How to recycle food?
We’ve got some left over catered food for the participants of the Diplomatic Course for Caribbean diplomats at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy of the Australia National University. Since the Caribbean diplomats can’t really eat all of the amazing food provided by our favorite caterer, there are some left over food and drinks from lunch.
Just like two days ago, there were left-over food stuffs. The food was ceasar salad, beef steak with mushroom, potato salad, and bunch of rice. I already had my lunch so I just decided to take some for later use. It was a bit embarrassing to do this at first. But then, you realize that it’s a waste to just throw all this food to the bin. As we have an open planned kitchen, people were passing by. Each one, I would ask to partake of the left-over dishes. Even if they were full from their lunch, they would take some fruits. Since, I already have some plastic containers with me, I packed some food and asked the server if she could help me pack some rice I could reheat together with other dishes to be shared with friends later. She obliged since she also thinks that it is a waste to throw food. There are suffering hungry children in the developing world and also homeless people even in developed countries like Australia, right? Even if you don’t think along those lines, it’s just practical not to throw food.
At home, I’ve been trained to eat what’s on the table as well as not to waste food (lest I’ll stay longer in purgatory). Now, it has become a habit. By the way, I also recycled the left-over brewed coffee from the pot by filling up a plastic milk container with it together with some milk and sugar. I’m drinking coffee now as I write this blog in between editing my thesis chapter. I’ll probably have ice coffee later from what I could not consume.
So what to do with left over food?
1. Pack food stuff and put them on the fridge. Make sure you pack them individually.
2. Reheat them or come up with a new dish. For example make fried rice from left-over steamed rice.
3. Share them with friends. Organise a get-together.
4. A tip is to have plastic containers handy which you will reuse till they break.
5. Even if you’re not religious, hell thank God for the food ! It was for free and you could look at it as divine providence.
My friend Alfa,a trained chef, calls recycled food as “chef’s specials”. You too can have your own chef’s specials by making new types of dishes from clean and edible recycled food. Just make sure you don’t overstock and that you eat them within a reasonable period.
If you really want to help the homeless and the hungry, why not organise a soup kitchen where you give to the poor left over unused food from restaurants and dry goods before they expire. There’s a celebrity chef in Australia doing just that. He rescues and salvage food to distribute to the homeless. Alleluia!