Food Waste Op-ed & Update with Executive Director Melissa Flynn

1/18/2018

Ever have that moment when you realize you’re part of the problem?  That realization hit me on our way to Thanksgiving dinner.  A stat had just popped up on my phone, “On average between Thanksgiving and New Years, America as a whole wastes over 5 million tons of food.”  I did a quick calculation and that is over 10 billion pounds of food, more pounds of food wasted than there are people in the world.  

That was shocking to me. And I, of course, blurted it out in the car to the rest of the family who was already thinking about all the great food waiting for them. Our kids were also pretty shocked, or at least humoring me. I asked if they would only put on their plate tonight what they knew they would eat, if they were still hungry they could go back for seconds. I let it go, and I promise, I did not bring it up at the dinner table. On our way home that night our boys asked me if there was a lot of food left on the plates after dinner.  I was really excited that they were thinking about it.  

We didn’t talk much about it over the rest of the holiday season, but when I went to assess our fridge before the kids went back to school and had to throw some stuff out I brought it back up.  We decided, I am pretty sure there was nodding in agreement, to pay attention to what we were eating and not eating. This week when I made tacos with rice one night, I asked at the dinner table what we should do with the extra rice.  They suggested stir fry or stew and so that is next up for meals.  I realize we are not going to reduce 5 million tons of food waste by using up our rice this week, but being mindful about it is a start.  It will not only reduce food waste but it will save us money. On average a household of 4 wastes over $1,500 per year on food waste. Our goal for 2018 is to not be part of that average and use what we have.

- Melissa Flynn, Executive Director


At Green City Market, it is our mission to reduce food waste at our events and markets, and we want YOU to get involved. During our Outdoor Season (May-October), we encourage you to collect your food waste from home and drop it off to our market locations. For $3, our compost haulers will collect your food waste, and turn it into nourishing compost to grow healthy plants. In 2017, we collected 6,000+ lbs of food waste at our markets. Become part of the solution to the food waste problem with us in 2018, and click here for more info

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