Happy Earth Day 2015!

Happy Earth Day everyone! We hope you can take a moment on this day to think about what you can do, as both an individual and as part of a community, to help ensure the earth continues to remain a natural and healthy world for many years to come.

In thinking about what both of us has done over the past year, I (Carol) have begun composting regularly and meal planning for the week on Sundays. Karen has reduced her waste by 10%, and she did that by buying less, meal planning, and using the Debbie Meyer green bags (she loves them SO much, she should be a spokesman for them!  http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-Meyer-GreenBags-Freshness-Preserving-5127799/dp/B00I4V1U06). She estimates that she saved $1200 last year. That’s a great vacation right there!

 

As part of Earth Week this week, I participated in my first Twitter chat on Monday and it was focused on food waste (wonderfully set up and moderated by Green is Universal, @GreenIsUni). Let me just say that it was INTENSE! Holy cow! But I learned so much and have some great information that I wanted to pass along to you. Below are some of the links:

 

1. What exactly can you compost and Bone Broth (which I’ve heard so much about lately and have wanted to make). Both from Ecocentric:
http://www.gracelinks.org/blog/4254/what-can-i-compost-the-scraps-that-make-the-cut
http://gracelinks.org/blog/5078/taste-it-don-t-waste-it-bone-broths

2. A great use for leftover apple scraps from that apple pie you might have just made: Apple Scrap Vinegar! (courtesy of Anne-Marie Bonneau, the @ZeroWasteChef):
http://zerowastechef.com/2014/10/30/apple-scrap-vinegar/

3. 10 things to do with stale bread:
http://ivaluefood.com/resources/cooking-eating/10-things-to-do-with-stale-bread/

And we just thought this was the cutest!


I also found a few cool new apps to that you might want to take a look at. FoodKeeper is from the USDA and Cornell University and will tell you how long an item from the supermarket will keep in the refrigerator or freezer. Fresh Food helps you find farmers markets that are closest to you.

And finally, here are few points I learned from Green is Universal on twitter these past few days:
1. More than 6 billion lbs of fresh produce go unharvested or unsold each year.
2. Food waste is the single largest component of solid waste reaching landfills & incinerators in the U.S.
3. Eggs are actually safe to eat 3-5 weeks after the date on the carton.
4. We throw out more food than plastic, paper, metal or glass.

 

Enjoy Every Bite everyone!
xo
Carol & Karen

 

Recent Food/Farming Documentaries

On the plane over the Christmas holidays, I watched two food themed documentaries: “In Organic We Trust” and “Ingredients.” I found both to be very interesting and while both focused on food and farming, I enjoyed them in different ways. One difference being that I found “Ingredients” to be visually more pleasing and the flow of the documentary better. Below are some points/quotes I jotted down that I thought were striking and important.

From “In Organic We Trust” Documentary:
73% of Americans eat some organic food.
“Organic” philosophy: growing food mimicking nature’s model. Mode and sustainability, and not using chemicals.

The “Big 3”- cannot use/do to be USDA Certified:
Genetic modification
Sewage sludge
Irradiation

Organic foods- not necessarily more nutritious for you (depends on the study/nutrients looked at/etc.., but they DO have less chemicals and pesticides on them.

Organic farmers DO at one point or another spray, but more often than not, they are naturally occurring (and are approved by the USDA).
Use 60 billion lbs of pesticides in the US each year.

The “Dirty Dozen”- foods with highest amount of residual pesticides:
Celery
Peaches
Strawberries
Apples
Blueberries
Nectarines
Bell peppers
Spinach
Lettuce
Kale and collard greens
Potatoes
Grapes

The “Clean Fifteen“- if you do have to eat conventional, these have the lowest residual pesticide residue:
Onion
Avocado
Sweet corn
Pineapple
Mango
Sweet peas
Asparagus
Kiwi
Cabbage
Eggplant
Cantaloupe
Watermelon
Grapefruit
Sweet potato
Mushrooms

Now are 7,000+ farmers markets in the US.

From “Ingredients” Documentary:
We spend less of our income on food than any other industrial nation.

People want to know where there food is coming from. They want to know what the values are that are embedded in the food.

There are so few farmers in this country, that they’re now not listed in the Census.

Hope you find some of these points helpful. I definitely did!
xo
Carol