Sustainability in the Kitchen
We like perfection; straight carrots and symmetrical shiny apples. However, our search for perfection has increased the use of pesticides and the amount of waste in our food system. Cosmetically challenged produce is culled and discarded. Thankfully the produce available at the farm gate and at farmers’ markets includes apples that are all different sizes, and carrots that sometimes have two or even three legs. Nature may have a different perspective on perfection than we have.
Experts tell us that 40% of our food is wasted on the path to our fork, and more than half of that food waste happens at home. Like many people, we throw what had once been good food into our expensive compost pile.
When we talk about reducing food waste it isn’t just the food that’s wasted, it’s all the hidden elements too; time, labour and resources. Someone saved the seeds; someone else planted them. Sun and water helped them grow. They were picked, cooled, boxed, transported, stored, refrigerated, and displayed. Then, we carefully selected what we wanted to buy, brought it home and promptly forgot all about it at the back of the fridge.
FarmFolk/CityFolk has a new project, Shared Harvest (sharedharvest.ca) that is helping reduce food waste and connect food producers and buyers.
This year we invite you to have a plan “B” when you buy your food. What will you do if you can’t eat it in time? How will you use your leftovers? Try buying less, more frequently. With just a bit of planning, we can all reduce food waste so more people can eat locally without our farmers working any harder than they already do.