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Tip of The Week

Don't Waste Food
When I hear “don’t waste food”, I think of my grandma Ellen saying “clean your plate, there are children starving somewhere in the world”- I don’t know about you but as a kid this never made sense to me- it was like, “okay, granny, send this green bean casserole to Afrikastan”- no disrepect intended to the real suffering due to lack of food.

Seriously, as an example, think about how many times you’ve tossed a bunch of brown bananas.   Now take a look back over your shoulder.  This  wasted food has a huge shadow- it takes a lot of energy to produce it , to grow it, to ship it, to distribute it, and to dispose of it.  And what about water?  Blue is the new green, right?  There’s a a global fresh water shortage looming- and  agriculture is the number one user of water on the planet.   Wasted food has a huge water footprint-  the water it took to grow those bananas is a complete, um... wash....now.  Finally, most food waste goes straight to a landfill- where is it’s trapped between other waste, and is forced to decompose without air- thereby producing the most concentrated greenhouse gas- methane.  Some 30% of the garbage in landfills is food waste.

It’s definitely a problem of abundance- and it’s an easy one to adjust.  And, it's a direct cost savings for you, from the minute you decide to watch it.  Look for waste reduction in fresh goods, restaurant orders, take out, and thrown out leftovers.  Repeat after me:  I won’t waste food.  I won’t waste food.   And if you DO buy something that's going to waste.... We have to insert the plug here: please please compost.



 

What Organic is Not: Things People Confuse with Organic

Nutritious. While the nutrient composition of a whole organic apple may be higher than a whole conventional apple, that does not mean that all organic foods are inherently healthy. Let’s go back to the example of a box of cookies. Organic cookies may be made with organic white flour, organic cane sugar, and organic milk chocolate chips, but they are still laden with starch and empty calories and may contribute to an ever-growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes. Don’t expect organic processed foods to be any more nutritious than non-organic processed foods; your best bet for nutrition will always be to choose whole foods.

Local. Organic foods are not always produced locally. The average food item travels 1,500 miles before it reaches the average consumer. That’s a lot of fossil fuel consumption! The average organic food item still travels 1,200 miles before it reaches the average consumer -- not a great deal less than the conventional! If choosing local foods is a priority for you, seek out farmers’ markets and co-ops as your priority for grocery shopping. Here you are likely to find both local and organic foods -- which will help to protect the environment and support your local community.

Fairly-traded. Fair-trade refers to goods that are produced using socially responsible methods: their workers are given a fair wage, work in humane conditions, and are treated without discrimination. Organic foods may still be grown by illegal migrant workers receiving unfair wages in harsh working conditions. Once again, seeking organics from a local source, or one where you can trace the farmers’ stories will ensure that the food is both green and socially responsible.

WHERE TO FIND ORGANICS
Here are some resources to get you started on your quest for organic foods.

SELECTED REFERENCES
Want to learn more? Check out these informative resources to read about organic standards, laws, research studies, and more.

Written by :
Kim S