Holiday Shopping

There aren’t many items you can buy that will reduce food waste; it’s mostly what you do. That said, here are a few useful goodies:

the Banana Guard--even works with minisWhile a bruised banana isn’t necessarily a wasted one (it’s just the start of a smoothie or banana bread), that’s harder to pull off at work or school. That’s why I love the Banana Guard.

Meanwhile, there are now guards for other fruits that look cool. The Froot Guard is best for apples, oranges, peaches and pears. The Froot Case protects smaller items like kiwis and tangerines.

As this guide to avoiding waste in packing kids’ lunches says, reusable containers minimize paper waste and allow kids to bring home what they don’t want in a sealed container. That’s why Lunchsense lunch boxes, with their multiple containers and ice pack for freshness, are great. FYI, the medium is plenty big, even for adults.

When packing a hot lunch for one or more, the Mr. Bento Lunch Jar is a revelation. It even has a fan club, of sorts.

Books always make great presents. The Use It Up Cookbook is pretty good, but the older Use-It-Up Cookbook is probably better (albeit out of print).

Cheap. Fast. Good! isn’t a fast food guide. It’s a pretty handy cookbook whose authors are sensitive to waste.

Hungry Planet: What the World Eats won’t necessarily help you cut waste, but it will probably force you to ponder your food shopping decisions. The beautiful portraits of global families with a week’s worth of their food lends perspective on how others’ eat. It’s a great coffee table book and a real conversation starter.

What Hungry Planet does with pictures, Joel Berg’s All You Can Eat does with words. Fascinating stuff.

For those who may want to compost, but don’t want anything unsightly in their yard, the Terra composter may be a good bet. And for storing peels and rinds before they get to the bin, here’s a nice kitchen compost pail.

For those without a backyard, the NatureMill automatic composter is handy for indoor composting.

And then who doesn’t want to be the gifter of Red Wiggler Worms? Because then you can say to your loved one, ‘Remember when I gave you worms?’ Don’t forget a worm bin (although you can build your own) and possibly even a book on the subject.

Finally, they say the best things in life are free (but you can give them to the birds and bees, I need money). Along those lines, MealsMatter.org has free meal and shopping planners. Sending someone that link is like giving them cash–hundreds in the future savings from avoided food waste.

UPDATE: WF reader Dee Dee suggests and vouches for the Salad Sac as a way to keep greens and other veggies fresher, longer.

Happy ‘days!

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4 Comments

  1. Posted December 16, 2008 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Oh, the Banana Guard is cool! I do have problems with bruised bananas in my husband’s lunch(the rest of us eat at home, as I work from home, and I homeschool my kids).

  2. Dee Dee
    Posted December 18, 2008 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    A terrycloth or cotton produce bag will keep delicate lettuces and other greens fresh – far better than plastic…reusable. There are organic cotton mesh bags that cost about $5.00, but the best one is called Salad Sac. It’s made from a super-absorbant cotton terrycloth and really keeps lettuce crisp and fresh for days. It’s pricey at about $10 but I think worth the expense, especially in the summer when the garden produces more produce than you can eat in a day.

  3. Posted December 19, 2008 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    So, I showed the banana guard website to my husband, and when he saw the circle of multi-colored banana guards, he laughed and said he’d never hear the end of it if he brought one of those into work.

    Are the we the only ones who think they look a little like, um, something meant for adults?

  4. Posted December 20, 2008 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    You’re not alone, Kristen. Let’s just say it’s certainly a conversation starter.

3 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Ideas for holiday gifts to cut down on food waste, like a banana guard, for instance. [...]

  2. [...] Gifts for the true foodie: Jonathan Bloom suggests gift items to reduce food waste. (Wasted Food) [...]

  3. By Weekly Sausage Links « What Would Jesus Eat? on December 22, 2008 at 7:13 am

    [...] Gifts to reduce food waste [...]

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