Food Waste: Wait, Mom needs a picture

My favorite quote this week comes from my sometimes saucy eight year old. My older daughter was about to throw away food, when my younger daughter intercepted her with… “Wait! Don’t throw that away. Mom needs to take a picture of it.” Documenting food waste has definitely had an impact on my family…. I found this cool refrigerator photo project over at Good Magazine. I must admit that I enjoy peeking into people’s refrigerators to see what they eat and how it’s organized. Here take a look.


My favorite quote this week comes from my sometimes saucy eight year old. My older daughter was about to throw away food, when my younger daughter intercepted her with…

“Wait! Don’t throw that away. Mom needs to take a picture of it.”

Documenting food waste has definitely had an impact on my family. No doubt some great stories in the making. Imagine this… fast forward a decade to a college scenario involving my daughter and a few friends, each friend trying to one up the other with crazy parental stories. My daughter listens and then blurts, “Oh yeah, that’s nothing! We couldn’t throw out food unless it had been photographed.” Yes, my children will have some stories to tell and perhaps some therapy bills to pay. ;-)

Alright, drum roll please…


What? In case this saga is new to you, let me explain. I’ve been documenting my weekly food waste, shining a light on my wasteful ways in order to reduce waste.

Here’s a line by line description of this week’s waste, complete with categories.

Cottage cheese – Limited demand: With just one cottage cheese eater in my house, waste abounds. 
Homemade pie dough – Best intentions: I made a full dough recipe, quite certain I’d make something later. But then didn’t.
Carrots – Too much: I bought a big bag of carrots that weren’t terribly fresh, and then each day they became less fresh until they turned white.
Bits of chicken – Too much: I bought a whole chicken and we got sick of it. Next time, I’ll freeze some or buy a tiny bird.  

Not too bad. The chicken and dough are new this week and the other two items are from weeks and weeks ago. So I see improvement.

Refrigerator voyeurism

I found this cool refrigerator photo project over at Good Magazine. I must admit that I enjoy peeking into people’s refrigerators to see what they eat and how it’s organized. Here take a look. More? Here are a few less professional fridge images without commentary (Elmo suggests using your imagination for such things).

You can tell a lot about a person by what they have in their refrigerator (or don’t have). What does your fridge say about you? Please leave a Comment.

Food Waste: The saga continues
Food Waste: The battle rages on
Food Waste: My best intentions gone awry

Author: Kate

I'm a writer interested in photography, philosophy, bikes and simplicity.

6 thoughts on “Food Waste: Wait, Mom needs a picture”

  1. That is a great story you having to take pic. of all the waste. It started that way and so she figures it must continue.

    About the chicken you got tired of, when someone is going to Costco they always ask me do I want a chicken. They are super big and roasted just perfect. So when I get one I really use just about half for most of the week, and I cut it in half and freeze half and use it for soup later. Works out great. I make a broth as you suggested and it gives me some soup. Delicious.

  2. What does my fridge say about me? I think you should do a whole post on that.

    I like to think mine says that I’m daring and creative, sassy and slightly mysterious.

    Just being silly.

    1. Good to know! I fear mold – but the white carrots are probably just dried out? Maybe I just need to splash them with water to fluff them up a bit.

  3. Re: mold- this will probably brand me as a weirdo, but a little bit of mold really doesn’t hurt you. At least it doesn’t hurt me.

    I learned this mostly from eating raspberries. They would often be starting to get moldy by the second day, but I’d just throw out the worst offenders and eat the rest. No ill effects. I think my coworkers were appalled.

  4. Don’t buy a smaller chicken, they have relatively less flesh and more bone. Buy the larger and freeze leftovers. I recommend pulling the meat off the bone (and the rest of the carcass) and saving it that way, about 1 c. per ziploc or container. It’s great to add to omlets, tex-mex food, soup, crepes, patties/croquettes/etc. Then save the bones to make soup. Yum.

    For leftover pie crust dough, roll or pat it into a flat disk, wrap in 2 layers of saran wrap, label!, and freeze. It’ll be good for a couple of months. To defrost, just leave in the fridge or on the counter till it’s defrosted but cool, then roll out as if it were fresh.

    You can put cottage cheese into fruit smoothies but yeah, that’s a tough one.

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