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“:
- 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.
- 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.
- A packer of citrus, stone fruit, and grapes estimated that 20 to 50 percent of the produce he handles is unmarketable but perfectly edible.