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Food Waste

What do composting and weight have to do with each other? For some people, maybe nothing, but for me, composting helps with one of the constant challenges of eating only as much as I need: food waste.

It’s still difficult, sometimes, not to eat everything I’m served. Some of it is growing up in a household where we had enough but not a lot more. Some is from cultural attitudes about cleaning your plate. Some is simply that if I spend effort in buying or making food, I don’t want to just toss it, particularly if it will go into a landfill.

And even though I’ve gotten better at meal planning and restraining myself from buying all the yummy-looking produce I see, it doesn’t always work. Plans can change, and I may end up with food going bad. This is why I was so excited about being able to start composting this year, particularly with a curbside composting organization (Garbage to Garden) that accepts everything, including meat and dairy.

Suddenly I don’t feel so bad if I have food scraps, which means that if I do have things left, I’m not as likely to eat them just to finish it. Nor do I try quite as hard to cram in eating everything I’ve bought before it molds or rots – it all simply goes into my bucket, waiting to be recycled as compost, and therefore not truly wasted. And composting isn’t the only way to do this. I have a friend who keeps chickens who had a similar reaction when she realized that food scraps could go to the chickens, who will eat anything (sometimes to an unnerving degree).

The best approach, of course, is to avoid buying or preparing too much food to begin with. But since that’s not always feasible, it’s nice to have options that make me feel better about treating the extra as waste, instead of stuffing myself with food I don’t need and expanding my waist.

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