As the owner of a food business, the sad reality is I come face-to-face with this issue of food waste and what to do about it every day. No matter how exact our systems are in managing inventory and forecasting demand, we will inevitably find ourselves from time to time with excess products that I just cannot bring myself to throw away. Maybe this is a legacy from growing up in a different, "less-abundant" time, when there was no food waste because everything we had in our refrigerator or on our kitchen table was always demolished - there was no chance of waste!
Regardless, waste is a reality for us all, and what really struck me about the Washington Post article in this week's Blog update was how it prompted me to review my own beliefs about fresh vs frozen food. We are innately conditioned to believe that for something to be good, it must be fresh but there is really no clear evidence to back this up. Perhaps as we learn more about the eye-popping volume of fresh food waste we generate as families, as nations and globally, we need to look hard at our own attitudes and be a little more open to alternatives, such as buying more frozen products.
Personally speaking, I regularly freeze our bags of fresh Sustenir Kale rather than throw it away as I've found it is absolutely perfect de-frosted, when I use it in smoothies, soups and casseroles. Would it taste as good de-frosted in a salad? Probably not, but I see great value (economically and in my own conscience) in tossing the unused leaves into the freezer. Same can be said for our Italian Burrata, which only recently I found freezes perfectly. Who'd have thought!
As far as our ethos at Sasha's Fine Foods goes, we never, ever throw away unused products. We will always offer whatever we have to our staff or to other individuals we know will really appreciate them. As part of our newly re-visited brand, we have also decided to offer unused products to our customers so you may well be seeing these appear on your social media or newsletter feeds - quick "flash" giveaways that we are more than happy to share with you when we find ourselves with perfectly fabulous goods that we know won't be sold within our use-before date. So please ensure you are subscribed to our newsletter, or follow us on Facebook and Instagram if you want to be kept informed of these offers.
On a final note, I'd also just encourage you to keep your eyes open wide when you're purchasing products, especially fish and shellfish, in some larger supermarkets. From time to time, I've noticed that these items have already been frozen and thawed (you'll see them laying on ice) but are advertised as "fresh", meaning they're fine for freezing, according to the store. This is clearly not the case if they've already spent time in the freezer. Worth asking, if in any doubt.