The Great American Food Waste

Hi Everyone,

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.Image result for memorial day on boston common

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.Related image 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. Related image

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.

Image result for what is gleaning  Image result for what is food rescueImage result for what is composting Image result for what is 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!

Image result for pbs and ugly fruit

Happy Memorial Day weekend and remember to relax and practice! And clean your plate!

Wear Sunscreen

Hi Everyone,

Well it’s a beautiful, sunny and warm Friday here – a great start to Memorial Day Weekend! We began this morning with a quick review of the 8 parts of speech:

We talked about when to use them and discussed some examples. Then we split up into small groups and did a crazy exercise using parts of speech and putting them into a short story. Great work everyone!

Today’s topic was Wear Sunscreen. This is Memorial Day weekend, and in addition to honoring those who served and died for our country and freedom, Memorial Day is also the unofficial start to summer, and a time of lots of graduations from the schools, colleges and universities in the area. We talked about our experiences with graduation ceremonies and all the tradition and activities. One important part of the graduation ceremony is the commencement speech. This is the speech given to the graduates which congratulations them for their academic achievements and also offers advice, empathy, and sometimes, humor as the graduates embark on their futures. Here is a short video we watched of 2015 commencement speeches –

We talked about many adjectives that describe these commencement speeches, and how they make us feel. Then we watched this video made from a commencement speech in 1997 (almost 20 years ago). There is a lot of advice offered in the video. Take another look here – 

After watching we discussed the advice given, which we liked the most and the least. We agreed that it was all good advice, and even after 20 years it was still valid and valuable. Wear Sunscreen!!

Words of the day

shut-eye (noun) : {informal} sleep                                                                                           After all the late nights and graduation parties, I’m sure there are lots of students that could use some shut-eye.

smidgen (noun) : {informal} a small amount                                                                           That cake looks so yummy, but I’ll have just a smidgen of it with some ice cream.

breezy (adjective) : windy : informal and lively                                                                     Students may have a breezy outlook on life, now that school is over for the year.

Happy Memorial Day!

Remember to relax and practice.

Don’t forget the sunscreen!