Growing food, cooking food, food waste, and other modern conundrums

I love growing vegetables, among my other gardening passions.  There's nothing not to like about harvesting delicious vegetables and herbs from your garden, then taking them straight to the kitchen.  But, you need to willing to prep and cook these vegetables to enjoy them.  It's not necessarily easy and it's often time-consuming.

I'm willing to do it for my two-person household, as long as I'm not too much over an hour prepping and cooking at a stretch.  Vegetables take prep, for sure, but they're my favorites.  I eat a small amount of cooked vegetables at breakfast, and more for lunch and dinner. And happily, my hubby will eat plenty of them, too. He's actually rather protein-averse, so it’s easy to put veggies and grains on his plate.

At a regional "Food Waste Summit" today, I've learned a lot more about our food waste problem in this country; there’s a broader continuum of issues than I ever realized.

I'm pretty keen, as a daughter of parents who grew up with Depression Era parents, on being frugal and careful around food. My mom, not a particularly devoted cook, taught me how to cut up a chicken, and we always turned our chicken bones from a roast chicken into broth.  She'd learned that from her mom.

I never throw away edible food, we eat our leftovers, anything organic is composted, yada, yada.  Our fresh-veggie based diet is oriented around what is in my garden and at the community garden where I volunteer.  Ugh, greens again, I often think, in my four-season vegetable garden.

But clearly there's a bigger picture out there, too.

Harvested greens from Southside Community Garden
Many American families throw away (edible food) worth about $1500 a year. Yikes.  The edible produce, etc. that can be diverted from the waste stream back to food banks is considerable. The prepared food that can be donated to homeless shelters and soup kitchens -- that's also huge.

I volunteer in a community garden where our harvests go to the local community.  Great.

But we clearly need to rethink our food systems in this country to reduce food waste. There are lots of opportunities.


  1. We need more people who think the way you do. I grew up after the war when nothing was wasted. It rubbed off on me. I am horrified by the amount of food that is wasted by households. It just spoils in the fridge. Is it poor planning I wonder? If people had less money they would really have to think carefully about where their money went.


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