Food Waste Friday | Meet Funion.

by Kristen on January 18, 2013 · 25 comments

in Food Waste Friday

Every week, I post a picture of the food that has gone bad over the last seven days. Why do I do this? Because in March of 2008, I finally got fed up with the amount of food I was wasting, and I thought that showing my waste to other people would motivate me to use up my food instead of wasting it. Because this often embarrassing practice was so helpful for me, I invited other bloggers to join me in posting their food waste photos, and Food Waste Friday was born.

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I made some Chicken Tacos this week and happily, the jalapeno/cilantro/onion rub used up all of my green onions.

Except for this one, which was totally slimy.

I put the slimy parts into the compost, and stuck the root end in some water, just to check and see if it was still alive enough to grow. And sure enough, it’s started to get taller in just a day or two.

Of course, my celery-naming girls had to call it something, and they’ve decided that the onion’s name is Funion. (and nope, I don’t think they have any idea there’s a snack by a similar name!)

So, at least only part of the onion has been lost.

(Incidental question: Should I leave the onion in the water, or plant it in a small pot of dirt?)

Oh, and I have to tell you that I finished off the whole container of organic spinach from Aldi.

Finishing spinach entirely is always a victory for me. ;)

And lastly, I’m not sure that this counts as a victory, but the kids ate up some leftover frosting by spreading it onto graham crackers for dessert last night.


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Joshua’s 365 post: For Some Reason

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Economies of Kale January 18, 2013 at 7:37 am

I have had success planting whole spring (green) onions straight into the ground. They sprout extra branches and get huge. You can see an example of one here:

http://www.economiesofkale.net/containergarden-update/

In terms of food waste, I didn’t have such a good week, but it was partly because we went to the market and bought lots and lots of cheap fruit, which was a bit of a gamble.

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2 Becky January 18, 2013 at 7:38 am

After my disastrous week last time around, I was hoping for a better week … but not so much :-(
I think I really need to re-evaluate my grocery shopping/menu planning/ meal prep routine, and see what needs to be changed. But it is so discouraging to see the list of food that is being wasted in my home each week., especially when I thought I was pretty good at not wasting food.
Ah well …

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3 Live and Learn-Toss and Turn January 18, 2013 at 7:49 am

Have you tried planting a carrot top? Just cut the top off a carrot and put the bottom part in water leaving the top exposed. When it starts to get roots, you can put it in dirt. It doesn’t grow another carrot, but makes a lovely plant.

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4 Amy January 18, 2013 at 8:21 am

I always submerge my green onion roots in a jar of war and leave it on the window sill — especially in the winter. They always grow back.

Might try planting in my garden this spring once it warms up!

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5 Danica January 18, 2013 at 8:27 am

I love to use left over frosting on graham crackers … we have some from my daughter’s birthday cake.

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6 Lili@creativesavv January 18, 2013 at 9:00 am

By your post title, I thought maybe you had bought a bag of Funions.

I have a problem with rooting things in water for too long. I think it turns out like overwatering plants, they just don’t do as well. With sprouted garlic, at least, I plant them in soil. They stay moderately moist without drowning in water, and receive some nutrients from the soil. I currently have some stalks of sedum that I picked last fall for a bouquet of flowers. They rooted in the vase, and now I think I’ve got to plant them in soil, or the roots will develop furry stuff.

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7 WilliamB January 18, 2013 at 9:12 am

I have come to realize that for me, a good week means only incidental waste (such as a few blueberries in a box), a bad week means a largish lump of waste that I could have prevented.

This week? Bad.
1) I made the French Roasted Chicken w/ Stuffing from the recent issue of Cook’s Illustrated. The stuffing was “meh” because the sausage had a spice I don’t like; much stuffing was wasted. (Fennugreek maybe? But who puts that in venison sausage?) Worse, about a quarter chicken went bad because I let it sit too long.

2) The mystery “spicy pork sauce” that I made also went bad. I clearly made it but I don’t remember the dish. “Spicy” means it was for my roommate who didn’t eat it either.

3) The remaining 1c. of another attempt at homemade onion dip. Most got eaten at the party so that’s good. Even better is I isolated the problem: I don’t like Worchestshire in my dip.

Save of the Week:
Half the sliced lunch mean I rescued from the office holiday party, became 2 strombolis for families in need.

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8 WilliamB January 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Forgot – not only did I waste the chicken, but it was fine that morning. It turned bad while I was at work.

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9 Tina Ray January 18, 2013 at 9:13 am

No food waste here this week thus far. However, I do have a few diced tomatoes that might have not made it into anything successful. I will have to check those out tonight. I made Jumbalaya for the first time earlier this week. It was so good and lots of left overs. They went into the freezer stat as to not waste a good thing!

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10 Jenny January 18, 2013 at 9:24 am

I’d definitely put Funion in some dirt. And next time you buy some of his friends, I’d put them in dirt too (I skip the water part completely). Then he’ll have a whole bunch of min-ions. I do this, and then just trim the tops of them to use, and only have to buy green onions every six months or so (they get less tasty over time, especially if you leave them to grow too long). Although this doesn’t work so well if you mainly use the white parts of the onion.

I’ve also planted a celery end to try and get it to grow, and I think the leafy bits are just the slightest bit taller than the rest.

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11 Jo@simplybeingmum January 18, 2013 at 9:49 am

Not a good week for me and really I should know better! ! Made all the worse as last night I watched What A Waste.

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12 Denise @ My House, My Rules January 18, 2013 at 9:59 am

I would be interested in knowing more about how you are growing food from “dead” food, like the celery. Maybe you can do a whole post on the process, what food can be grown this way, etc.

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13 ~Dorthey January 18, 2013 at 11:27 am

Cute Names !
Graham Crackers & frosting I ate that when I was a Kid at my Grams
& made it for my Kids a few times ;)

You what’s GOOD ???
Is Whip Topping in a tub on a Graham Crackers
Here’s How ~
FREEZE the Whip Topping in the Tub, ( has to be Firm)
Scoop on to Graham Crackers & make lil Sandwhiches
Then put in an Airtight container n eat straight from Freezer & Enjoy ! ;)
Got this from Weight Watchers Years Ago can make w- Any Flavor Graham Crackers ….
They are GOOD really like an Icecream Sand :) but not as many calories

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14 sarah@everydaylifeonashoestring January 18, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Love Mr Funion! Food waste situation not too bad this week however it is too cold for coleslaw.

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15 Skirnir Hamilton January 18, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Had some waste this week. A twice baked potato, some hard bagels, and I think there was something else. Did use some left over rice in my taco soup. But I have more left over rice to use up. Next time rather than a 1.5 cups of dry rice, I think I will do 1.25 cups dry rice. Maybe about the right amount, without leftovers. I know if I do 1 cup dry we run out, when it is a dish being served over rice.

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16 WilliamB January 21, 2013 at 12:50 pm

You can also make fried rice – you have to use old, dry rice for that. It tastes terrible with fresh, soft rice.

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17 ginny January 18, 2013 at 4:48 pm

This week I had to throw away some Haslet – I like it and was seduced by the yellow sticker and .58p cost! Nice in a sandwich with some pickle…..had not bought any in months…….used half, family would not eat it, and I could not eat it all. And the teasing of whats in it got to me!!!

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18 Susan January 18, 2013 at 5:16 pm

When I was growing up, we used to use the leftover icing and spread it between graham crackers. I had forgotten all about it until you mentioned it. I’m going to start doing that again. Thanks.

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19 Laura @ Living Our Way January 18, 2013 at 11:35 pm

I’m still in the baby steps of not wasting food and I’m working on planning my menus ahead of time to better accomodate all food. For veggies and fruit, we’ve been doing “lunch trays” once a week to finish up any veggies that weren’t used in meals.

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20 Dori January 21, 2013 at 10:37 am

When I’ve grown green onions from the roots, I just leave them in water (and change it out frequently, like every other day or so) and they grow just fine. The roots only last through a couple of growth cycles, though, before they start weakening and breaking down so if you want them to last longer than that perhaps planting in dirt is your answer. But I just find sticking them in a small vase with water is simplest for me, plus it fits right on my windowsill so it’s always a reminder that I have these green onions I can use in my recipes and they take up no space at all (and no bugs either!).

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21 Susan January 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm

ZERO food waste this week at our house, Yea! Not a challenge for me but keeping my family on board with reducing food waste can be an issue sometimes though! We usually compost any fruit and veggie leftovers, so cannot help with the onion!

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22 McKala January 22, 2013 at 6:57 am

I have the same problem with using up raw spinach! We buy a big container of the organic at Sams and eat it on tacos or anything else that we would use lettuce for and even make salads from it and STILL there’s some left lol. It’s like that neverending plate of spaghetti =). My proud moment of the week was using up badly bruised apples that we would have thrown away, by making sugar free Crock Pot cinammon applesauce. It was so yummy, even my 2 year old was begging for more! I love how you’re always taking veggies and putting them in water to sprout. I think I’ll try that too! Thanks for your blog!!

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23 Shaylin January 23, 2013 at 4:08 pm

You may already know this – but here’s a tip for making your spinach last longer. Although you may not like it – it involves paper towels :)

We purchase the spinach in the tubs and put a folded paper towel in which soaks up the extra moisture, making our spinach last way longer! I can stretch a tub for a week or more. We do change our the paper towel every couple of days when we use it. We used to only use half before it would get gross and slimy, but now we regularly use the whole tub with no sliminess! :)

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24 Jenny January 25, 2013 at 9:45 am

Would this work just as well with a cotton dish towel? I expect that it would. Or you could cut up a couple old cotton t-shirts to use for this. I’d just make sure they’re 100% cotton, not some cotton and acrylic or spandex blend because I don’t think those would absorb water as well. Then just throw it in the laundry when you change it, and no waste for the same effect.

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25 April March 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm

I discovered several years ago, quite by accident, that lettuce, spinach and things like that keep much better in a cotton or Linen towel than they ever did in expensive “keepers”! I fold the towel carefully around the greens and put it into a large plastic bag that holds it without smashing it down. Usually there’s enough water left on the washed greens to make the towel damp; once in a great while, I do have to sprinkle a little water on it. I rarely every have to discard anything…and when I do, it’s usually because it’s been in the fridge long enough for the towel to be dry.

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