In Portland, the blossoms may be bursting on the magnolia trees, the daffodils rising their faces to the sky and the farmers’ market beginning to bustle.
But here we’re still waiting for rhubarb and chives, and I’ve been lucky to sample fresh greens after helping my friend Beth weed her greenhouse.
Spring in this community is calving and lambing, turning over the compost once it’s defrosted and waiting. The season of preparation.
Planning for Food Waste
My spring ritual is to use up as much of last year’s stored goods–in the pantry and freezer as I can. Not only to make room for the crop of new foodstuffs, but also because it’s a reminder of the bounty I, like most people, keep on hand and forget to use. Trust me, there are pots of soup, stews, baked goods and desserts waiting to be created!
Today, when many bloggers are posting to raise awareness of childhood hunger in this country, food waste is one of the top issues on my mind. We live in such food abundance at restaurants, supermarkets and at home that as a nation we waste half of all the food produced, according to Wasted Food author Jonathan Bloom. It’s hard to appreciate the monumental costs of all this wasted food, from fossil fuels to your own hard-earned dollars.
Most troubling of all are the startling numbers of people, including 1 in 4 children, who go hungry amidst this bounty. Unthinkable and yet real.
In honor of Food Bloggers Against Hunger, I have a challenge for you in the style of a Chopped cooking competition with a call to action:
- Go into your freezer and select 3 items to make a single meal.
- Post your comment describing what you made and your plan for reducing waste in your own home for the chance to win this Wusthof boning knife.
- Contest ends on midnight Friday, April 12th and the winner
will be announced.is Erin Donovan who posted via Facebook on 4/10!
If you do nothing else…
- Make a pledge to reduce your own food waste by planning meals, using leftovers (we always have leftover night at our house) and only buying what you need.
- Send a letter to your congressman urging them to protect funding for federal nutrition programs, including SNAP (formerly food stamps), WIC, a program for women and children, and reduced and free school meals.
- See A Place at the Table, a new documentary about how we can band together to solve the immense problem of hunger in America (available on demand from Amazon and iTunes)
Here are more organizations to lend your support:
Here are my 3 favorite recipe ideas for using leftovers: