Radio Daze

This morning, I was on WNPR’s Where We Live. As always, I had a good time talking waste (even though I’m not a morning person, which showed a few times).

The hour really flew by and there were a few things I was hoping to get in but didn’t. For example, a caller mentioned how much free fruit was available for foraging, but going to waste because nobody was collecting it. Sounds to me like somebody in Connecticut needs to start a tree gleaning group.

As for the extra bakery items and lack of reliable pickup, that speaks to the abundance of available bread. It was telling when host John Dankosky asked why they don’t bake less, the caller said that nobody wanted to see empty displays. Anyway, I’ll sleep better after Dankosky volunteered, with a smidge of self-interest, to collect all excess bakery items.

Also, in response to my comment on how we needed more involvement from the Federal government, one caller mentioned the national organization Feeding America. That group does great work, but what I had in mind was a return to when the USDA had a national gleaning coordinator and prompted farmers to donate more of their unharvested crop. Simplifying the tax code to allow all farms, including unincorporated ones, to receive deductions for donating wouldn’t hurt, either.

There were multiple mentions of Food Not Bombs, and this group apparently is still having problems with the state Board of Health. I wrote about this controversy in May.

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  1. Bellen
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Back in the late 70s early 80s when a group of us tried to get a local apple orchard to let us pick up the windfalls for free we were told the liability if someone got hurt would not be covered by their insurance policy. They would however give us a great deal on purchasing the windfalls picked up by their employees, which we took advantage of. By the way, we were donating the fruit to a group of churches to distribute.

    In today’s sue happy world I wonder if this liability problem has become a limiting factor for gleaning any crop everywhere.

  2. Posted August 11, 2009 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, I think many tree gleaning groups do need some kind of insurance coverage. That’s why I’d recommend partnering or maybe starting a program under the umbrella of an established non-profit.

    The alternative would be writing a simple liability waiver that orchard owners and homeowners would sign, and having volunteers sign a similar one saying they won’t sue should they get hurt.

    It is a shame this kind of thing can be a barrier, but it makes some sense with tree gleaning because there are often ladders involved…

  3. Posted August 30, 2009 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Just heard the podcast on NPR. I’m actually in the process of starting a nonprofit food pickup/delivery organization in CT modeled after Food Runners in San Fran. If anyone in CT is interested check out the website
    Hope to be up and running by the fall.
    This site is chock full of info and ideas, I will look into adding insurance for gleaning at local farms. I look forward to your book!

One Trackback

  1. [...] Tuesday’s press coverage of the Middletown Food Not Bombs Dept. of Public Health appeal hearing and the breakfast/demonstration on the street beforehand was covered in CT News Junkie and on the Hartford Courant’s front page Wednesday morning. (I’m wondering why the Courant puts “sharing” in scare quotes in nearly every article they write about FNB. Anyone have ideas on that?) FNB also got into the conversation several times on WNPR’s Where We Live, which was coincidentally about food waste. The story has been covered in blogs like Wesleying and Wasted Food. And there was an op-ed by Barbara Ehrenreich in the New York Times where she mentions the Middletown case as an example of how it’s a crime to be poor. [...]

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