime or yucky mushy spots, I’d use the squash for cooking.

    • says

      I agree with you ChrisM. I canned 8 quarts of tomatoes over the weekend from our produce box. Also, I use the wrinkled squash in cooking…or if it is zucchini I will peel it and grate it for zucchini bread, jam or the occasional chocolate zucchini cake. :-)

  2. Jenn says

    I stopped by our Farmer’s Market over the weekend just to see what they had. I ended up buying some sweet potatoes and as I was paying the man asked me if I wanted any bananas that they were free? I couldn’t believe it! Of course they weren’t good for anything other than banana bread but still. I took two bunches and ended up with two gallon size freezer bags full.

  3. RebekahU says

    I can’t help but wonder why the store does not mark the produce down so that they might not have such a large loss. Or… why do they not just order less if they have so much that goes bad…

  4. Jeanette says

    I read the other day that black widow spiders had been found in bunches of grapes! The grapes with the cobwebs reminded me of it. Be careful!

  5. andrea d says

    seeing the spider webs in your grapes reminded me, at my grocery store over the weekend there were notices posted next to the grapes about a recall of a certain brand due to an abundance of spiders in them!

  6. Kari Welch says

    Mavis, You are crackers Girl! i love reading your bits and pieces about the store and Costco and not being able to STOP! I know the feeling…but you are inspiring me…
    All i want for Christmas is the Gardening book you recommend and A GROOVY COMPOST BIN!!!
    Joy to the World, i feel like life might just get manageable :)

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