Posts Tagged ‘Food waste’

Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A french supermarket chain fights food waste and sees an increase in sales as a result. Hypercool!

Soup, Salad, Tacos, Slaw

Monday, April 15, 2013

World renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson has a blog and you should read it. In a recent post entitled “By the Numbers: Food Waste” he shares key stats on our wasteful nation as well as four great recipes for using up leftovers.

via Samuelsson's "Food for Thought" section of his website.

via Samuelsson’s Food for Thought blog section of his website

In addition to advocating freezing, composting, cooking with wine and saving bread for various recipes, Samuelsson imparts one recipe each for a delicious-sounding soup, salad, slaw and taco. I love this combination of recipe ideas as a mantra for anyone with a bit left over after a meal—especially tacos. I often make soups or salads out of surplus dinner party fare, but tacos just make leftovers sound more fun!

The whole post reminds me of my grandmother who, borrowing from the tradition of Samuelsson‘s home of Sweden, would occasionally declare  a smorgasbord lunch.  She would empty out the fridge and put out little bits of this and that, some served cold and some served hot, left over from the amazing array of gourmet offerings created in her farm kitchen each week.


Throwing Food Away

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Aspen Institute posted today a new report on global food waste from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Horrifying findings indicate that 30–50% (or 1.2–2 billion tons) of all food produced worldwide never makes it to human stomachs and that in developed countries like the U.S. 30–50% of the food people buy to eat gets thrown in the trash.

Photo via the Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Photo via the Institution of Mechanical Engineers

As Dan Glickman, author of the post, points out:

Thinking about the United States, where one in seven citizens is on food stamps and many more partially reliant on food banks (which regularly complain of shortages), even a fraction of that wasted food making its way to the dinner table would change the lives of millions of Americans.

Not coincidentally, food waste guru Jonathan Bloom reports today on Wasted Food:

Exciting News: The UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN Environmental Program and several other partners have joined forces to create Think. Eat. Save, a one-stop shop for your anti-food-waste needs.

Check out that site here and the full Global Food: Waste Not, Want Not report here.

Update: My favorite of the tips from the UN campaign is:

Buy Funny Fruit—many fruits and vegetables are thrown out because their size, shape, or color are not “right”. Buying these perfectly good funny fruit, at the farmer’s market or elsewhere, utilizes food that might otherwise go to waste.

Stop Food Waste

Monday, December 10, 2012

The European Commission wants the people of Europe to cut down on food waste by not buying food they will toss. As you can tell from the video, they especially mean you, white people.

Zero waste crackers

Monday, February 20, 2012

My roommate, Rubina, is an amazing cook and entertainer. I love living with her for many reasons, mainly because she’s a dear friend and a good sounding board on all of life’s most important issues. We discuss practically everything, but if you were to bug our place, you would find that well over half of our conversations center around food. Every once in a while those food conversations are comprised of brainstorming sessions over what we (read: she) could make to use up things in the fridge that are about to go bad. Rubina has a gift for trash-aversion recipes, which she says comes from growing up with immigrant parents who taught her the value of resourcefulness and the horror of wastefulness. I come from culturally similar stock, yet never cease to be surprised by the creativity Ruby employs to avoid throwing anything out. Case in point: the cheese crackers that just came out of our oven.


We had a wee bit of blue cheese in the fridge and, because our friend Glenn had recently blown our minds by making a quiche out of it, we had blue cheese baked goods on the mind. Also on the verge of expiring: a bit of cheddar and some buttermilk purchased for another baking project long completed. So, Rubina whipped up a quick biscuit dough, rolled it out and with the round end of an icing tube decorating tip, cut the dough into tiny circles and baked those into jumbo oyster cracker sized bites. She made two batches of buttermilk cheese crackers: cornmeal blue cheese and whole wheat cheddar. Our house now smells amazing. Bet you wished you lived here, too.

You know who else is great at averting food waste? My friend, Virginia of Italicious. I’ve featured her Reused Recycled page here before. If you haven’t clicked through her site in while, check it out. Their family recently moved back to Italy, this time to the South, so it’s the dawn of a whole new chapter of food talk and recipes. I’m sad they’re far away, but delighted to live vicariously through the yummy posts.

Bon appetit, trashies!

Recovering plunderer

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Streaming TED talks is a dangerous habit. It’s so hard to watch just one. This morning, via the TED Blog, I discovered this great presentation by Ellen Gustafson, founder of something called The 30 Project that looks at how food systems have changed since 1980 and tries to undo some of the damage.

Maybe because it’s Ramadan—a time of year when many of us across the planet are extra attuned to issues of hunger and poverty—I found her talk to be extremely compelling. In particular, she makes great links between the underlying causes of hunger and obesity and pokes holes in oversimplified responses that aim to feed the hungry.

Anyway, with the exception of critiquing canned food and canned food drives, Gustafson doesn’t get much into issues of waste and recycling. So, of course, I had to go rooting through TED vaults where I came across this talk by legendary Ray “the green CEO” Anderson. I am always skeptical of businessmen hawking good causes. And Anderson, like any other CEO has an incentive to promote his company’s public image. But I am consistently absorbed when I see clips of this guy and his near-religious passion for treading lightly.

I’ll admit, I zoned out a bit when he got too into his own math equations, but tuned right back in when he defined affluence as a means to an end, rather than the goal in and of itself. Simple, but critical framing. We don’t amass stuff just to have stuff, we do it because we think it will make us happy. See what you think.

Indian weddings

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Indian government estimates that 15% of the nation’s food grains are served and “wasted” at lavish wedding ceremonies. In an attempt to regulate that waste and keep up with a growing economy, India is looking to ban or restrict lavish weddings.

Saffron pudding, the only photo of food I took at the not-so-lavish Indian wedding I attended in December.

As care2 puts it:

But the government shouldn’t just try to control how people organize events, they also need to be responsible for how they distribute food, and it’s entirely possible that those networks are corrupt and inefficient.  So perhaps they can do both – encourage people to cut down on lavish spending, but also improve their own internal channels for bringing food to the poor.

via Wasted Food


Monday, October 11, 2010

Check out this trailer for a new food waste/dumpster diving doc. Thanks for the tip, Anna!

1400 calories

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Plos One

The average American tosses 1400 calories worth of food every day. That’s enough to sustain one skinny American or a whole developing country family (my calculations). Freshkills Park Blog has more scary food waste stats here. They come from this report, originally posted on Treehugger.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

City Harvest‘s new PSA highlights food waste in New York.

Food trash insanity rant

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back from the motherland, thinking “honestly, what are they thinking?”

Background: Swedish Public Radio are reporting today on food waste. Previously, this discusson has been focusing mainly on households (who throw out about 11 pounds of edible food every week). Today our lovely radio turned the attention to supermarkets: Annualy, supermarkets in Sweden (population 9 million) throw away 110 000 us short tonnes of perfectly edible food. Value US$ 292 million. Food giants are saying that they only do what customers want them to do, and that putting “old” food on sale is bad for their corporate image.

Again: What are they thinking? (I’m thinking I should resaddle and head into the food business. There’s obviously lots of tra$h to collect.)

For those of you who now feel guilty, check out Love Food Hate Waste, a nice little UK resource on how to at least avoid this in your home. They have recepies!

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