Turning the table on food loss and food waste

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Do you ever worry about food waste? We know, that is a bit of a low blow to ask a day or two after Thanksgiving. The average family of 4 throws out about $1500 a year in food. That’s more than most of you will spend over an entire year on produce from Field Goods. But, more importantly, that is only half the issue. More food is lost on its way to your kitchen, then WASTED on its way to your trash (or better yet compost).

A big culprit in food waste is our perceptions of beautiful food. Once farms harvest the crops, culling presents itself as primary reason for losses of fresh produce. You can read about the consequences of culling, or the removal of products based on quality or appearance criteria, including specifications for size, color, weight, blemish level, and Brix (a measure of sugar content) here: The National Resource Defense Council study ” Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill“:

  1. A large cucumber farmer estimated that fewer than half the vegetables he grows actually leave his farm. 75 percent of the cucumbers culled before sale are edible.
  2. A large tomato-packing house reported that in mid-season it can fill a dump truck with 22,000 pounds of discarded tomatoes every 40 minutes.
  3. A packer of citrus, stone fruit, and grapes estimated that 20 to 50 percent of the produce he handles is unmarketable but perfectly edible.
At Field Goods we say bring it on, Mother of Nature. Bring us your twisted carrots, your muddled bunches of sweet grapes yearning to be eaten, your rotund rutabagas of your bumper crops. Send these tempting crops to us so that our customers can receive fresh, fabulous tasting, highly nutritious food (at a great value) with the knowledge that mountains of perfectly good produce were not discarded for them to enjoy their weekly delivery.
This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Kale Sprouts
Great little article from Grub Street earlier this year. Such a versatile veggie. Red Russian Kale + Brussels sprouts = KALE SPROUTS. Sometimes referred to as Lollipop Kale, these sprouts grow on a stalk and produce cool little buds of purpleish kale. Crazy, right? Try cooking it in a heap of ways: pan-roasted, with kimchi puree and brown butter; julienned and tossed with fish sauce, lime, and green chiles;  blanched, then sautéed in a pan with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and then tossed with pappardelle. Our favorite — toss with oil with a dash of soy sauce and roaste at 300 degrees for 10 -15 minutes.

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