40% + Produce End Up In the Landfill

Did you know that 40+% of the produce we buy ends up in the #landfill? Honestly it makes me very sad. Millions of children go to school hungry. Millions of people go to bed hungry every day. Yet we still toss almost 1/2 of everything we buy into the garbage. I know things come up and many families do not have the money to buy fresh produce which is a shame. I’m not perfect but I do compost for both myself and my business.

How can we make a difference? Change our Mindset!

There are many programs in each community to help save produce from the landfill. Example here in Arizona 2 organizations that I know of POW WOW http://www.borderlandsproducerescue.org/produce-on-wheels/and MOM http://the3000club.org/wordpress/marketonthemove/ are working with Farmers to avoid the produce not picked by your local market to place in their stores for you to buy. You can pick up produce for a $10 donation up to 60 lbs of produce here in the Phoenix area. (check out the schedules online)

There are many shelters that will take unused good food (don’t take the refrigerator or counter science projects) – I go to A New Leaf’s East Valley Men’s Center located at Address: 2345 N Country Club Dr, Mesa, AZ 85201
Phone: (480) 610-6722 to drop off excess catering food from my events and even over purchases of produce if I cannot use them in other places.

Witnessing Nature In Food is a Phoenix Green Business Partner focused on #recycle #reuse #upcycle #composting for #landfilldiversion.
our numbers for 2018 are
January 93.05%
February 93.12%
March 88.42%
Average of 90.88

There are many Chef’s working to #upcycle #reuse food waste like
Food for Soul is a non-profit organization in Italy founded by Chef Massimo Bottura and Lara Gilmore to empower communities to fight food waste through social inclusion. (one of my heros)
https://www.foodforsoul.it/what-we-do/
and
Chef Dan Barber with Blue Hill Farms – (another of my heros)
wastED is a community of chefs, farmers, fishermen, distributors, processors, designers and retailers, working together to reconceive “waste” that occurs at every link in the food chain.
Our goal is to celebrate what chefs do every day on their menus (and peasant cooking has done for thousands of years): creating something delicious out of the ignored or un-coveted and inspiring new applications in our food system.
and
Groundwork
http://www.groundworkpresents.com/second_helpings/
Second Helpings: Rethinking, Repurposing & Upcycling Unused Food
Chefs, entrepreneurs, and others are helping us eat our way out of a food waste crisis.
and
reFed with many programs to eliminate food waste
http://www.refed.com/analysis?sort=economic-value-per-ton

BUT

Most Americans Frankly do not know where our food comes from past the local market. If we do then we think that it’s sweet and a place to visit friends on the weekend to shop at the local Farmers Market.

I challenge everyone to get to know where your food comes from. It isn’t just those pesky stickers that are applied to each of your produce giving a number to the checker what it is instead of using the book – slowing down our check out process. It tells you where it came from – what it is and if it is organic or not.

I challenge everyone to make a plan when you go to the market and stick to it. Plan your family meals in advance and buy only what is on that list. Even shop a couple times a week so you have the freshest produce available. Once on Saturday or Sunday at the Farmers Market and once at your standard market.

I challenge everyone to Compost, Upcycle or take your unused produce to the Shelter so someone else can partake. Upcycle you ask…. Example – left over bread – instead of tossing, dry it and make croutons or make dumplings or freeze before it goes to mold so you can use later. You can Upcycle many things – example – your greens – instead of tossing when they start to go limp (not spoiled) – cook them and put into a Frittata or Saute for a Side Vegetable or Freeze them for future sides. Many upcycle food recipes online – check them out. https://www.brit.co/food-scrap-recipes/

Lastly I challenge everyone to find their local Landfill Diversion program and Get Involved.

What started off for me as an article demonstrating in an easy to understand way – why it is important to understand how your food comes to you and the importance of working with Sustainable Sources from a Costco Connection Article ended up being an education on how much food goes to the landfill.

If you have made it this far. Read the articles from Costco on Sustainability and Agtech for Farms the #CostcoWay –

Here is an Easy to understand why #Sustainability and why #AgTech is important to the #farmer of #today. from my @Costco #connection #magazine . Sustainability http://ow.ly/EybK30jiJNi and Food 2.0 http://ow.ly/uuST30jiJw3
These articles do not address GMO, Organic or Crop Rotation practices – only Sustainability and Ag-Tech along with some Free Trade topics.

Yes Arizona has an Agtech organization as well through the Western Growers Association – https://www.wga.com/
Here is the event I went to in February
https://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2018/02/27/view-from-arizonas-farms-how-agriculture-and.html

It is important for us to all understand why it is important to know your local farmer – challenges they have and why it matters to know how they bring food to you without having to worry that we toss almost 1/2 in the landfill.

#LandfillDiversion #Matters #ChangeOurMindset

Namaste,

Chef Jennifer
Witnessing Nature In Food

photo taken from Google Landfill Search Screen Capture – all rights of the photos are of the original photographers. I used as a demonstration of a few examples – there are many more for you to see in your searches.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s