By Steve Holt
Thanks to Steve Holt for interviewing me for this piece. His article was originally published on TakePart.
With a little planning and some creativity, you can say good-bye to spoiled, unused local produce.
It’s happened to all of us: You open the fridge and see bags of unused produce. Sitting. Waiting. Slowly decomposing. Not only this week’s community-supported agriculture share but last week’s as well—almost completely untouched. This time of year, the height of the CSA season, the food can begin to pile up pretty quickly.
The thought of adding what’s in your fridge to the 40 percent of food that’s wasted in the U.S. annually is enough to make you turn away from the farmers market and hit up the drive-through instead. Why pay for a CSA share if you can’t possibly keep up with the box of produce week after week? What’s a busy locavore to do?
Plenty, say the chefs, educators, and farmers who deal directly with this conundrum every year.
Does your food business produce more than a ton of food waste per week? If so, now is the time to plan for the change! In Massachusetts, new regulations will ban food waste from the waste stream, sending it to be donated or composted instead. (And if you don’t know how much waste you produce, now is also the time to find out!) Though diverting food waste may seem like a big change to institute, the waste ban is a good thing, both for your business’s environmental impact and for its bottom line.
Here’s an overview of the different articles we’ve written in the past four years. They’re always available in full on our website.
The recent Stanford Study called to attention the reason so many folks choose organic foods over conventionally grown, and it’s not necessarily nutritional value. The study asserted that conventional is the same as organic, nutritionally speaking.
“Local” and “Sustainable” have been buzz words of the restaurant industry for the last few years and this trend is here to stay. Buying locally and sustainably is not just good for the environment and the local economy: it can increase the quality of your food, enhance the flavor of your dishes, attract loyal customers, and enhance your brand.
No matter where you live, eating seasonally and locally offers a different way of thinking about food. While some areas of the country are relatively blessed to have locally grown fruits and vegetables for longer seasons, such as California and Florida, even these regions still have strong seasonality as to when each type of produce is at its best.
Here in Cambridge, we haven’t seen a drop of rain in over a week, and none is on the horizon for many more days. Given the wet June we had, it may seem like a relief. But with temperatures soaring into the 90s and even scraping the triple digits, my garden is looking a bit withered.
Barton Seaver’s new cookbook hits shelves on May 3rd. What? You’ve never heard of him? Neither had I until 3 weeks ago, when at the last minute I decided to attend a lecture on sustainable seafood at Harvard. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the issues surrounding sustainable seafood, and this seemed like the perfect venue to learn more.