Food waste has become a big issue for me, and I am now going to be dedicating most of my blog to advising folks how they can rescue food that would otherwise be destined for the dumpster. One of the things that I like about my local Piggly Wiggly store is that they regularly heavily discount foods that are looking slightly less for wear or with regards to perishables that are about to go “out of date” i.e., about to hit their “best before” date which in no way means that the food is inedible and needs to be thrown away.
With regards to vegetables they tend to lump the ugly veggies together and sell them off for 75cents, I do not know why they choose 75 cents but they do. In my case I can usually buy an overripe tomato and an ugly looking green pepper for 75 cents. Green onions on the other hand tend to be sold off in bundles of five bunches for 79 cents. I do not know where the produce manager comes up with the numbers but I am happy to pick up the bargains.
Sometime it takes me a while to get to using the veggies, but I know what I can wait a while to use (green peppers and green onions for instance) as opposed to something I need to use almost immediately (an overripe tomato). Last weekend then I made myself a quiche that comprised almost entirely of ingredients that were destined for the dumpster.
Yeah I know they look ugly but once you start cutting into them there are really nice useable parts of the veggies.
The pepper for instance had the really cool phenomenon of having another pepper growing inside it.
The spring onions continue to grow whether you like it or not so once you have cut off the shriveled and slimy bits you have some really nice green onions. Pro tip, don’t throw away the roots of green onions, stuff them in a pot of soil and they will regrow, it works for pretty much all veggies with roots attached. Other pro tip, don’t throw away seeds of anything, be it tomatoes or green peppers, throw them in a pot and see if they grow. You have nothing to lose!
I threw in some fresh mushrooms (mushrooms are something that I do not mess with when it comes to freshness) and soon I had a pile of lovely ingredients to throw in my quiche.
I had a nice pile of debris that will go into the compost pile.
The cheese I used to make the quiche was at least a year past its sell by date. I know that makes people nervous but you have to understand that cheese does not by its very nature “go off” cheese just gets better. To this end when my local Food Lion actually does reduce cheese nearing its “best by” date I snatch it up and stuff it in the back of my fridge and leave it alone. Good cheese is like good wine, it only gets better with age. So a mediocre English cheddar which has been allowed to mature 10 months turns into a kick ass fabulously matured cheddar that has been sat in the fridge for a year. Don’t believe me? Here is a photo of the cheese that I used to make my quiche.
In case you can’t read it the “expiration date” on that cheese is “5/13/2014″. Even the eggs I used for the quiche were purchased at Piggly Wiggly for two dozen for 99cents because again they were nearing their “best by” date, which has no relation whatsoever to whether or not something is still fit to eat.
So here is the quiche, in which every ingredient but one including the pie crust, was supposedly past its “best by” date ( I bought the package at Nicks and Dents)
This fed me for three days, I am still not dead.