Eat Local Challenge #19

Wasting Away

All that waste… 

One of the things about cooking from scratch is that you really notice your waste and food scraps. Have you seen all the carrot tops, apple cores, vegetable peelings and seeds that go into your trash? Or maybe you’ve realized that it’s sometimes hard to use up every last bit of the vegetables that you buy each week, and you don’t feel good about them going into the trash.

Today we are going to give some thought to what we do with our local food scraps and ways we can minimize waste. Your assignment awaits.

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Today’s Assignment:

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Wasting Away

Here are two ways you can approach our assignment today. Do one or the other or both!


First, you can try to reduce your overall waste. Get just what you need and what you can consume before it goes bad. Buy vegetables by the piece or pound, not in big bunches. Buy dry goods in the bulk section so you can get just the amount you need.

Meal planning helps with reducing waste, too. When you decide what you will make each week, you can find recipes that maximize the ingredients that you need to buy.

Use up what you have. Have extra fruit and vegetables? Try juicing them. Or make vegetable soup.


Second, keep your waste out of the landfill. If you already have a compost bin, your food scraps and uneaten leftovers are not heading to the landfill (where they are buried with so much trash that they don’t properly decompose). Instead, they are composted and returned back to your garden.

If you aren’t currently composting, maybe now is the time to get into it. Build your own or buy a ready to go compost bin. There are types of all shapes and sizes—whether you have a huge garden or you need something small to fit under your sink. If you are already composting and filling up your bins, maybe it’s time to add another one. If you have more compost than your garden needs, ask a neighbor or friend with a

If you are already composting and filling up your bins, maybe it’s time to add another one. If you have more compost than your garden needs, ask a neighbor or friend with a vegetable garden if they would like some compost.

If you can’t or don’t have room for composting, check if your city or county has a curbside pickup program. In Santa Barbara County, we do not have residential food scraps pick-up, but yours might. Other options: perhaps you can give your food scraps to a neighbor, donate it to a school garden or nearby farm, or even post an ad on Craigslist.

 


Now, let’s see those beautiful compost piles! Share and tag #EatLocalChallenge2017

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