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.

Quelle Variete! Happy Thanksgiving from Field Goods!

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Quelle Variete is French for “What Variety!” Try throwing that one out at a party this week if you feel daring.

Here’s a fun and interesting bag of goodies to tide you over during the cooking frenzy of Thanksgiving week. Lots of hearty veggies to fill you up with little to no fuss. If you’re still looking for fresh cranberries, then be sure to add the fruit subscription for this week (1.25lbs). Furthermore, grab the bread and cheese subscriptions for fresh baguettes and herbed cheeseville spread to share with your lovely holiday guests! If you need a little company, there’s always Julia: Best of Julia Child

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Braising Mix

mixIf you’ve never braised before, now is a great time to start. Swing on over here for a great tutorial on how to do it. This is a great mix of colorful, assorted greens such as kale, chard, bok choy, mustard greens, spinach, turnip greens and beet greens. Quelle Variete!

Very easy to prepare—just toss the greens in a pan with hot oil and garlic and add a liquid. Finish off with soy sauce or parmesan cheese.

 

 

Prep Week!

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This bag has everything. Thank you to everyone who responded to our Facebook post asking what y’all would like for your Thanksgiving tables. You should see pretty much all (in season) you requested! Our farmers are still harvesting away, well into these colder months, so don’t think you can’t get small farms produce all through the winter. Know a friend whose CSA just ended? Tell them to try Field Goods! Support small farms all year round.

Watch this inspiring video!
HOW FIELD GOODS GOT MY HUSBAND TO EAT SPROUTS
This is a true story! There are few things more difficult in life than to get a BS-hater to become a BS-lover. Vegetable miracles happen every week with Field Goods so get on the veggie-train — woo-woo — just our lovely featured subscriber.

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Brussels Sprouts

Brussels SproutOne of the items most frequently banned from kitchens. A friend tells the story of her father refusing to allow long-haired boys into the house. This ban was only second to his Brussels sprouts ban.

Not until her 20’s did she try them (Brussels sprouts) broiled, until slightly crispy, with olive oil and salt. She loved them. We attribute this profound aversion to the simple truth that when boiled until mushy they are gross (as are beets & green beans). For some mysterious reason this was the preferred method of cooking veggies during the time when many of us were young and impressionable. Little did our friend know but her father’s revulsion had a well founded root. Overcooking Brussel sprouts releases glucosinolate sinigrin, which has a sulphrous odor.

Don’t overcook the Brussels Sprouts! Most recipes call for boiling or braising them for no more than 8 minutes and roasting about 30 minutes  Don’t boil Brussels sprouts!  When boiled the Vitamin C content drops from 125% DV to 22% DV.

 

 

 

You Just Gotta Delicata, & A Lotta!

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The Delicata squash is so sweet it’s basically a dessert vegetable. No need to peel thanks to its very thin skin!

If you’re in the mood for something easy, then just roast these squash cut in half flesh side down!

But if you’re feeling adventurous, we’ve attached a few stuffed recipes below.

Now if you’re feeling just wild, seriously, try it with peanuts. This recipe, dreamt up by an Atlanta chef with an affinity for green peanut oil, takes this squash to new heights (and you could sub EVOO for the peanut oil).

Winter squashes are members of the Cucurbit family. This family includes Zucchinis, Pumpkins, Watermelons, and Cucumbers, too! Wow, those must be some good genes– we’d like to go to one of their reunions!

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Delicata Squash

squashUnique for its thin skin (no peeling or removing necessary) and sweet flesh. As we mentioned above, all you need to do is slice it in half and then roast. Try playing with different flavors! The subtlety of the Delicata pairs perfectly with many different flavor profiles.
Tex-Mex: onion, ground beef, chili powder, yogurt
Sausage: kale, Italian sausage, swiss cheese, garlic, nutmeg, top w/ bread crumbs & Parmesan
Nuts: onions, garlic, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, pine nuts, yogurt, sage & Parmesan
And finally: Quinoa, onion, celery, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, parsley, sage & thyme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consider the Acorn…

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The Acorn squash, though of a winter squash variety, can still actually claim relation to your summer squash favorites. Native North Americans introduced the squash to early settlers! Most people bake them, but you can also microwave them (just poke several holes in it). Great for stuffing with a rice and veggie medley, it lends itself to a beautiful and harvest-y looking table presentation. Don’t forget about the seeds! You can toast those babies up for a delicious autumnal snack. There’s more than pumpkins out there, folks!

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Acorn Squash

To bake an Acorn Squash, cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the center, place in baking dish with 1/2 inch of water, drop in some butter and brown sugar and/or maple syrup, then bake for an hour at 400 degrees.

If you’re feeling adventurous, good ol’ Martha has 18 ideas for you!