11 November 2009

Freezer Woes

What's a bowl of figs doing on a post titled 'Freezer Woes"? Well read on to find out the whole sad (and preventable) story.

Tonight my son awakened me to tell me that somehow -- in the midst of the BIG project chaos -- the freezer got unplugged and almost everything is ruined! This coming on the steps of throwing out a lot of dried food only to find out later that the guidelines for storage had been changed and a large part of it was probably OK:(

Can I just take a moment to scream here? Argh!

OK I am back. Incredibly sad, angry with myself and not too happy right now, but I'm back.
There's nothing much that can be done at this point about the freezer food. If I hadn't been so ill this week I might have caught it before now; but as it is my DH figures the freezer's probably been unplugged since the weekend and although the food is cold still, it looks like it will have to be discarded for safety's sake because it is totally defrosted.
Now part of why I am SO upset is not just the food that will have to be thrown away this time, but also the accumulative feelings of remorse over all the food our family has wasted in the past--food that no one wanted to eat, food that I was too worn out to cook after a long day at work, food wasted for other reasons. I feel bad about the waste itself (bad stewardship) but I feel bad for another reason and that is this food represents time and energy that my DH spent in working to be able to buy it
food is a gift from God and I've not always treated it as such; I feel very bad about that too. But food waste is not an uncommon thing in the US, where having so much but living lives at a frantic pace has often led to waste you would likely not see in the so-called developing countries or by the generations that preceeded this one. Now, I don't think ALL families waste food to the degree I've seen mentioned, but I know that many do; and if you're a family that doesn't waste food I totally applaud you!
So tomorrow will be dedicated to throwing out the freezer food that once was bought or preserved to nourish our family and now will only add to an already busy landfill. It will also be a day of repentance for past waste and sincere prayers that God will give me the consistency I need in this area of weakness and bad habit. I will also be looking into getting a freezer alarm to ensure this particular problem (the freezer getting accidentally unplugged) doesn't occur again.
Woefully yours,
(scroll down to find food safety guideline chart in case of emergency--or as in my case accidental power loss to freezer and/or refrigerator)
(Also you might be interested in doing a search for average food waste in US family. If these estimates are true they are rather sad)

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