Jonathan Bloom can be reached at: wasted food at gmail dot com
I’m getting packed up to move so been cleaning out my kitchen cubbords. I have a lot of food that is expired, but I would still consider it reasonably good. A lot of canned stuff and pasta-type things. I feel really bad just throwing it all away if it could possibly be used by anyone else. I know that the food banks probably have strict rules about what kind of food that they can take. Do you know if there is anywhere that I can take the food in Seattle, or should I just throw it all away?
Hmm…Have you considered eating it yourself?
You’ll have a hard time getting a food bank to take items past their best by date. But that doesn’t mean the food is bad. I just happened to come across this article: http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2011/11/12/how-unregulated-unscientific-use-labels-cause-food-waste
Food waste is clearly a point that needs to be conveyed to the people at large in the USA and you have done just that!
I have a “compostor’ for yard waste to which I add foods scraps (veg peelings etc). The instruction advises against adding any “fats”. Leftover foods will be in this category.
However, I hear otherwise as I hear you on the NPR this afternoon….
Can you please clarify on this?
The deal with meats and fats is that you can compost them, but your compost pile needs to be generating quite a bit of heat to do so. Many backyard composting bins don’t get hot enough to process meats and fats, so the instructions will advise against them. You can try it and see how it goes–but if it doesn’t work well, these foods are likely to attract pests.
hey im lance and i wanted to know what i can do to help not have our school food thrown away. It sickens me to see hundredes of food thrown away while its perfectly good. Can anybody helpwith this probelm ???
Me and my fellow friend Lance go to the same school in standish, Michigan and have saw lots of food be thrown away in the past years. Our school provides breakfast and for that we are grateful for that but to see all the food untouched be thrown away, it just doesn’t see fair. People all around the country are starving because of no food to feed them, when we are wasteing food daily. We are local 7th graders and are asking politley for someone to help me figure our a solution to the problem in which needs to be solved.
Howdy Lance and Nolan,
I’m glad you wrote in and that you’re concerned about the problem. I’d love to throw a few ideas your way. Why don’t you email me at the email address above and we can chat.
Someone should start a “Hold the Garnish” campaign. A significant amount of lettuce and citrus and other vegetables are used just to make food presentations look better. This food is almost never eaten. And often the garnish items come from area’s far away from where the food being sold.
Just wanted you to know that I’m going to try for Lent to set a goal this year instead of giving something up. For the next 40 days I will make every effort to waste zero food.
I am a teacher at an elementary school. Our science teacher, myself, and a group of 5th graders are trying to reduce food waste at our school. When we initially took data we found an average of 33 lbs of food waste daily. We had these 5th graders go into other classrooms and talk about food waste. We made an put up posters. The presenations were well received, etc. but on our first day of our kickoff to reduce food waste we had 38 lbs. We are all frustrated on how to proceed. Do we have a bigger problem? Help!
Thank you Jonathon for your valuable work. I heard the interview today on NPR and it is shameful to think of the food that Americans waste. I will research your references and try to become more active in this cause. Personally, I ask for a box before my meal and eat the half portion the next day. If I am in NYC visiting my son, I can usually find someone on the street that would like to eat the portion. I approach the person with respect explaining that this was boxed before I began to eat. We also compose and use for our garden. I really try to eat what we buy, but that isn’t hard because I am on a tight budget.
Thanks again for being the spokesperson for this.
My name is Vickie Ly and I’m a 4th year Environmental Science student at UC Berkeley. I’m writing to you because I’m creating a documentary project that explores food waste across the US. My current plan is to bike across the US and weave together stories of people that are working to reduce food waste, while integrating and expanding discussion about larger food issues like transportation, resource use, and equity. This idea was sparked when my good friend Kirstin and I tried to set up a “Seconds Program” at the farmers market with the organic farm that she works for (Full Belly) and the student co-ops that I’m associated with. We saw the hundreds of pounds of waste that the farm tosses each week and wondered why food has to be perfect–why do we create so much waste? Our idea of serving seconds evolved into a conversation about food waste across the US and the energy and resources that are sacrificed to grow, process, and distribute food; and ultimately, asking ourselves how we can create a louder dialogue about food waste while having fun and not being over-commandeering. Kirstin and I thought about that the simplest way might be to find food that is being wasted and turn that forgotten food into new food.
I think it is one thing to spread awareness, but another thing to create action; which is why I wanted to talk to you about how we can integrate these two goals. I’m reading your book and finding it very inspiring and thought provoking. I’d really like talk to talk to you about food waste and transportation and developing an overarching theme and story. I’m in touch with several large food recovery organizations that you’ve recommended including St. Andrew’s Gleaning Network and Boulder Food Recovery, but I am looking for more people and places to get in touch with. I’m emphasize biking because I think it can highlight the amount of fossil fuels used to transport food and lend a stronger understanding to the complexities of our food chain and meaning of the “food mile.”
I’m still trying to refine the scope of my project and the major details. And, I wonder if my dreams are as big as a GMO apple, but I hoping you can provide some advice and contribute to the brainstorm, especially with the size and scale of your operations. I’m currently in a course where I have the opportunity to pursue a service-orientated project that is meaningful to us and can be up for a grant of $2000 from the Shinnyo-en foundation. I’m hoping to apply for a grant to make this documentary and to bike across the country, make delicious food, and capture the landscapes, the voices, and ultimately the people to better understand what makes this country us.
I would love to talk to you by phone, email, or skype. Please let me know when is a good time for you.
Let’s make food waste into a new taste.
My name is Elad Bogoch, and i am a student at a local high school in San Diego.
I am doing a project about food waste, and I would like to interview you.
If you would respond to this comment, and say yes or no.
Please check out teen run non-profit dedicated to promoting food donation and raising awareness about hunger and the environment.
Hi, just wondering if these organisations of food rescue, operate outside of the US?
Hi, was hoping you could put an end to the question of the food on Hells Kitchen thatb appears to be salavaglbe. On the shows we see food diposed of.They have contests that dishes are priced by other Chefs sometimes $30-40 dollar plates so why would they throw food out that can be warmed up.
Have you ever thought of starting a wantonwaste.com? Thousands of grass fed game animals are shot and left lay by park service contractors every year in California alone, on property’s closed to the public! Hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars each to kill a single animal and waste it. These are perfectly good game animals and feral livestock animals that are “wild” or “free run” including Roosevelt elk, Mule deer, Axis Deer, Fallow Deer, turkey’s, feral pigs, Catalina goats*, Island Moreno’s*, and Island pigs*. This * indicates species that have been made extinct by our National Park service on the Channel Islands alone.
Hello. I just found your blog. I am glad to see I am not the only one who is concerned about wasted foods. My parents grew up during the war so wasted food was a no-no.
These are my peeves, food in the grocery stores are marketed toward families with 2 or more kids. For a single person some of this is too much. Jumbo anything is not good. And food eating contests, I hate those! Watching these hotdog companies spend $$ on this rather than feed a person who really needs food. (though not nutritional)
Hi Mr. Bloom!
My name is Sophie and I am in 9th grade and i just read your book and it inspired me to do my project on Food Waste in America. I saw on the back of your book that you lived in Durham, NC, and I live and go to school in Durham. I was thinking if it is possible-because i know you’re quite busy-to let me interview you or you could come to my Academic Fair (where all the middle grade and upper schoolers present their topics to parents and other teachers and students) and talk a little bit about Food waste. The date is Nov. 16th and i hope you can get back to me.
Thank You so very much!
hi my name is Mikey and was wondering how to go about introducing myself to a grocery store an asking them about donating their leftovers. I would love to start helping out families in need especially during these cold winter months for those who are homeless as well. I’m in the Atlanta,metro area and would really like to find out how to go about this.
There was a law passed in the mid-90s called the Good Samaritan Food Act that allows people to donate past-date foods (such as staples and canned goods) to non-profits. It protects the donor from being sued if the donation is made in good faith.
I have worked in a Food Bank for over 15 years, all volunteer time.
About three years ago we were forced to join FEEDING AMERICA as they had made contracts
with our local stores. Being a small comunity, these local merchants had donated food to us
already for years, but now, in order to receive the food we had tto join Feeding America. Feeding America is not free. We pay dues of around $1400.00 a year and also pay around $2600.00 a year for a “PR type” of person who is the contact person with local merchants. We also pay a pallet fee for the merchndise we receive directly from Feeding America. This is to cover their “Truck/fuel expense” that they occur in picking up food. Can you imagine how much money Feeding America receives from the hundreds of food banks?? I know that the leaders of Feeding America ” for our region are paid over 100,000. a year, while we work as volunteers.
My big complaint about Feeding America is what they have us destroy ro throw away as garbage. All cans of food and bags of cereal without labels. For some reason, stores take off labels where the ingredients are listed. Any product that we receive with out ingredients listed must be thrown away. This is a big waste. Is this a Federal Law??
Dear Johnathan Bloom.
I am a high school student in Alaska. I am currently working on a project to get schools in my community to start composting in the lunch room Do you have any advice or useful facts I can use? Is is better to start at the elementry level or secondary level? Is composting effective in colder climates? How effective could it be in my community?
SOCIETY AGAINST POVERTY AND HUNGER
NO 64 / 66 OJUELEGBA ROAD,SURULERE
+ 234 80 55276128
Dear Jonathan Bloom.
I am Mr. Chukwudike Benson Abraham, the President of the above mentioned Organization. As, you may like to know, SAPH, is a non profit making Organization based in Nigeria, passionately committed towards eradication of extreme poverty and hunger in Africa and other parts of the World.
SAPH, is also committed towards the achievement of Millennium Development Goals Agenda 2015 and have participated in MDGs programs in Nigeria and Africa.
I, write to humbly wish to inform you of my desire to inquire about how to end food waste in Nigeria my Country and Africa.I will like to join the Campaign against Food Waste and help promote it in Nigeria and Africa.
Also, i am looking for partners to help build a Food Bank in Nigeria which will be the first of its kind and help revive our Agricultural sector.
Chukwudike B. Abraham
I will like to join the campaign to end food waste across the globe.Also, i am looking for partners to build the first food bank in Nigeria
Society Against Poverty and Hunger SAPH
No 64 / 66 Ojuelegba road,Surulere
Tel 234 80 55276128
Do you take freshly prepared peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. My sorority made over 200 this weekend to donate!
I appreciate your kind offer, but this is a blog, but not a food recovery organization. I would suggest finding your local soup kitchen by using AmpleHarvest.org.
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