Beeminding Food Waste

I’ve been trying to waste less food this summer, and doing better than I used to, but I feel like it might be a good idea to quantify it. Right now what I’m doing is:

  • Labeling everything we get from our farm share with a labelmaker before putting it away, and trying to keep the labels facing outward even while shuffling stuff around during the week.

  • Putting produce on CookBrite’s Home List so that I have an electronic inventory and trying to update it every time I buy new produce or clean out the fridge.

  • Cleaning out the fridge fairly frequently so that stuff doesn’t get shoved to the back where it’ll go bad and/or freeze (still struggling with this one).

  • Trying to plan meals in advance using PlanToEat (this one is also a real challenge).

So I’ve definitely been throwing out less stuff than before, but it’s still too much. The question is: How to Beemind something like this? I could make a Do Less goal where I counted every time I threw something out, but that would incentivize cleaning out the fridge less often, which is definitely not something I want to do. I could make two separate goals, one for cleaning out the fridge and one for throwing away less food, but that seems like overkill, especially because I’m very wedded to my current nine-goal system, and I’d have to give up at least two of the slots. I could make a Do More goal where I got a point every time I used a leftover in my bento box or something, but that wouldn’t cover uncooked produce.

Any thoughts?


Buy less stuff?

It sounds to me like you’re tring to Beemind symptoms rather than curing the root issue.

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But say we buy a package of fresh thyme for a specific recipe. We can’t use all of it for that one dish, so we put it back in the fridge. Then we forget about it and it goes bad. I want to figure out a way to make sure I keep track of it and use it for future dishes so that I don’t have to throw it out two weeks later after it’s been shoved to the back of the fridge. We get a weekly shipment of about half a dozen fruits and vegetables from our farm share, and we have to figure out ways to use everything before it goes bad. We’ve gotten pretty good at this over the three years we’ve had the farm share, but we’re still not perfect, and I want to do better.


Thanks for the clarification.
I’ll let my subconscious work on your problem for a while and see what suggestions I come up with.

Suggestion 1) A do more for things completely utilized.

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Suggestion 2) Soup night.

The night before you’re due to get a new shipment, make a stew out of EVERYTHING left over from the last shipment.

Eating a few of those should cure you. And you might discover some exciting new flavor combinations.


We do soup night. All manner of things (and parts of things) go into the freezer and then into the stock pot. Including leftover herbs. Stocks have improved in quality as a result.

I’ve recently added an ‘eat at home more’ goal, but have yet to collide with the too-much-food side effect.

Ironically, food going bad in what ought to be a roughly-prioritised queue is known in the lingo as ‘starvation’. :smile:


In Soviet Russia, food starve from lack of you! (Maybe I’m dating myself with that meme. Also I’m amused by the especially ironic backwardness of it.)

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I still totally make “in Soviet Russia” jokes. Like, all the time. Not that I’m proud of it, but there it is. #only80skids, etc.

I finally wound up making this a habit in Habitica rather than a Beeminder goal. I get to press the plus button when I use up an ingredient or leftover from the fridge, and I have to press the minus button when I throw away something that’s gone bad.