Sunday, January 15, 2012

Wasting Food

As I am creating a grocery list in preparation for a cleanse that a group of my friends and I are starting tomorrow, I am thinking intensely about food. What food I can eat, what I can't, how expensive organic veggies are in winter. This leads to thinking about a comment a friend of mine made about the amount of food wasted from restaurants and stores. This topic evokes uncomfortable feelings in me and so to take a break, I started browsing through the January 2012 volume of the magazine "Urban Farm" and there it was, a small note on the bottom right hand corner of page 9, advertising the movie "Dive!" Intrigued, I head over to this website and it is now staring me in the face, directly. I waste too much food and I feel terrible about it. And somehow it seems worse to me given what my intention of the farm is (seen at the top of this blog) and that I actually grow the food.

Watching this trailer made me think about the gorgeous 'organic' food I wasted from the farm this season. The last harvest resulted in an overabundance of beets, potatoes and cucumbers. I was able to sell a good portion of the beets and potatoes to a few customers, with enough of a 'stock' for my own use over the winter. Then I went away for work for three and a half weeks and I didn't have the time to properly store my produce, believing it would be okay for the short time I was away. Sadly, when I finally was able to attend to the food, it had begun to decay and ended up in the green depot.

It has been my intention from the start that when the farm got up and running, part of the plan would be to sponsor a family with a weekly harvest box or provide fresh food to a school lunch program. Because this was a future plan and would take some organizing, I didn't spend any time thinking about what to do in the present with extra produce. Obviously I was aware of the need; honestly, I felt so overwhelmed with my first real year of farming (i.e. actual customers) that I didn't give this intention of donating food time to put something into practice now. And I wish I had.

Given I can't undo my lack of forethought this season, I resolve to do better next season. Wherever I am farming, I will begin the year by locating a shelter, food bank or school that is willing to accept a small weekly donation of fresh food, in addition to the possibilty of a larger donation during harvest time. I look forward to sharing how this works out here in my blog.

Until then, maybe you would be willing to join me in pondering how we can be more mindful of the food we eat--and waste, how much we consume, or perhaps doing one of the ideas listed on the movie website and then leave a comment here to encourage others.

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