Thankful for Food (Mostly Local) on the Table–not in the Trash

One of our kitchen goals is to avoid as much food waste as possible. I was reading one of my friend’s Facebook posts today, and she reminded me how important it is to avoid letting food go to waste. Here’s what she said (Thanks, Julia!):

Heifer International says that one third of food produced in the world goes to waste. 20% of greenhouse gases come from rotting food. And Americans throw away almost half of their food. Hence, no waste/Pantry Cleanout month for me.

If this shocks you, check out Jonathan Bloom’s blog Wasted Food. He posts some fascinating articles, facts, and suggestions, including that Americans waste “more than 40% of the food we produce for consumption…at an annual cost of more than $100 billion.” For example, he writes about Feeding the 5,000, an event in London where they feed thousands of people a free lunch prepared from food that otherwise would be thrown out. Pretty cool, huh?

Back to our kitchen! Tonight we had leftover seasoned brown basmati rice (from last night’s supper and purchased at our local organic store), roasted acorn squash (local), fried apples (local and seasoned with with cinnamon and butter), and frozen mustard greens (from our local grocer–not a big chain). It was a simple meal of fresh, healthy flavors.

I am thankful to have good food to eat. I am thankful to be able to prepare healthy food, and I am fortunate to live in an area where a good portion of my food can be acquired from local sources. I can buy from three locally owned grocery stores and several seasonal farm stands. Most of all, I am thankful to have choice and abundance when so much of the world’s population is lucky to have anything to bring to the table each day.

In gratitude for all that we have, my husband and I have a commitment to eat as simply and healthily as possible. We also try to be aware of the sources of our food and how far it travels to get to us. We eat very little meat and avoid highly processed foods. And of course, we remember to say thanks before enjoying what’s on our plates and trying not to waste what we’ve been given.

Photos by jbloom and epants used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!

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