The beans in my pantry need eating!
I have to admit—there’s a bunch of things in my pantry that need to be eaten.
I’ve got a variety of soba noodles, a pack of rice papers, myriad lentils and beans, a few different kinds of flours, and some canned goods; my freezer contains some CSA vegetables, nuts, stock, and meats (especially salmon). I went through a lot of the pantry goods last year and threw out the things that had expired, (I had one can that expired in 2012! Yeesh.) but there’s still a lot that remains—and all that deserves to be consumed.
I really don’t want to throw anything else out, since it’s just so wasteful. Food waste is a topic of great concern these days—the waste is upwards of 60 million metric tons of food in the US. It’s time for me to do my part and limit as much food waste as I can.
Enter #FromThePantryFebruary, a project spearheaded by cook and blogger Alexa Weiztman at Sustainable Pantry. It’s pretty much self-explanatory—eat through what you have, in your pantry! Alexa, like me, noticed she had a lot of stuff in her pantry (and freezer) to be eaten, and decided she wanted to do something about it, so she put together this challenge. Here’s her concept:
Cooking from the pantry is a great way to save money, reduce food waste and get out of your kitchen habits. The dividends of cooking from your pantry are clearing out all those nooks and crannies in your kitchen and creating more space.
This project/challenge is a great opportunity for creativity and a chance to do more with less. Alexa remarks, “I find the most creative things I cook is when I have ‘nothing’ in the house.” I totally agree—I’m definitely looking forward to improvising with what’s in my own pantry.
There aren’t really any strict rules to abide by next month—apart from using your pantry items—and mixing fresh ingredients with pantry items is totally acceptable, and in some cases will be necessary. She says, “People often think you can’t cook unless you have every little thing listed on the ingredient list of a recipe, but it’s not true!”
She encourages everyone to join her for this challenge, whether it’s for just a day or the whole month. If you blog or post about your creations on social media, be sure to use the hashtag #fromthepantryfebruary. For more about the project, you can head to her post about the project.