Do You Eat Leftovers?

I do. I even eat other people’s leftovers. This week Sara invited me over for dinner — she’d made a lovely pork loin with roasted vegetables. Since she’s headed to India for work, she knew she wouldn’t finish all the leftover meat, and asked if I wanted some. I was happy to accept, and have been enjoying the tasty slices in stir-fry, adding my own fresh mushrooms and spinach.

According to the Washington Post, I’m the exception:

Once the mainstay of weekday lunchboxes and thrifty home cooks, leftovers today constitute the single largest source of edible food waste in U.S. homes, according to a new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group.”

“Lunchboxes” might be a quaint concept too, if you work at a high tech company like Google that provides three free gourmet meals a day to employees, or even at a more  modest workplace that offers a subsidized cafeteria.

The article goes on to say that lots of us put leftovers in plastic containers and forget we have them, remember only after the food has spoiled. Or, we take out the shriveled contents of a plastic container and find that the food looks less appealing than going out and getting something fresh — especially in a city like Seattle where we’re all surrounded by food trucks, easy take-out, and a lot of interesting restaurants.

There used to be a moral significance attached to not wasting food, but that seems to have gone by the boards.

What about you — do you eat leftovers? Why or why not?

6 thoughts on “Do You Eat Leftovers?

  1. Absolutely yes I eat and enjoy leftovers, especially from homemade meals. Our refrigerator is never really full so I can easily see the food containers.

  2. Yes we do! First, cooking larger amounts of foods like soups and stews gives us several meals. Second, for Art’s small-meals diet, leftovers are perfect. However, we still find shriveled and greenish-filled containers in the back of the refrigerator sometimes!

  3. Absolutely! Waste not want not! Seriously, if I love it and there’s some left, why not enjoy again?
    We were living in Fairport and ate at new restaurant in early seventies. They asked if we wanted a “doggie bag. Totally new idea. We felt funny saying yes – no idea why. Maybe we thought it made us look cheap! After that all restaurants offered that. Now we take it for granted!

  4. for Joyce: My “European style” refrigerator is so small there is no chance of losing anything! Back on San Gabriel Drive, we had a full size fridge and on occasion, someone would retrieve something shoved way in the back that had been carried over far too long. 🙂

  5. for Phyllis: I find cooking a larger amount of things that reheat well is a great way to cook at our stage of life. I probably keep things a day or two longer than I should — I remember reading once about how quickly things spoil. Three or four days is the max that leftovers should be kept without being frozen, apparently.

  6. for Ada: I find that when I eat at a restaurant where the serving is much larger than I expected, I’m very comfortable setting some to the side and asking to take that portion home. I agree, though, we didn’t always do that!

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