Hello, Conscientious Food Consumers!
No Food Left Behind, a project of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition, welcomes you to our new "Kitchen Confessions" blog for sharing fresh facts, resources, tips, lessons learned and anecdotes around issues of wasted food in the home.
This blog was already in the works before COVID-19, but now since most of us are primarily cooking and eating at home, it’s the perfect way to reach you all, and a great opportunity to become more aware of our own individual and family habits around food.
Making better choices to reduce the amount of edible food going into landfill or compost bins will save your family money and time, and prevent extra trips to stores. Wasted food prevention really does start at home... Every Day, Every Meal!
I'm your friendly Farmers' Market outreach specialist, Karen. For the past two years, I’ve represented the Coalition and the NFLB project at the Corvallis Saturday Farmers’ Markets, and guess what? Food gets wasted sometimes in my home too!
Of course, I feel bad about this because I know it's not just the food item itself that was wasted... I wasted all the resources that went into producing and bringing it to my grocery bag: the soil amendments, the animal feed, the energy (mostly fossil fuels), and so much water! Then there's the labor of all those people at every stage of the food production and delivery process, and even more energy needed to harvest, package and deliver my food to the market or grocery store.
If that's not motivating enough, here's the bottom line: the shocking amount of $$ I wasted! For myself, sometimes it's around $40/month, or almost $500 a year! (Some of that would sure come in handy later this year when they reopen the restaurants.)
For the average family of four in this country, wasted food adds up to $1600 a year!
Download even more numbers about the "Facts and Impacts" of wasted food here.
With "Kitchen Confessions" we're going to get real about shriveled, moldy and slimy produce, leftovers that turned into science experiments, freezer-burned berries, and many other tragedies involving formerly-edible food. We'll share "lessons learned" and look at ways to prevent future wasting.
NFLB Project Manager, Jeanette Hardison, confesses:
“I bought these lovely cheddar biscuits from the bakery section because they were freshly-baked locally without preservatives. We should have had a meal planned for them right away. They went moldy on me first, because I stored them on the counter!"
$$ Wasted: $4 or $5
Lesson Learned: Refrigerate bakery items that don’t have preservatives.
NFLB Outreach Specialist, Karen Kos confesses: “I bought a butternut squash over the holidays, intending to stuff it or make soup, but I didn’t follow through with my meal plan! It became an “ornament” on my counter and ended up spoiled on the inside without showing it on the outside.”
$$$ Wasted: About $2
Lesson Learned: Prep squash right away by cutting in half, and store in a clear container, placed in “Eat First!” area in fridge.
Farmers’ Market visitors may have heard me joke about how “guilt can be very motivational.” Heck, yeah! But don’t stay in the guilt. Let’s feel good that we can learn from it and just do better with the next batch of bread rolls and squash!
It feels amazing when we feed ourselves and our loved ones better and put grocery money back in our wallets! It also decreases our carbon footprint – always a plus.
Please follow us on this journey of discovery and reform of our daily food habits. It’ll be enlightening, and we’ll try to make it fun!
Author: Karen Kos of No Food Left Behind- Corvallis, in Corvallis, Oregon