Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My chickens and Crunchy Chicken's challenge

Food Waste Reduction Challenge - February 2010

Crunchy Chicken is running another challenge.  This one is about reducing our waste in the kitchen.  The problem is that I've become rather lax in this area as a result of the chickens.  It's far too easy to just give the leftovers to them, than to find a way to use them for us.  Sad, but true.  Crunchy caught on to this chicken loophole pretty quickly and closed it for us.  Darn her!  


 
They get so excited whenever I come out to see them.  Their little food bowl (an old dog dish) is empty and they'd really like some treats please.  "But Crunchy says I have to eat the people food myself!"  They didn't like that one bit and said some not so nice things about her that I won't repeat here.  "Don't worry" I tell them. "I just read an article in Mother Earth News about growing chicken feed.  I had already planned to grow some extra greens for you."  They still aren't very happy, but what can you do, they're chickens.  These are the same animals that when given yogurt to help their tummies, decided to step in it and then eat it off of each other's feet.

So, onto the challenge.  This is actually a good time of year for this one.  The garden isn't producing and we're using up everything that has been canned and frozen.  My biggest issue will be making just enough for us and/or freezing any leftovers, until we can get to them.  I'm sure the chickens will still get a few things here and there, but I need to make a concerted effort to reduce our waste, and not cop out and give it to the chickens.

13 comments:

Lise said...

Chickens unite! Maybe your chickens can start doing what mine are doing; standing at the back door, looking into the house reproachfully: "where's our food?" They don't have THAT much to complain about, though. They're still getting peelings, and what the kids leave on their plates, and the insane amount of food swept off the floor when 6 toddlers and preschoolers finish eating... Loved your post; gave me a good laugh.

Daphne said...

I don't always make the right amount, but I often eat the leftovers for lunch. It works. My biggest issue with food waste is when my daughter is home from college. She is autistic and she eats weirdly because of it. It is really painful to watch her eat something like roast beef. Half of it is tossed to the side since she won't eat the brown parts. I made baked chicken the other day with a Parmesan cheese topping and it was all carefully scrapped off. I told her she liked all the things in it, but that doesn't matter at all. I just pains me since I'm so anti waste in the kitchen.

The Mom said...

Lise, they're all going to stage a revolt! They'll still get plenty from us as well. With 2 kids, there is always lots of waste.

Daphne, my daughter is always good for asking for food and then not eating it. It makes me nuts, I hate waste and feel like I remind the kids of this everyday.

farmwifetwo said...

Cows = composter in our house.

I tried an actual composter and gave it up quickly. Easier to feed the cows. They enjoy it.

The Mom said...

Farmwife, I've been using the chickens the same way. The problem is when I use them too much and waste an excessive amount of perfectly good food.

farmwifetwo said...

I save for a max of 1 week depending on what it is. Potatoes get used up quickly. Salad I know how much we'll eat so there's never leftovers. I use frozen veggies instead of canned. We use less and the extra is saved for soups. Spagetti seems to live forever in the freezer. Meat get used for sandwhiches... We're pretty good.

Yes, it could be better... but overall I don't feel it's a large portion of my grocery bill.

The other question is... what about garden leftovers? When you've preserved enough or didn't get to the initial crop in time?? Does it count. Or does your preserves and therefore not buying it from the grocery store, go against the wasted amount since you grew it yourself??

Personally, "it comes out in the wash" as the saying goes.

The Mom said...

Farmwife, it does really come out in the wash. I think the whole point is to make sure that we're more cognizant of what doesn't get eaten.

Karen Anne said...

Ever since I started cooking from scratch and so have more "ingredients" around, I do a lot more of what has to be eaten before it spoils than what do I want to eat. I suspect our parents did that as a matter of course.

Do parents still tell their children eat everything on your plate, suppose you were one of the children starving in China? Were children starving in China? Was there a famine...

The Mom said...

Karen Anne, I do a lot of the 'use it because we have to' as well. Unfortunately, sometimes we are brats and decide not to and things go bad. I don't make my kids clean their plate, they have to eat their veggies, but that is usually the extent of it. When I was a kid, the kids were starving in Africa, I think!

kitsapFG said...

We are usually pretty good about using things up and not wasting much food. However, my perception of how good we really are at this was a little distorted I have recently come to find out. After our old dog passed away on New Year's day, I have found that we have more dinner plate scrapings etc. that go into the garbage than I realized - she had just gobbled them all up for us as a canine equivalent of a garbage disposal. The actual leftovers though are pretty religiously used and we compost everything that is eligible for that. I purposefully DO cook more than we need for every meal - because we regularly use leftovers for lunches and even breakfast (my daughter loves eating leftovers for breakfast!).

The Mom said...

Kitsap, I always thought we did pretty well, until I realized that so much goes to the dog and the chickens. If not for them, we'd be throwing away a lot of food. Leftovers are great for Hubby when he's at the station, but the kids are not fans of leftovers at all.

inadvertent farmer said...

If I have any leftovers (3 college age sons) I feed the chickens. My organic scraps are cheaper than organic chicken feed!

Good luck on your challenge, Kim

The Mom said...

Kim, scraps are certainly cheaper. With 3 grown sons, I doubt you have much left over though.