Saturday, October 4, 2008

What exactly do you eat?

I was doing a phone interview on Friday and the reporter asked me just that question.  It made me think because i realize there is a lot of stuff that i do without thinking about it and as a result, don't really throw things out there (pun totally intended).  So having said that, and acknowledging that i have about 8 things I need to post about, here's what we had for dinner Friday night.

I made dinner and we had salmon teriyaki, broccoli and green beans, and rice with lentils. It was actually quite good.  But here's where the waste issue comes in.

Salmon - Prior to this year I would have bought the salmon at the supermarket and it would have come wrapped in that fish wrapping that is paper/plastic and needs to be tossed.  I get it from a local fish monger (love that word) and I bring a glass tupperware type container with me, sot he only waste is the printed price sticker.  On top of that, the fish is cheaper, fresher, and I take it home, marinate it, and put it in the fridge.  later, when i baked it, I covered it with a cookie tray instead of tin foil, and viola.  All in all, it saved me time because i never had to transfer the fish, it was bought, marinated, cooked, and served all in the same container.
As for the marinate, that's store bought out of a bottle, but we have the largest one possible.  Eventually that'll end up downstairs.

Veggies - The brocolli and beans came from the farmers market (fresh, local, cheaper) and we used our reusable cloth bags to bring them home, so all good there.  If we had bought them from the store, they may have come wrapped depending on what store we went to, but definitely would have been more expensive.

Lentils and rice - These are staples that we have purchased in bulk and have on the counter in containers.  When we buy them, we bring our own plastic bags and then fold them up for re-use next time so no waste there.  On top of that, buying in bulk is cheaper and if i had gone with a one time mix pack, it would have most likely included boxes and bags.

Otherwise, we had bread (bought from the bakery in cloth bags) and some wine and water to drink (the kids had milk) so eventually you'll see a wine bottle head downstairs as well.

Anyhoo, don't know if anyone cares to hear all of that, but it's a good example of how less waste meals can actually be easier and save you money.



Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Your food purchasing system is ace. Containers seem to be the future, even though they are plastic.

What happens to food waste there? We have minimal Anaerobic Digestion (AD) but there are detractors of this semmingly ideal system.

Dave said...

Hey John,
We actually have some plastic and some glass containers, but i think they are the way to go. The plastic is better for stuff for the kids in case they break them down.

My food waste goes to the worms but most of LA chucks it in the trash. That said, we have a green bin for garden scraps and they are now educating people that you can put organic based food scraps in there, whihc we have been doing for a long time. LA has a massive composting system (which I want to tour at some point and post on).

Are the AD systems gov run or personal?


Anonymous said...

Hi again Dave,

The AD systems are council based relying on home food waste collections. This seems a good idea since 25% landfill is food waste. So far there are only 4 AD systems in the whole country.

As usual over here councils etc are depending on the "holy grail" of incineration. That probably explains the lack of enthusiasm shown towards AD and recycling.

Karen Adams said...

Hi Dave,
Brave putting yourself out there I have heared you occasionally on the radio and decided to see for myself. You insire me.
Karen Adams
I thought the Butter wrapper was recycleable.

Dave said...

Generally speaking it could be but the wrapper is all greasy.


Anonymous said...

Awesome. I think it's great to share what we eat and how we buy food to give others ideas of what is possible.

I'll be interested to see if the compost facility lets you take pictures. When I toured Jepson Prairie out here, we were banned from taking photos. Waste management folk, I have found, can be downright paranoid.


amanda bee said...


Curious: do you live near a bulk food store or do you wind up driving? I live in New York City and was pretty good on the bulk-grains for a long time but my favorite sources have all shut down (thanks for nothing Whole Foods) and been replaced by shops that don't have bulk depts. (thanks for nothing Whole Foods)

Dave said...

Hey Amanda,
We actually live near a Whole Foods that has a lot of bulk. Does yours not carry? There are some other places that we just work into our trips here and there so they don't cause us extra mileage.
I always hate to hear of chains that shut down mom and pop stores, Whole Foods included. That said, i've actually found them to be pretty decent (and i should add we had nothing like them in walking distance so it's nice).
What happened when they came into your area?

Diamond Jackson said...

Hi Dave!

I really like your recommendations for how to easily implement sustainable living into my eating habits. I think it's really cool that you brought tuberware when you picked up local meat! Anymore suggestions? =]

Dave said...

Thanks! Start with the 8.2 things you can do and then there are plenty more things to accomplish throughout the site. Once you start thinking in that mode, it comes pretty easily. Just start by opening up your mind and questioning what you think is "normal".