Waste Land, Revised

I have revised food waste data for the past-what is it now, nine weeks? Yes, nine weeks. If you click on the link and go to page 2 of the document, you’ll see a decent graph of the data. I had to recalculate the whole set when I discovered that my count of days per week was off-some had six, some seven, some had eight. I’m glad I held on to my original tally sheet. Compared to the original summary, the weekly average is a bit off, but not by much. We’re averaging just under 10 lbs. (~4.5 kg) of food waste per week, even with some steep week-to-week variations. I know, for instance, that we went out of town during week 6; I’m sorry to say that I didn’t bring the bucket and scale along for a road-trip food-waste analysis. I’m kidding about that last bit; My Dear Wife would have left me by the side of the road with them.

The next step is to determine the embedded energy within that wasted food. I’m going to have to study up on calories, kilocalories, BTUs, and the like in order to work that out; I wanted to put up some numbers this morning, but it’s a little more complicated than I expected.  Then, I’ll follow our food waste into the compost bin (so to speak) and onto our garden bed. I’ll measure how much food we grow this summer from our compost-aided garden and hopefully get an idea of the return-on-investment of recycling the food waste. There is also a nationwide energy drain due to wasted food all along the production/consumption chain, to which I’ve previously alluded, which I’m going to re-examine in the light of our revised food-waste data.

Meanwhile, I tallied the weights and volumes of the groceries I bought on the most recent shopping trip. Are you sitting down? 129 pounds of food, and  over 12 quarts of liquid. Granted, we had run the inventory down to a nub; and that supply, except for replenishing the milk and such, should be enough for a few weeks. Still, it was more than I would have predicted, and that’s not counting the weight of the containers. Which gives me another idea…


About poorlocavore

Welcome to one family's journey towards a smaller food-mile footprint on a small food budget. How do our choices affect the environment, and what influences our choices? Read on and find out what I'm learning.
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