This looks worse than it is.

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.

It’s three containers, but none of them are full. ;)


At the bottom, there are some booze-y smelling pieces of pineapple, and the stainless steel bowl is holding somewhere around 8 black beans.

(Whyyy did I not just finish those up the last time I ate beans? That was dumb. I mean, really, who doles out all but 8 black beans?)

At the top are two pieces of lime. Joshua cut one up to squeeze into his smoothie, and he put the rest in a container, which slowly made its way to the back of the fridge.

Happily, everything here could be dumped into the compost bin.

Another happy thing? My fridge is now all cleaned out and organized, so at least for the moment, nothing is lurking in the back!


How did you do this week? If you blogged about your food waste, link us up by entering your info into the widget below. You’ll save money, reduce your trash output, and get a little publicity for your blog! And if you don’t blog, you can still share about your food waste by leaving a comment.

Those of you who participate in Food Waste Friday can now grab a fancy-schmancy button to perk up your posts. If you copy and paste the following code into your Food Waste Friday post, this little graphic will appear.


If you blog on WordPress, just make sure you’re in html mode when you copy and paste the code, or it won’t work properly.

Joshua’s 365 post: :)


  1. says

    Thinking I need to make myself more accountable, I threw out heaps the other day….luckily it all was able to go over the fence to my neighbours chooks but its still not good enough

  2. says

    I had to dump a whole, unopened, container of mushrooms, plus some leftover pasta. Not a big win for the week.

    Curious, do you count it as food waste if people don’t eat what you’ve made, or does that not happen in your house? We have a wide range of eating temperaments, and I struggle to nurture the more adventurous child’s appetite without the picky ones starving.

    • Reese says

      I wondered this too. What if someone gets full or is a picky eater one night? Does that food go into the bin?

      • Kristen says

        A picky eater’s food sometimes gets thrown out, or sometimes I eat it. Generally we don’t have a large problem with plate waste, though, because we start with fairly small portions.

        Also, since we have a “One thing is served for dinner and you can choose to eat it or not eat it, but there will be no seconds of anything until you’ve eaten the firsts.” policy, the kids usually do choose to eat their food, even if it’s not their favorite.

        Exception to the rule: Zoe, who hates shrimp, also appears to be allergic to it, so I do make something else for her when we’re eating shrimp.)

        Disclaimer: I’m not saying our picky eater policy is the right thing for every family; just that it works well for us.

  3. says

    Okay, I’ve done that myself, leaving just a couple of something small in a container. And I have no explanation why a person would do that, except I would be thinking, “well I’m only hungry for 7 of these, why would I want to eat 9?”

    And be very proud that Joshua had the thought and took the time to put the rest of the lime into a container in the fridge. You’ve taught him well.

  4. says

    That is too funny about the 8 black beans – it’s definitely something I would do. I hate finishing anything in case I might want a bit later. This week I did a stocktake of every single thing in my pantry, fridge and freezer (and recorded it on my blog). I found 8 almonds in the freezer (not even in the same bag) and 6 dates in the pantry!

    I did find a few veggies that had been hiding at the back of the fridge and evading me, so they ended up in the bin, along with some coconut milk and wheat pizza dough (that had obviously been in the freezer since I stopped eating wheat months ago).

  5. says

    we just moved into our new place and we paid our friends in beer and subs for helping. you know cause were too classy and grown-uppy for pizza. lol we managed to salvage the toppings for sandwiches you get in a party tray (you know so everyone can top their own sub. olives jalapenos onions tomatoes etc. ). we put everything on a frozen pizza and chowed down right before all that stuff got too limp….well cept for the shredded lettuce. thats the only thing that went in the garbage this week. go us!

  6. says

    A quick question. I don’t know if you’ve blogged about it before.
    Does the stainless steel bowl with lid come as a set in different sizes? Are they thick enough? Can you let me know the brand? I have been looking at some options, but many in the market seem so thin and flimsy.

    • Kristen says

      Mine are 16 years old and are Revere Ware. I’ve been happy with the bowls themselves, but the lids haven’t held up super well (they’ve cracked.)

      For leftover storage, I much prefer my Pyrex containers because they’re clear. Opaque storage containers make me much more likely to waste food.

  7. Elaine in Ark says

    Boozy pineapple? I’ll take it!

    I have a few fridge items to toss this week. Mostly bought for a party, my company didn’t eat it all up, and it’s more than I care/can eat.

  8. Catherine says

    Usually I am pretty good in the regard. This week I did have a few sticks of celery that I didn’t get around to eating. We don’t do leftovers here everything is used up. We were not always this good about food but made some changes a while back to try to save some cash .

  9. says

    A case of damage limitation for me. I haven’t been with the program of late. This has shown most clearly in the chaos of my usually uber-organised fridge.
    Fortunately I came to my senses yesterday – after photographing the embarrassment and set to work.
    Back on track? Maybe? Fingers crossed…

  10. says

    I wish they would make refrigerators more food friendly. I have a deli draw that has about six inches under it. But if you put something under it you can never see it unless you’re sitting on the floor.

  11. says

    I’ve been in the same boat – why do I have that one last bite of something vs putting it into the trash/compost I’ll never figure out.

    What I try to do on Wed or Thurs is scope out the leftovers and whip out the crockpot and toss everything in that could and would work for a soup. Hearty vegetable laden chicken broth over leftover rice & garden salad = yum!

    No waste to report here this week.

  12. says

    I have one serving left in the fridge of a Trader Joe’s frozen pork tenderloin dinner that I made Monday night and haaaaated….along with the Trader Joe’s quinoa frozen side dish…was not a good night for Joe :) I sincerely doubt these will be seeing the inside of my stomach anytime soon.

    • WilliamB says

      If you tell TJ’s you didn’t like it, they’ll refund your money. You definitely don’t need the receipt and I don’t know if you need the packaging – although it’s probably helpful to have one or the other.

  13. Katrina W. says

    Kristen, how do you compost? I have two pails out back that I’ve buried and then put my compost in them. I’ve drilled holes in the bottom and up the sides. I use the lids to keep out critters. It’s pretty slimy in there right now. I do turn it every so often. How do I know when it’s time to use it?

  14. says

    I’m notorious for putting little pots of teeny amounts of leftovers in the fridge and then forgetting them (it’s in the genes – both my mum and my grandmother did the same), just like the small pot of yogurt that got left behind this week. Other than that just a lemon so not too bad.

  15. says

    Two weeks in a row I had food waste. I’m pretty discusted with myself. I forgot what I bought ginger root for and it sat in my fridge till it was moldy and shriveled. The last cup of milk in my half gallon went sour and I lost a portion of leftover fried rice.

  16. Jewlz says

    You know, I was doing SO well with not throwing much out but its slowly slid back. I need to get back on it. At least lately we’ve found creative ways like the composting and giving scraps to the dogs. I figure grilled meat and some rice are better for fido than throwing it away! They love it and consider it a ‘treat’. LOL It’s good because it’s eaten even if for us it’s a bit past what we would do.

  17. WilliamB says

    1 to 1.5 lb of asparagus – not good reason except I didn’t get to it.
    I think there was something else substantial but I don’t remember what.

  18. teresa says

    Oh, man, this photo is reminding me of the empty containers in the fridge, which are there because I was too lazy to wash them and did not want to leave them in the sink. I can’t even believe I’m admitting it here. Sigh.

  19. greenstrivings says

    The Other Adult who lives in the house will not finish things off, so I often find, say, five (uncooked) green beans (why didn’t they get thrown into the steamer? what the heck can I do with 5 raw green beans?), or 6 chickpeas, or a mouthful of orange juice in the carton. Aargh.

    Here’s my kid-related food waste problem (well, there arere several, but this is the main one): every night at dinner we serve them a couple of bites of vegetables because you have to expose your children to veggies to get them to eat them. Sometimes those veggies don’t get eaten, and seconds are not requested– we also have the “you must eat something of everything on your plate before having seconds of one thing” rule. I don’t want to stop serving them vegetables. Ideas?

    • WilliamB says

      Since you ask, my thought is it is better to have a steady stream of a very small amounts of waste, then to stop exposing your kids to veggies. I don’t think that a couple of bites every night is a big thing. I suppose you could put on their plates, just the amount you require them to eat: half a leaf of spinach or whatever.

      • Kristen says

        Yeah, I agree-a bite or two of food isn’t an enormous deal, especially if it’s for the cause of exposing kids to vegetables.

  20. says

    I have had a bad couple of weeks. Had some chicken breasts I bought and needed to separate, but also bought some ground beef on the same day, as they were mark downs. I did separate the ground beef, but kept not getting to the chicken breasts. By the time, I did, they were very smelly and I had to toss them. Wasted I think it was $7 right there. Also have had some issues with mold on my onions and green peppers going bad. Must be old stuff at the store, ie out of season and therefore going bad quickly? Also had two hot dog buns that were only a 1.5 weeks old (from purchase) and kept in the fridge with mold. Or is this new state of mine, much more prone to some food spoilage issues? Going to try and do better this week, but we have some left overs from a restaurant we were trying for the first time, that we just did not like. My hubby ate the lo-mein with some added crushed red pepper and I think something else. NOt sure we can/will do that with the other left overs. I offered to throw out my hubby’s dish as soon as we got home, as there is no way I am eating that. It wasn’t inedible, but had no redeeming value in flavor to me.

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