Use-It-Up Campaign

The peas in this half-empty bag, left by a former roommate, were pretty shriveled when I sawzall-ed it out of the encrusted freezer. I confess I was tempted to toss them straight in the compost bin. Easy peasy (pun intended).

But then I remembered that article* I read this morning about all the food wasted because no one is going out to eat and drink in restaurants, hotels, and at school. Millions of pounds of fresh produce plowed back into the soil, unharvested. Farmers dumping up to 3.7 million gallons of milk each day. A chicken processor destroying 750,000 eggs a week. I can’t cite any more facts, or I’ll short out my laptop sobbing over the keyboard.

I tossed the peas into the casserole instead. And they were . . . okay.

Sure, some food is being donated to food banks and Meals on Wheels, but most lack the capacity to store much perishable food.

Thinking of all the wasted work of farmers reminds me of something I wrote in Love Earth Now: “Farmers stare down the vagaries of nature, pests, disease, commerce, demand, price controls, regulations, and—let us not forget— the latest “let’s-all-eat-kale!” fads to grow our food, all the while knowing that months of labor and all their capital, hopes, and dreams can be wiped out by a pest invasion.” Before I could have imagined a coronavirus pandemic. Yikes.

Add in all the hard work of pickers and truckers, all the water and chemicals applied to the field, and all the animal lives impacted . . . it all inspires me to redouble my commitment to use what we already have. Chip out those bags crusted in freezer frost. Open those cans of soup about to expire. And find a recipe for that all that tahini I’ve inexplicably stockpiled. #useitup

And bless and thank all the farmers, pickers, milkers, packers and drivers that work hard so we may eat.

#grateful #nofoodwaste #farmers #cookinginquarantine #quarantinekitchen #eatthoseleftovers #zerowaste


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