Continuing the theme of food waste and utilizing deteriorating produce from 2013’s last blog post, I had a pile of bananas that was sitting on top of the fridge for… I wanna say about two weeks? (I know, gross, right?) They had obviously lost their vigor with saggy peels and brown spots all over. Neither my husband nor I are huge banana fans but I buy them occasionally for our smoothies. If you live on the east coast, you know the weather’s been pretty frigid lately so smoothies have not been made in the Yun household of late. Therefore the sad, spotting bananas on top of our fridge :( Usually, we cut em up and freeze them when the bananas reach this point but our poor freezer is at its max capacity so that wasn’t an option either. I knew I was going to have to throw them out if I didn’t act quickly. So the logical conclusion was to make banana bread. I’ve never made banana bread in my life (told you, I’m not a huge banana fan). But faced with the option of throwing the poor bananas away and making something that might actually taste good, I chose the later. I pulled out my trusty KitchenAid mixer and got it going. The recipe is from Annie Dean‘s adorable blog who got it from Smitten Kitchen.
The bananas went into the mixer looking quite pathetic and gross (I really wish I had taken a picture of its sad state but I’m sure you can imagine) but boy did it come out of the oven gloriously reborn. It. was. absolutely. delicious. Here it is in its full glory.
From now on all my sad looking bananas will be going to banana bread heaven rather than ending up in the compost.
Speaking of food waste and compost, I enrolled in a local compost program a couple weeks ago. I had been growing quite sick and tired of the smelly garbage can and of having to take it out when it wasn’t full all the way due to the smell. And since I’ve been cooking often recently, the bulk of the content of our trash has been food scraps and food waste. Combined with the smell issue and the guilt of sending perfectly good potato peels to the landfill, I started contemplating composting. While I’d love to have my own compost pile in my own back yard, city living isn’t quite conducive to such activities, so I started researching local compost programs and discovered Bennett Compost. They provide you with a 5 gallon lidded bin and come by once a week to pick up your week’s food scraps.
With the exception of the week of Thanksgiving, I’ve found the bin is plenty big for all your food scraps of the week for a family of two.
It’s $15/month but for me it’s $15 well spent to keep all my perfectly good food scraps from going to the landfill and creating methane (a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change) and instead create all natural fertilizer for farmers and community gardens. If I want in the spring, they’ll give me up to 10 gallons of finished compost for my own garden for no charge. Since I started composting, I think we’ve reduced our trash output by more than half and take out the trash once every 1-2 weeks rather than every other day like we used to (which means we use less trash bags = less plastic in the landfill & less $$ spent on buying 13 gallon trash bags).
While I think composting should be a city mandated program (just like trash and recycling pick ups, why are there no compost/food scrap pick ups??), until there’s progress in our political sphere to make compost pick ups the norm, it’ll be an individual choice for all of us. I’m just glad there are composting companies around to give me options.