Environment · Food

Food waste

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Have you seen the documentary “Just Eat It” ? It’s streaming now on Amazon- and if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it! I definitely consider myself an environmentalist and try my best to do right by the planet, however, watching this film made me reevaluate some of my habits. The statistics were crazy about how much food we waste as a society, not just in our own households, but also in the waste that is generated by supermarkets. The film focuses on the documentarian and his wife challenging themselves for 6 months with only eating food that has been or will be discarded. It was actually pretty eye opening to see their journey and the types/amount of food they end up coming across and consuming. The film also points out not only the economic strain caused by food waste, but also many of the different angles of the environmental issues it causes, from wasted resources and wasted packaging, to over flowing landfills- which produce methane from anaerobic decomposition- which, in turn, contributes to climate change. Although the documentary does a cracker jack job of highlighting this (enormous) problem, it also provides tips for reducing your own waste. I’m a big believer in small changes and the idea that every little bit helps- so I will definitely be incorporating these ideas into our routine to reduce our food waste.

Top (small) changes you can make to reduce your food waste right now!

  1. Shop more often! (Instead of placing large orders in the supermarket, try to frequent the market a couple times a week- if it fits in your schedule) The food will be fresher, and you will be more focused on what you actually need.
  2. Meal plan! Make and stick to a solid meal plan about the items you truly need and will truly use. (I’m super guilty of this one!)
  3. Incorporate an “EAT ME FIRST” bin in your fridge. Place all items that are nearing their shelf life or are in small amounts (i.e. leftovers) in a bin that is clearly labeled to encourage high turnover!
  4. Take the Food Waste Challenge or the food waste quiz! The first step to changing your ways, is realizing the problem. You’ll spend 2 weeks getting a “baseline” about how much food you waste, then you will get email tips and tricks to reducing food waste in your house. Then, you calculate how much you actually save but not wasting so much food!
  5. Visit the I VALUE FOOD site for some awesome resources about tips to keep produce longer, what to do with sale bread, how to start a compost bin, recipes for leftovers, how to meal plan and shop effectively, how to organize your fridge, loving ugly vegetables, and so much more!
Environment · Food

Earth Day meal! Doing our part to rid the world of an ecological problem, by eating it…

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So, today is Earth Day! And also it’s my birthday! (Monday, the 24th) so Steve and I went out for a special dinner to celebrate. The last few years we’ve gone to this amazing sushi restaurant, Miya’s. Miya’s is unlike any other restaurant I’ve been to, sushi or not, because the chef and owner of the restaurant truly focuses on the future of eating and the importance of sustainability. (Perfect for Earth Day amiright?!) Much of his food is sourced locally, foraged, or are invasive species.

In the year 2150, people will be eating in a way that is healthier not only for their bodies but also for our whole planet. People will be eating fewer animals, since they will have learned that a plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat; they will hunt and farm animals in a way that is more humane. At Miya’s, you will experience a kinder and more caring future, where sushi has evolved to become a way of eating that honors and celebrates all life on Earth. (From Miya’s Menu)

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The menu is incredibly extensive, like over 20 pages, because not only are there so many interesting and different choices, but there is also background information, personal anecdotes, and fanciful chronicles to go along with all of Bun’s careful curated menu. (Bun not only created the world’s first invasive species menu, he is also credited with concocting the very first sweet potato, plant based, sushi roll in 1995- which can now be found on sushi menus all over the country!)

I just love his approach to doing his part to solve some of our ecological problems, through food. Steve and I couldn’t resist trying something from the invasive species menu. We ordered the Dreamcatcher Onigiri ( description above) as well as a Wild Plant Nigiri (which was a medley of invasive weeds.)

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Invasive Plant Sushi 

It’s hard to put into words exactly how everything tasted- but it was so good. It had a very Earthy, slightly tangy, but sometimes bitter, but also at the same time sweet, flavor. (I don’t know how that description even makes sense at all, but somehow, if you tasted this sushi, you would agree with my assessment..) I couldn’t get enough. (Also, interesting side note, Mugwort- in the background of above picture, is known to induce contractions and labor in pregnant women!)

We also ordered some plant based rolls- because, how can you not?

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We ordered:

Kiss the Smiling Piggy (Far right): Sweet Potato, yuzu chutney and pine nuts

Chinese Superhero Roll: (Bottom of picture) Tempura fried broccoli, roasted garlic and black beans

Killer Squid: (Top left) Udon noodles flavored in shiitake mushroom and seaweed stock, black bean and scallions. (Looks and tastes like deep-fried squid! – or so the menu claims, I have never had deep fried squid to compare- but the roll was amazing!)

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With full bellies, I can confidently say that Steve and I did our part to celebrate the Earth and help the planet today! If you can support businesses that focus on sustainability, I urge you to, for ourselves, for our future, and for our children. If you would like to read more about Bun, especially about his solution to control invasive species by eating them, read this awesome article!

I’ll leave you with this thought on Earth Day…

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

I hope you keep the Earth in your mind everyday, and not just on April 22nd. Cheers!