I keep seeing more and more comments, video’s and meme’s on social sites about food waste. Its a huge issue and a great deal of it is truthfully totally out of my hands. I can do my bit by writing letters, asking at the store what the local programs are in regards to food waste and I can send and make called to the local and fed government in regards to working towards programs like in France where all food waste from supermarkets must go to food kitchens that then works its way out to the community and those in need. All good things.
Where I can really have control on food waste is in my own home! or can I? I grow a lot of my own food, and I butcher and process even more of our own food. I am frugal.. or am I?
Hmmm, you see it that last stop food waste video got me thinking about food waste, my own kitchen and my own garden.. So I have amazing lack of amount of food waste.. I mean it.. I really don’t have much if anything in terms of food waste.
That is because I have spent major money to make that happen.. I mean thousands over the years easily have been spent on the cause of me and my farm being able to say.. we have a full 0 mile shed.
In the kitchen, I have 2 9 tray food dryers, I have two 18 pint pressure canners, I have hundreds of dollars worth of canning and processing equipment, I have thousands of dollars worth of jars, and I have the space to store all that. I have at least a thousand dollars invested in my butchering setups and equipment, I have two fridges and four freezers (different sizes but still)
I carry a livestock load in such a way that I always can use up all my extra bits on the farm, the farm cats, dogs and our own personal use only pig and depending the chickens take care of any leftover extra protein that does not get eaten by us. Heck I even use fly buckets to process it down to grubs for the chickens to eat. When it comes to plants, I feed out all the extras to the flock be it fowl, sheep/goat or be it to the pig.
But the farm runs on feast and famine and so when its feast time, I have to carry enough livestock to makes sure that everything is used and while I would love to tell you that I butcher on time always in order to never carry anything longer.. life does not work like that and then I am buying extra feed of different kinds to carry that livestock till of butcher age.
That all costs more money, money for feed, money for hutches, money for buildings, money for bedding and then time.. o my goodness the time.. time to make all the things above happen.
I am proud of the fact that we grow as much food as we do, I am proud that I have as little waste as I do.. but I am having a real hard think on the frugal end of things.. Would it be better to put more things into compost piles then to increase carry load of critters at certain times of the year?
And what about those that don’t have the funds to put that kind of output in terms of space, time and money? Do they think they are doing something wrong.. most likely not.. most likely they are working hard in their own ways to reduce, reduce their own food waste, reduce their foot print.. reduce what it costs them to eat a healthy meal plan day after day.
I know that is not the case in a lot of ways, I have a girlfriend that spends hundreds of dollars weekly on her family of six.. she spends more on food in a month then most people would spend on their house and car payments combined and she is always talking about the food waste that goes in the green bin. She says its the stores fault that the food will not hold or the kids fault that they didn’t like the meal she made or that her family does not eat leftovers. (we agree to not talk about certain things otherwise we get a bit grrr at times, but none the less, she considers her family normal and my way of life a bit tilted)
I also know there are all kinds of family that are meet in the middle. however I want to bring it back to those that are trying.. really honestly trying.. I think we forget some time to say it out loud.
Land, Space, time and money were and are being spent all the time to create that 0 mile end result.. and its ok for not everyone to even try and do that.. because a truly frugal person or homestead.. I was there at one time as a single female and I could do a lot of some things but nothing like I do now with a husband that works a full time well paid job that brings in the main household income.
Even for us.. maybe I need to step back and be willing to let a part go.. its not like I can’t compost it.. not everything fodder produced needs to go into the next stream to produce eggs, milk or meat.. some of it could just go into producing compost..
We have zero food waste as well, there is always something on the farm that will use up what we can’t. It has however, made me very aware of how much work/expense goes into being as self sufficient as we are. I long ago decided that it matters little if I have an entire freezer full of chicken when we average one chicken dinner a month, or two hogs in the freezer when we only go through one….and so on. I like to have a years worth of meat and veggies – two years for salmon and a few other things. We’ve taken to raising only what we think we can consume by the time the next season rolls around. Anything over and above that (as in the case of a steer going into the freezer) goes to my kids right off the bat.
We can’t eat an entire steer in a year. I would love to have goats again, and rabbits, and a bigger greenhouse etc. but ultimately have to remind myself that I don’t ‘need’ that much food.
its a odd thing to say that we can over produce on our farms an homesteads but its the truth at times and glad to hear its not just us 🙂
I admire your thorough methods of using everything. And also find the truth of your (and Val Bjerke’s) “overproduction” rather telling… Why has the general public been convinced that we cannot produce enough on farms locally to feed our populations?? Why, because it’s a lie city folk have been sold to suit those who would profit from their ignorance – and so they can get away with paving over prime farm land to suit another group of profiteers… Is there an imoji for “disgust”?