October 3, 2016

Celebrating and reflecting on our food

 

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Fall is upon us. As we prepare for the winter we reap the bounty of the season. Fall is a time to not only gather our harvest but a time to bring family and friends close to celebrate all the earth provides. This is also a time we reflect upon our food systems how they bring us together, how they affect the climate and what role we play.

This year Cool Harvest will spend the next two weeks exploring the topic of food and climate. It jump start conversations and inspire ways your faith community can make small changes in the way you interact with food to make a big difference in our climate.

Learn how:

– Faith communities built community gardens that brought local food to people in need and taught children about agriculture

– Learn about food swamps

– How antibiotic use in livestock is changing in this country and what we still need to do

– What has happened to food waste when we label produce as ugly

– How gardens can bring a community together

– Inspirational stories from our Cool Congregations Challenge

 

Come back every day for a new post about food and climate. Download a Cool Harvest Potluck Kit and host an event with family, friends, and your faith community to talk about what we all can do to change how we buy, grow, eat and share our food.

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October 2, 2016

A few Ideas of how you can reduce your food waste

Make careful decisions about what and how much you buy at the grocery store.

• Shop at stores that offer misshapen food at a discount.

• Purchase prepared meals at the deli or salad bar, which allows supermarkets to make use of imperfect produce.

• Buy frozen foods, which suffer fewer losses from farm to shelf.

• Shop often. Start with a large trip and then make smaller follow-ups to buy a few days’ worth of produce at a time.

• Buy fresh food at local farmers markets.

Americans spend about as much at restaurants as they do at grocery stores.

• Skip the cafeteria tray. Diners who use trays waste 32 percent more than those who carry their plates in their hands.

• Take home leftovers.

• Share side dishes to keep portions under control.

• Ask the waiter to hold extras such as bread and butter you don’t plan to eat.

• Encourage restaurants and caterers to donate leftovers.

Small changes in the kitchen can reduce the amount of food your household throws out.

• Use FoodKeeper or other apps for food-expiration reminders.

• Switch to smaller dishes to control portions. The standard plate is 36 percent larger than it was 50 years ago.

• Eat leftovers on a regular night each week.

• Give uneaten food a second chance. Freeze or can extras. Blend bruised fruit into smoothies.

• Try not to waste water-intensive foods like meat.

Businesses, schools, nonprofits, and governments can all find ways to dump less food.

• Bring back home economics classes to teach cooking, canning, and storage basics.

• Get your school to join the USDA Food Waste Challenge.

• Ask your local government for a curbside food-scrap collection service like that provided in roughly 200 U.S. communities.

• Share the bounty of your home garden with your community through ampleharvest.org.

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October 1, 2016

What do we waste most

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Posted by in Food Waste, Uncategorized and tagged as

September 15, 2016

Fall Focus : Food Waste

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October 2, 2014

Harvesting Hands

Kentucky Interfaith Power & Light runs a program call Harvesting Hands which works to provide food to people in need.

Every year in the United States between 40% and 50% of all food that is produced and ready for harvest is wasted. That means that for every square mile of corn that is grown, every gallon of milk that is produced or animal that is raised an identical one ends up in the landfill. Not only is this wasteful but it places an heavy and unnecessary burden on the planet.

Food production has one of the largest harmful impacts on the environment through fertilizer and pesticide run off, soil erosion and emission of green house gases. A recent U.N. study found that livestock alone accounts for more green house gas emissions than the entire global transportation sector combined. In the mean time many of our neighbors who are dependent on food shelters for their meals struggle to find fresh, whole and healthy food on their plates.

Harvesting Hands is a volunteer based program that works to address both of these issues in Kentucky’s local food system by gathering (or gleaning) fresh excess produce and turning it into a valuable resource for our neighbors in need. They glean from both farmer’s markets and local farms.

Through this action they not only help to provide healthy food to those in need but they also honor the fossil fuel resources that are used in producing the food.

Often farmers or vegetable sellers overestimate the amount of food they need to grow or sell. Traditionally that food is trashed and then contributes to higher carbon emissions. The Harvesting Hands program helps to harvest that unused food by going to farms and picking the excess or collecting it from farmers markets.

Run by volunteers, Harvesting Hands reduces waste and is building a more sustainable food future.

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