Since surviving a heart attack, I’m smugly happy to announce that my consumption of heart-healthy fruit and veggies has increased nicely. I should preface that by explaining that I grew up in a Ukrainian family where we considered dill pickles to be a vegetable course. So veggies are not my favourite food.
Sometimes, when shopping for that lovely fresh produce at the market, my “eyes are bigger than my stomach” – as my mother used to say – and the veggies at the very back of the produce crisper in the fridge can begin to resemble slimy, mushy compost instead of tonight’s dinner. My distress about this slime is why I like what Wasted Food blogger Jonathon Bloom is doing.
He writes about why we waste food, why it matters, and what we can do about it. He also reminds us that we actually waste more than 40% of the food we produce for consumption. What’s wrong with this wasteful picture?
At Thanksgiving, Jonathan launched his Be Thankful, Not Wasteful campaign. Here are a few ideas from him on how to stay conscious about what you throw out before, during and after your next big family feast:
- Celebrate abundance, not excess: Don’t take too much when you serve yourself. You can always take seconds. Keep in mind that the average festive turkey dinner with all the trimmings today comes in, conservatively, at almost 2,500* calories. And remember, what’s on our plates is seldom saved.
- Distribute the bounty: If you’re the host/chef, suggest that your guests bring along a few empty containers of various sizes to fill with leftovers (or have some containers on hand). There’s no sense centralizing so much food that we’ll struggle to use. Being so overt about leftovers may feel a bit odd, but that slight discomfort will pale in comparison to the disappointment from having to toss out pounds of once-good food.
- Properly save those leftovers: And do it quickly. Not letting foods sit out too long in the bacteria danger zone (40-140 degrees F) will mean they’ll be safe to eat and will also last longer.
- Plan for your leftovers – and eat them: Whether it’s a turkey pot pie, turkey soup or turkey tacos, find some fun ideas that will get you excited to use up your turkey remains.
* That 2,500 calorie turkey dinner will require walking 24.8 miles, 40 kilometers, or 49,600 steps to burn off afterwards.
Merry Christmas, dear Heart Sisters . . .