“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien
“The mountains of things we throw away are much greater than the things we use. “~ John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“Fruits and veggies named the top categories for food waste” says a Michael Mui article today at Vancouver 24Hrs free newspaper.
With drought in California (where at least 50% of BC’s fruits, vegetables and nuts come from), greenhouse gases emissions increasing and all the hunger and malnutrition in the world, food waste is not only an ethical problem (how on earth are we wasting so much food when people are going hungry even here in Canada?), but also an environmental problem (food waste causes more greenhouse emissions than some entire countries do) and a home economics problem (we buy most of the things we could easily make at home…with the food we currently waste!)
Over the last few weeks and guided by a kind of “internal urgency” to be more at home and doing homesteading stuff, I have been re-visiting old skills, checking books and videos all dealing with food waste reduction: the old and almost forgotten arts of home economics and food preservation.
Yes, we can save money, contribute with the overall reduction of greenhouse gases, world hunger and malnutrition and, at the same time, increase family’s health, skills and communion by working together on food preservation.
Last April 15 my partner and I started a MOOC together, called “The Ethics of Eating”; the MOOC has taken us through the IFS (Industrial Food System) and we also had the opportunity to watch and read articles and videos from different angles. That led me to read Peter Singer and Jim Mason’s book “The Ethics of What We Eat” and re-think our entire relationship with food.
Today, I will just share some ways you can contribute to avoiding food waste, some of which I have adopted long time ago, some of which are new to our family and I’m still struggling with how to do it all while keeping a full-time job and studying all the courses I’m studying.
Food waste: avoiding it from the start
It sounds basic, but most of us in the “developed” world tend to buy more than we need and that includes food: we are presented with what looks like a huge amount of variety and “choices” when we go to the supermarket, the local grocery store, the delicatessen store and even the farmers’ market.
The reality is that a big percentage of what we buy can be made at home, most of what we perceive as “choices” and “variety” are only different ways of packaging and luring through colours, shapes, artificial flavours and misleading messages through families smiling, logos and descriptions that nothing have to do with the reality of what’s inside. This is the #1 reason why so many of us are obese and suffer from some kind of digestive dysfunction, allergy and so on…
The best way to avoid this?
What to do with the surplus
Here are methods I have been using for years or months, in the next months I may share some of them through this blog or real-life workshops for those who want to try right away:
Other ethical considerations
These don’t add much to the avoidance of food waste but are related to another waste problem: packaging and another ethical problem: animal welfare, environment and biodiversity degradation and climate change:
Have any other tips of resources?
Share them with me and my followers!!!
Here are some blogs and websites I follow:
Cultures for Health: excellent for buying cultures and equipment and an excellent source of free eBooks, information and recipes on cheese, bread and yogurt making, fermenting and sprouting. They also have excellent customer service through their chatting service, and you can but cultures once and forever as many are reusable and heirlooms:
Down to Earth: probably the best blog on homesteading and simplifying, full of ideas, projects and recipes it also has a forum where you can ask questions and share information with others:
FarmCurious: from recipes to articles to products for homesteaders.
Read Nutrition: all kind of stuff and info about homesteading, preppers and more…
Love Food Hate Waste Website: http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.ca/
Say no to food waste blog: http://saynotofoodwaste.org/what-can-you-do/
Category: Active Hope, After Sustainability, Awareness, Beyond Sustainability, Building resilience, Canning, Climate Change, Community Gardens, Composting, Consumerism, CSA, Degrowth, Disaster Preparedness, Environment, Food Preservation, Food Resilience, Food Saving, Food Security, Food Waste, Living the truth, Mainstream Permaculture, No Waste, Peak Resources, People Care, Permaculture, Permaculture in the city, Resilience, Self reliance, Simplicity, Social Justice, Urban Ecology, Urban PermacultureTags: food, food preservation, Food waste, fruits and vegetables