Thursday, April 21, 2011

Stockpiling food is such a waste

 I've been struggling against the urge to buy groceries. It really is a weakness of mine, this tendency to keep buying too much food, too many ingredients, too much groceries. What ends up happening is that we don't consume things in time and I have to dump the food stock. Such a waste...

I cook a lot. It's something that I enjoy doing. However, this means that I end up buying a lot of ingredients and can't finish them before expiry. A quick perusal into our pantry will find a mind boggling array of ingredients:
  • Soy sauces- light soy, regular soy, dark soy, dark mushroom soy, kecap manis soy, ponzu soy sauce (a Japanese citrus soy), thai soy etc
  • Spices- at least 30 spices in small packets and jars and they have short shelf life
  • Sugar- white caster sugar, regular(granular) white sugar, icing sugar, brown sugar, palm sugar, demerara sugar
  • Oil- peanut oil, sesame oil, dark sesame oil, canola oil, olive oil for pouring, olive oil spray
  • Flour- corn flour, plain flour, self raising flour, rice flour, tapioca starch flour, glutinous rice flour
  • Vinegars- white vinegar, brown vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar etc

    The quantity of food stock in our pantry is insane. While others battle with cigarette or an alcoholic addiction, for years, I've battled with a food stockpiling habit. When I find myself throwing out unopened food, I often berate myself about wastefulness and the usual saga of how many hungry people in third world nations could have been fed...

Anyway, these past two weeks have seen a remarkable drop in my grocery purchasing habits. I've been restraining myself from stockpiling.

There's only one other pantry that I've seen which dwarfs our pantry. This infamous pantry that I've seen is really amazing; 4 jars of vegemite, 6 bottles of salad dressing, 3 jars of mustard, 3 bottles of tomato sauce, 3 bottles of BBQ sauce, 3 tubs of mayonnaise and that's just the first shelf... 

What's so amazing about that? Vegemite is eaten so sparsely on toast that 4 jars of vegemite is literally 10 years worth of vegemite. The same could be said about mustard. And that's just a sample of the stock range from the infamous pantry. No doubt a lot of that food will go to waste due to expiration.

So I've been good these past two weeks. I've restrained myself from grocery shopping. I've pulled out ingredients close to expiry and cooked with them. I've used up condiment jars that have been sitting in the fridge for indeterminate periods. I haven't bought a lot of groceries for these past two weeks and have been rampaging through our pantry to use what we've got. I've been good.

Further reading:

1. Test of the blueberries: How much would you pay for fruit?
2. Wedding, weeding, gardening and zucchini plants
3. Best orange cake recipe

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