Well it’s Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start to summer!! Volunteers have been busy putting over 37,000 flags on the Boston Common in memory of all the people who served and died in our armed forces. The flags will be on display until late Monday afternoon.
Today we talked about what the world eats and the issue of food waste in America. First we looked at a series of pictures of families all around the world and what they spent on food weekly and what they bought. The developed countries spent more money on fruits, vegetables, dairy, and processed foods. The less developed countries spent money on grains and fruits, and not much proteins,like fish or meat.
Next we talked about food waste, especially in the United States. Americans waste over 40% of produce that is grown here and most of it ends up in landfills.
We read this article Why Americans Lead the World in Food Waste which basically says that food is cheap and people want food that looks perfect. We all agreed that education about our food, where it comes from,and what happens to food waste, would help in changing our views on food.
Then we talked about some efforts that are being done to cope with food waste, such as gleaning, food rescue, composting, and using everything from nose to tail.
We watched this video which talks about food waste and some activities and practices that are used to reduce food waste.
Two important things that our Moms taught us : “Take what you want but eat what you take.” and “Finish your food, because somewhere, someone’s hungry.” The film also showed us gleaning, food rescue, composting and eating nose to tail.
There is still lots of food waste on our farms, because farmers have to grow produce that is pretty and the right size to appeal to food distributors and food store customers. This often leaves a lot of food behind on the fields to rot and go unused. This PBS video is from the farms in Salinas, California, known as the salad bowl for all the fruits and vegetables it produces. Take a look here:
This video shows the food waste from the farmers perspective and how they are selling “perfect” produce, and slowly starting to get the “ugly” produce to food banks and even into some grocery stores to reduce waste. One supermarket in France had started a lively campaign to sell some “ugly” fruit and it has been quite successful. Take a look at this amusing video to advertise their “Inglorious fruits and vegetables” campaign:
So, maybe with education, marketing campaigns, and a general renewal of our relationship with food , we can reduce food waste and save our environment and live a healthier life.
They may not be perfect, but, they taste great!
Happy Memorial Day weekend and remember to relax and practice! And clean your plate!