Friday, November 21, 2014

Foodie Fail

I spend a lot of time thinking about this blog: what's it's focus should be, what I know a lot about, what I'm passionate about.

And I think I stumbled on something: food.

I love food! It's so yummy. I like to prepare and eat it. I'm not big on presentation or pictures of food. But that's a skill I could learn right? Food blogs are a big deal: I spend a great deal of time gleaning my recipes from other food bloggers. I'm sure the world could use another one.

And I like to think about food--but not in the way that you think. Food has the power to change a life: to make one sick or make one well.

And food inequality.

And real food versus junk food.

And how the poor often don't have access to quality food.

And the difference an adequate diet has on health and learning and thriving.

The piece de resistance: how much food we waste. A recent report I heard on NPR said that our country's food waste is equal to our waste of paper and plastic combined.

This statistic has certainly borne itself in our home. Last year, as a science experiment, we kept track of our trash output for an entire week. What we found was humbling: about 40 pounds of waste (which includes the amount that we recycle). But of that total, about 1/3 was food waste. Of course, that included peels and ends and a chicken carcass. But it also included the remains of the cereal bowl, the gross remains from the fridge, the second helping of dinner that was put on a plate, but not eaten. One third!! 13(ish) pounds of wasted food. That's disgusting.

I was sickened.

So, as I thought about a blog, I thought, "I could do some stuff with food stuffs that we would generally waste. Find a useful and yummy way to prepare it, so it wasn't wasted." Wouldn't that be great?

Luckily, my wonderful neighbor often picks up bulk foods for our family. This week I got a huge bag of bananas. They were still perfect, just a bit spotty. Delicious. But I also know that there was no way that our family would finish eating them before they turned bad. There is already a significant number of bananas and mush waiting in my freezer. (Honestly, putting more in the fridge would just be my way of wasting by not wasting. I probably wouldn't use them).

Looks good going in.
Then I had an epiphany. I stumbled across a recipe for homemade banana chips. Sure, they aren't the family's favorite, but I could spruce them up, toss them in homemade granola, right?

So I heated the oven, prepared the pan, and sliced the bananas. To add a bit of 'extra.' I made a mixture of cocoa powder and sugar and sprinkled all over the banana slices.

Doesn't this sound yummy?

I let them bake for almost two hours--I wanted crispy little pieces of banana.

When I took them out, they looked...okay. Then I tasted one. It was gummy. No worries, I thought, they just need to cool. Gave them a few minutes to cool. Try again. Weird and gummy. "Well, maybe it was just that one." Try a smaller one, a bit crispier. Hopeful. Taste. Nope.

I let them sit on the counter until Eric came home. "Hmmm, those look interesting." One taste. The look on his face was confirmation. This was a food fail. Two pans (and a couple bunches of bananas) went straight into the trash. My attempt at not wasting...sigh...resulted in wasted food.

The lesson in all this: I don't think I'm going to be a food blogger. It was fun for about 10 seconds.

It was more fun and challenging and real to think about how we use food and what we waste and our part in the system. And how much we take for granted. There has to be a niche in that, right? For me and my thoughts?

But next time I have extra bananas, I'll just stick to banana bread & muffins.

I kept sampling because I hoped that maybe they would get better.
They didn't.

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