Click on the picture for a list of ways to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable in your eating habits.
Have you ever thought about how much food you throw out in a day? Think about it every time you throw something out for a few days. I did this, and I was amazed at how much I throw out without noticing.
A recent post by The Atlantic (click the picture above to read it) said that American throw away 40% of our food every day. That percentage is alarming but sadly very true. Thinking I new a fair amount about composting and food waste in general, this summer, I read the book American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of its Food and What We Can Do About it. As I read about all of the different steps that are involved between the field and my fork, and all of the waste that occurs at each step, I saw our agricultural systems in a new light as well as our own culture. I realized how grocery store displays are connected to our expectation of perfect produce all year round, how refrigerators and freezers and restaurants contribute to our waste, and how our habits do as well. I learned that the importance of composting is paramount moving forward if we want to decrease the amount of methane in the air (methane is emitted when organic matter decomposes in landfills) and significantly combat global warming, and that in general, we are a wasteful society that devalues food because we’ve become so disconnected from it - who grows it, where it’s grown, and what it takes to get “fresh” produce to our plates.
I encourage you to read American Wasteland or any of the other books on waste that are out there (another is simply called WASTE and is by Tristram Stuart) and seriously think about how you can reduce your food waste. Especially when people are debating our ability (or lack there of) to feed the world and its rapidly increasing population, decreasing, controlling, and harnessing the power of food waste will be more and more important in the future.
Do you have a lot of basil in your garden? Make some pesto!
3 cups fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup sunflower seeds (or pine nuts)
4 teaspoons lemon juice
Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until desired consistency. The pesto may turn brown, so you can store it with a little bit of olive oil or lemon juice on top. Or freeze in ice cube trays and save for later!
The Grand Rapids Farmers’ Market in Minnesota accepts EBT and SNAP cards for tokens to use throughout the market! People on food aid can receive the equivalent amount in tokens that the spend. Tokens are accepted at a variety of vendors throughout the market. If you spend $5, you’ll receive $5 in Market Bucks to use in the market. Many farmers’ markets are doing similar things to make fresh, local food available to more people. (http://www.grfarmersmarket.org/news/about-snapebt-and-market-bucks/) (Taken with Instagram)
245 ears of corn? No problem! Blanch it, cut it off the cob and freeze it in serving size bags! (Taken with Instagram)
The Capital Area Wellness Coalition put on four cooking demonstrations at my local farmers’ market and is doing a lot in the Capital Area of New Hampshire to promote healthy, local food as well as a healthy lifestyle. In May they implemented a pilot project to provide a CSA that is delivered to a person’s workplace. They have many neat ideas and projects they are working on…check them out!
The second of four cooking demonstrations featuring in-season, local food will take place this Wednesday, August 29th at the Canterbury Farmers’ Market from 4-6:30pm. This week’s cooking demonstration “Kid Friendly Recipes Using In-Season, Local Ingredients” will be put on by the Canterbury Rascals 4-H Club.
Wednesday, September 12th: ”A Chicken in Every Pot” -Glenn Crawford, Chef and Owner of Maggie Mae Farm
Wednesday, September 26th: “Cooking with Squash, the Winter Staple” -Mary Kerwin, Nutritionist and Gardener