Don’t Overestimate Your Cooking Enthusiasm

Today we talk about how our strive for perfection can lead us to significant food waste at home.

We strive to be better versions of ourselves. We like to see ourselves as perfect cooks preparing versatile, healthy and delicious dinners for our families each and every night.

So with this self-perception in mind, we hit the stores.  We come back home, full of groceries for various dinner ideas we have for the week ahead, but totally exhausted from the shopping spree. So we just shove everything into the fridge hoping to come back for cooking tomorrow.

However, tomorrow we are held back at work. Then by the time we are home, we just have the energy to order some Thai. On Tuesday there is this birthday party we totally forgot we must attend, so cooking is postponed.  When we finally get to cook on Wednesday, we just have time for preparing one meal and a salad.  So by Thursday evening our meal planning intentions and provisions are totally off schedule.

We are no longer sure what were all the things that we bought on Sunday and what we had in mind to cook. We overstocked on food supplies and overestimated our cooking enthusiasm and energy.  Guess where part of the stuff will end?

Correct, in the bin.

We need to admit to ourselves, that we only have the energy and motivation to cook several times a week. And this is more than enough! It is better to be pessimistic and shop accordingly, without overstocking. If it turns out that this particular week we have more enthusiasm for cooking then the ingredients in our fridge than a quick visit to the store will solve this case.

Alternatively, we can cook the main dish to last us several nights in a row and make variations on quick and healthy salads for each evening. Turning leftovers from last night into a quick new frittata dish or similar is spearing to our time, energy and budget and goes a long way in reducing food waste at home.

We all need to be kinder to ourselves by accepting us for who we are, instead of constantly striving for perfection. Adopting a realistic view of how often we are in fact able to cook is an important food habit that will have an overall effect on the way we run our kitchens.

Stay tuned for our next two articles on food preparation: Not Being a Fool for Recipes and Keep Cooking Simple.

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