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THE GLAMOROUS AND EXCITING LIFE OF THE WIDOW MADDERA

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THE GLAMOROUS AND EXCITING LIFE OF THE WIDOW MADDERA

Cindy Maddera

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No. Not really. It's been dull as tombs around here. Yesterday, I was glancing through the most recent spam comments and I found this gem "Hey, you used to write great, but the last several posts have been kinda boring�K I miss your super writings. Past several posts are just a bit out of track! come on!". See? Even the spammers are bored. Last Friday night I spent the evening cleaning out my food closet. I don't know if I ever explained the food closet thing. Chris and I never lived in a place that had an actual food pantry. So when we finally had one we forgot what to call it. I called it a food closet one day and that's what it's been called ever since. Any way....the food closet had finally gotten far enough under my skin that I thought Friday night was a good time to deal with it. I had a bag of tortilla chips in there that had been there since February and my mom put that potato in there when she stayed back in July. So, I hauled the trashcan over to the food closet and started tossing cereal boxes containing a tablespoon of cereal and unsalted Saltine crackers. Who buys unsalted Saltines? Apparently I do and I can also tell you that they are not tasty and that's why they've been sitting on the shelf in the food closet for I don't know how long. I tossed a lot of remnant stuff, bags of beans that only held a few beans, containers of rice holding four grains of rice. The funny thing is I put those remnants of stuff back into the food closet because I didn't want to be wasteful. I set it back in there with the intention of using it all up, but really I was just setting it in there to sit and sit and sit. Then I end up throwing it away in a Joan Crawford worthy pantry clean out. Wasteful.

Americans throw out 165 billion dollars a year in food. This translates out to about 30 million tons of food waste heading into landfills, using up lots of fossil fuels in the process. Meanwhile an estimated 16 million kids in the U.S. go to school each day hungry. How many tons of food a year do you think one kid could eat? The average adult consumes about 1 ton of food a year. So basically we're throwing out enough food a year to end hunger in America. Way to go America.

For the last two weeks I've been trying really hard to plan my meals around the things I already have in my freezer and food closet. I haven't posted too much on our little Menu Club on facebook because my meals have been simple pasta dishes and grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. At first it was because I was trying to be financially responsible. But with each item that I ended up tossing, I became more and more aware of my wastefulness. And I was ashamed. ASHAMED. Don't get me wrong. I have no plans on becoming a food hoarder that refuses to let go of expired unopened cartons of yogurt, but I do have great plans on being more mindful of the foods I purchase and consume. I also plan on implementing a weekly food closet clean out where canned goods that have been there for a couple of weeks gets put in a box to be donated to a local food pantry. If I'm not going to eat it, someone else might as well have it. We do this with clothes all the time. Why not canned goods?

Now just wait until hear all about my plans to scrub the house from top to bottom this weekend. Woot! I sure now how to live it up!