It’s important to begin this morning that if you ever have dinner (or breakfast or lunch) at my house, you will get the freshest, most delicious ingredients in the dishes I lovingly prepare. And you should have a meal at my house because I’m a fine cook, if I can do a little horn toot.
That said, I would like to say without shame that I leave food out. Within reason. Eggs, milk, chicken, and anything containing these ingredients and a few others must be tossed if they are left out of the fridge for more than an hour or so. But cheese? The kind of potato salad that doesn’t have dairy in it but just vinegar and herbs and olive oil? Half a filet mignon in a restaurant doggie bag? Eh, whatever. If perfectly good food sat out overnight because sleep was more important than KP duty, I don’t feel too good about tossing it out the next morning.
Of course, I always give it a sniff. It’s amazing to me how the nose can instantly tell if a food is off. Our tiny olfactory senses and/or our tastebuds say, “Stop. No. Don’t. Do not. That is not okay for you/us.” If warning bells don’t ring, I shrug and put it in the fridge if it’s leftovers or cheddar cheese. Half-cut apples, onions, peppers? I leave them out as soon as I cut them! They’re all in a bowl on my counter. I do not want my fridge to smell like onions. When I need the onion again, I just cut off the wizened part and go about my dicing. I always use them within a day or so. Same with apples. Dried apples are sold for four bucks a bag at Whole Foods. They are free at my house if you want some.
Mold is not okay. Sprouting things are not okay. And again, if the food object doesn’t pass the sniff test, into the garbage with it. But in this deodorized, hand-sanitized world — while there are starving children in the city of Chicago — throwing good food out is an ethical issue. We’re lucky enough to have it. We’re lucky enough to share it. Though it’s true, “we’re lucky enough to be able to throw it away” sounds lame to me.
NOTICE FOR QUILTERS! Tomorrow begins a giveaway for Small Wonders fabric! Make sure to check PaperGirl for your chance to win! Thirteen zippy quilters will get a (great) prize. 🙂