Food Waste Makes National Headlines

This month, John Oliver highlighted the issue of food waste in his weekly show, Last Week Tonight. Check out of the full segment here (warning: contains some explicit language).

He highlighted the outrageous amount of food we waste in America — 40 percent! Research in Seattle shows that young professionals and families with small children are most likely to waste the greatest amount of food.

We recently asked campers at the Pacific Science Center’s Farm to Table Camp how much food they thought we wasted in the United States in regards to number of football stadiums. Most guessed ten or twenty stadiums.  But thanks to John Oliver we know that number is 730. Imagine 730 Seattle Seahawks stadiums FILLED with food waste!

Since learning about the issue of food waste and joining City Fruit, we’ve tried hard at my home to reduce our waste through a few strategies:

  • Carefully considering what we buy at the grocery store.  Do we have enough to make meals for the week? What is going bad?
  • Freezing everything.  I’ve yet to find something that cannot survive freezing.  For fruits and vegetables, I try to clean and chop the produce into pieces before freezing.
  • Creative recipes. In the winter, we make stew from leftover ingredients (plus all the bits and pieces of fruits & veggies we are less familiar with).  And in the summer, we create unexpected sorbets, margaritas, and infusions.

Here is one recipe that worked out quite well when a watermelon we purchased started to turn.

Watermelon Margaritas

2 teaspoons sugar
1 lime wedge
3 1/2 cups cubed seeded watermelon
1/2 cup tequila
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur)
Lime wedges or watermelon balls (optional)

Directions: Mix everything except the sugar in a blender.  You can prepare the glasses with a sugar rim if you like. Garnish with lime wedges.

Interested in learning more? Sign up for our free class on using up your summer produce on August 22! Find more information and register here.

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