Food (waste) for Thought

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Well hello there!! You’re back. Fantastic to see you again. Hope you enjoyed all seasonal festivities!  This time of year most everyone is thinking about healthy eating for the New Year and making lots of resolutions. Being a bit of a rebel – always – I want to take a sec to talk about what you are NOT eating. The folks at Sustainable America have made this frightening infographic about food waste. 40? I knew there was a lot but this is pretty damn shocking. 40% of all food in America gets discarded. Adding insult to injury, not only does it not go to hungry mouths – 49 million Americans each night are going to bed hungry – this discarded food ends up rotting in landfills and further adds to greenhouse gasses. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, has 26 times the heat-trapping capacity of carbon dioxide. Global warming, HELLOOOOO!!!!

America Wastes 40% of its Food

It’s a complicated problem and heavily impacts other parts of our survival. 32% of freshwater used in the US goes to produce food that is never eaten. Americans throw away more than 1.5 pounds of food per person daily. And it’s not just limited to the USA.  Wasted worldwide annually?? 1.3 BILLION pounds of food! Damn, Skippy!!

It sounds like a really big problem – IT IS – so how can one person or one family make a difference. You’re busy, right? Wrong!!! Well, you probably are busy, but not TOO busy.

Show Ugly Produce Some Love

Look at this simple list that will truly make a difference:

  • Inventory your fridge before shopping
  • Plan better/throw away less
  • Store food optimally (don’t put potatoes and onions together)
  • Show some love to ugly produce #loveuglyfood
  • Turn food ripening too quickly into freezer staples: breads, soups, purees (remember that pesto?), oven-dried fruits and vegs, frozen smoothie mise, ice cube trays filled with juiced fruits and vegs
  • Eat your leftovers!!
  • Compost
  • Support restaurants that are involved in food recovery

Take the quiz to see where you rank as a food waster! And for more tips on storage and cutting waste, check out the IValueFood website.

What’s your NEW new year’s resolution? How will you help?  It’s not just good for the planet; your wallet will thank you, too! Let me know what change you plan to make.  I’m starting off by putting that flabby zucchini to good use. Yumsters!

Using old zucchinisBaking for the freezer: making zucchini last!

Source: Sustainable America

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6 Comments

  1. Nonie Daniels says:

    Great post Katy! Thanks for the info. I took the quiz.

    • Katy Keck says:

      I bet you passed with flying colors!

      • Chari says:

        I also took the quiz and did better than I thought! Growing up in an Italian family, having an abundance of food is a hard habit to break and produce is always a problem for me. I need more of those recipes please Katy!

        • Katy Keck says:

          Good to know!! I will take that under advisement! Glad to hear you did well on the quiz. One veg trick that I try to stay up to speed with is chopping veg and giving them a quick saute. I then freeze them in a little bit of stock and add that into soups later. You can’t just freeze raw or sauteed mushrooms solo and get good results, but if you saute in butter and cover with chicken stock, they will work well in a mushroom risotto later. If I don’t have time to saute, I sometimes chop the mushrooms and mix with ground meat (beef, turkey, lamb), patty it out, then plastic wrap each burger. I freeze them on a tray, then once frozen, I seal in a zip bag. That’s just mushrooms – don’t get me started!

  2. Mary Reynolds says:

    Love the “adopt an ugly eggplant” idea. Food waste is so disheartening when you consider hungry children in our own country and the deliberate starving of Syrians trapped by civil war. Keep the great articles coming!

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