How my food waste habits changed after my divorce
This story was by an anonymous contributor
Image by Erin Chapman | @erins_illustrations
Food waste can be remarkably sensitive to changes in your life. I used to be married for nine years, and I’ve found that I make much better decisions on my own, and my food waste has dramatically reduced as a result.
I was cooking for someone else, I felt like it had to be good? Like there was a standard that I was trying to live up to. Whereas if I’m just cooking for myself, I’m happy to just throw tomato puree in pasta and a few veg. But with my ex, I would always think, I must make a meal.
The issue was that he was not the nicest food critic. If he didn’t like something I’d made, he wouldn’t just be like “Ah, never mind”, he would sometimes go on about it for ages. As a result, I often felt paralysed by being shy, thinking “What if this thing I make is awful?”. On top of that, he was quite lazy and useless, and would hardly ever cook himself. We’d invariably end up getting a pizza or something, and the food in the fridge would go to waste.
Some of my previous food waste issues came from this self-consciousness, and some of it had to do with energy. I was working an intense job at that point and commuting to London from 5am, which had a really big impact. I’d get home at 10pm, exhausted, to find my ex hadn’t made anything, and I’d look in the fridge and see half the stuff about to go off… but I just didn’t care.
Now I’m no longer with my ex and no longer commuting for work, I have a lot more time and space to explore. I try out new recipes, and plan out my week so I can use the same ingredients in multiple dishes so nothing is left over.
It is a lot more relaxing. I have slow Sunday mornings where I can take stock, look up ways I can use the food I already have, and judge how much time I have to cook. For example, if I’ve got loads of time on Wednesday, I can make a four-hour-long recipe. Bliss.
Now if something I make is terrible, it’s usually still … edible at least, so I’ll still eat it! And I will hardly ever resort to chucking it out and getting a pizza instead.