Caring for food and each other, one bite at a time
Food may offer up a bright spot during the pandemic as we share home-cooked meals, try out new recipes, or splurge on takeout from a local restaurant, but there are many in our communities who can’t afford even the most basic meals. In fact, food insecurity in California has more than doubled since March 2020, as many have lost their income due to layoffs and shutdowns.
Abundance and need are actually connected due to complexities of our food system, but the good news is that even small changes can send positive ripples through the system. What if we don’t just enjoy food, but truly care for it, its origin, and the people who grow, make, prepare, and deliver it? Can we learn to appreciate the many resources that go into our food, from water, fuel, and packaging to the time and effort of those who process it? When we cultivate a sense of gratitude, it can change how we treat food. We may shop more locally, make better use of the food we already have, buy less, and love our leftovers more. Sure, cleaning our plates won’t fill a hungry person’s stomach, but being mindful about how we get and treat our food can make our food system more efficient, resilient, and fair for all.
Ways to Care for Your Food
- Shop Your Fridge First: Check pantry, fridge, and freezer for ingredients you already have.
- Never Be Listless: Always make a shopping list and stick to it!
- Buy Local: Shop at farmers’ markets or subscribe to a CSA produce box.
- Store Fruit and Veggies Properly: Countertop? Pantry? Fridge? Check the storage guide at stopfoodwaste.org/resources.
- Cultivate Gratitude: Try eating without distraction. Take in flavor, texture, and aroma. Appreciate.
- Love Your Leftovers: A little creativity can turn leftovers into a new meal! Get ideas at stopfoodwaste.org.
- Grow Your Own: Plant your own veggies for the freshest produce and a bumper crop of pride.
- Volunteer Your Time: Learn about local efforts to address hunger and consider volunteering.
- Support Hunger Relief: Many CSA box services, restaurants, and the food bank accept monetary donations to feed those in need.
- Make Soup from Scraps: See recipe below.
Food Shift’s Scrap-Saver Veggie Broth
Broth can be made with most vegetable trimmings: carrot peels and tops, celery ends, onion ends and skin, potato peels, herb leaves and stems, garlic skins, mushroom stems. Wilted vegetables work just fine too.
Place 3–4 cups vegetable trimmings with 3 quarts water in a large pot. Simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Strain out solids through a fine-mesh strainer and discard in the compost bucket.
Recipe courtesy of Food Shift, an East Bay nonprofit developing practical solutions that reduce food waste, feed the community, and provide jobs. Learn more at foodshift.org
Care For More? Find tips, recipes, and inspiration to make the most of food at stopfoodwaste.org.