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Sep. 22 2009 - 2:05 pm | 13 views | 1 recommendation | 12 comments

Welcome to Fall – and Eating Down the Fridge

The inside of a common U.S.

Image via Wikipedia

If you followed my work at The Washington Post, you may be familiar with the ins and outs of Eating Down the Fridge (EDF), an experiment in mindful eating that I launched earlier this year. The gist: Take a break from food shopping for one week and use up what’s in your fridge, freezer and pantry.

The first EDF kicked off in March, with more than 100 households participating across the U.S. and in Australia, Canada, Denmark and South Africa.  Guest bloggers from different walks of life shared their experiences, often unexpected and eye opening, and readers wanted to know when next could we try this again.  In late June, just as summer produce began to show up at local farmers’ markets, I hosted EDF #2, featuring guest blog posts from northern California to Poland.  With fall now officially on the books, it seems appropriate to host an autumn-inspired EDF here in this space.

The EDF 411

When: Oct. 3-10, or some part thereof.

Where: Your kitchen, with help from this kitchen.  Guest blog posts will be featured throughout the week of Oct. 5.

Why: Because we all have much more lurking in our pantries than we realize, and this is an opportunity to see how creative, resourceful and mindful we can become

How:  Sign up to participate via e-mail and I’ll include you on the True/Slant EDF Honor Roll. In the subject line of your note, please type “True/Slant EDF.” In your note, please include: your first and last name, city, state and/or country. Interested in filing a dispatch as a guest blogger? Let me know that, too.

Questions? Step right up and ask. And don’t worry if you can’t join us in October; my hope is to schedule a challenge on a quarterly basis, so the next EDF would be in early December.

So…who’s joining me?


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  1. collapse expand

    That is great. For the last three years, I have been doing this. Every two months, I take a one week to ten day shopping vacation and use what I have. I may buy milk, or bread, but that is about it. Until I get down to the true fridge dregs I do not stop. Don’t forget the pantry. I also clean out the pantry of the half pasta boxes, the handful of beans.

    Darn, I just finished a “cleanse week”.

  2. collapse expand

    When in doubt, make soup.
    This is my game plan every time the wife and kids leave town to visit the inlaws. I’ve found our typical pantry stock can keep me fed for about 1-2 months with negligible shopping, though slow cookers, bread machines, nondairy creamers, and aseptic soy milk/tofu boxes make a big difference here.
    Not a bad practice drill for emergencies… and you can skip refrigeration for soups so long as you bring it back to boiling each day before eating it.

  3. collapse expand

    You know, early December is probably going to be the best time to EDF: post-Thanksgiving pare-down!

  4. collapse expand

    I get a really strange sense of satisfaction from finishing off a bottle of ketchup, or that jar of pickles that’s been in the fridge for 6 months. Why, I don’t know, but please count me in for your next round!

  5. collapse expand

    Jen, this has become a quarterly project. Next round will likely be late January or early Feb. Hope you’ll join us!

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    About Me

    You might know me from The Washington Post, where for a dozen years I dished up cooking content, both as Web chat hostess ("What's Cooking") and daily blog minx ("A Mighty Appetite").

    To the table, I offer a stew of journalism (total = 16 years) and cooking smarts (a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education), served with a side of life-long curiosity.

    Home is Seattle for now, but until last year was parked on the east coast, born and raised outside of Philadelphia, where H20 is pronounced "wooder."

    In addition to the Post, I have written for Real Simple, Smithsonian.com and Culinate, where I host "Table Talk," a weekly chat every Thursday (1 pm ET/ 10a PT).

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