Receiving my Ugly Produce Box this past week was the perfect way to kick-start a weekend full of vegetable focused cooking. Not only did I utilize my produce in conventional dishes like salads and stews, I also explored some more adventurous methods to incorporate my 8.5 lbs of fresh vegetable into my cooking. Needless to say I produced some fibre-packed and brightly colourful meals, some of which I’ll share with you below.
Produce Box comparisons in Toronto/London which include Flashfoodbox vs. Mama Earth vs. Wanigan vs. Fresh City Farms. Getting anything delivered to your door has become increasingly easy and popular. From socks to books to any imaginable food, there are over 2000 subscription services in North America alone. Getting fresh produce delivered to your door is a sought after service, but most companies are focusing on the high end of food; local, sustainable and organic - at substantial markups.
The majority of food is wasted in our homes. We buy too much because it’s "on sale", and then forget about it in the back of the fridge. We aren’t really sure what use by dates really mean so we throw it out to be safe. But a lot of the time, food goes bad because it isn’t stored properly.
What kinds of pesticides are there? When it comes to food, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides are the most commonly used. Herbicides are used to control the growth of unwanted weeds; insecticides are used to control insects and other bugs that could damage and infect food crops, and fungicides are used to prevent the growth of mould and keep food from rotting.
One of the less talked about benefits of using the FlashFood app is the way it can force you to flex your creative cooking muscles. Purchasing products near their sell-by date is a great exercise in thinking of new ways to incorporate an unusual food as a component of your recipes. Take yogurt for example - it’s an ingredient used in cuisines all over the world, yet in North America we often overlook its versatility and treat it as a simple mid-day snack or breakfast companion.
Like perfectly good fruit and vegetables, meat and seafood are thrown out before their best before dates by grocery stores, supermarkets and other distributors. In fact, between farms, restaurants, grocery stores and homes, approximately $31 billion dollars worth of food is thrown away each year, in Canada alone! Meanwhile, our landfills are filling up, and Canadians are going hungry.
Last week, we had the opportunity to speak to Elizabeth Fisher, the Executive Director at Good Food for All. Good Food For All is a non-profit organization that provides after school programs in the form of food and nutrition education to youth aged 13 to 19 years old in East Vancouver. Along with food and nutrition education, they also provide snacks to the youth 5 times a week, and have been doing so for almost 3 years now.
Each year in Canada, nearly 25 million pounds of fruit and vegetables are thrown out before it ever reaches grocery store shelves or other distributors. So, what’s the difference between the produce on grocery store shelves and the produce thrown out that’s deemed unsellable? Simply put, it all comes down to aesthetics.
Check out Flashfood's first year in review (INFOGRAPHIC)
One the biggest questions we get at Flashfood is "why don't grocery stores donate the extra food to charity?" It's a great question and it sounds logical in theory. However, here are a few reasons why they don't. Let's dig into this!
People have been using leftover and “bad” food to create amazing meals, snacks and drinks for as long as we’ve been cooking. Think of a spotty and browned banana - it loses some appeal to be eaten as is, but it’s now the perfect ingredient for delicious banana bread! In fact, banana bread and similar treats actually favour browned bananas due to their increased sweetness and less starchy texture than when completely yellow.
Here we describe our top 5 food waste documentaries to watch - trailers included!
Cooking meals without a recipe is how chef’s flex their creative muscle and come up with those amazing dishes you discover while eating out. Unfortunately, for the average home cook it can be quite intimidating to make food “off the book”, which is why a lot of us follow recipes so religiously. I always encourage people to cook whenever they can, however a problem with the recipe-only mentality is that it often means we buy ingredients for one specific meal and don’t utilize them again.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations celebrates World Food Day with events happening in over 150 countries every year on October 16th, to commemorate it's founding in 1945.
Just when we thought we had explored every possible way to reduce or prevent food waste, we found more. We had the opportunity to interview a former grocery store employee, (who will remain anonymous) who told us about all the ways that shoppers were causing additional food waste.
We've scoured Instagram to find our homeland's top zero waste Instagrammers. If you're new to the zero waste life or just generally want to become more eco-friendly, following these accounts will definitely help you become more knowledgable. Here we go!
In addition to our Top 10 Canadian Instagrammers to follow, we've curated a list of the top 5 most popular, zero waste accounts to follow. They are among the top eco-friendly lifestyle leaders! You don't want to miss out on these great feeds, filled with tips and tricks on how to lead a zero waste lifestyle, and of course, great pictures!
Yes, the terms "climate change" and "global warming" are well used but maybe not well understood. They do mean exactly what they read - the climate is changing and its getting hotter, due to human activities. The Paris Climate Agreement was created to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees.
These are sneaky plastic items that are often one time use. When you combine tiny items (smaller than your palm) with non-recyclable plastic - you get impossible immortal waste. Can you name some of these items? Scroll to see 3 common items.
It's no secret that food consumption and our buying habits have a large impact on the environment and climate change. But, instead of listing out all the scary things that are happening, we instead, want to mention the top 3 positive changes we can make to lessen our individual impact when it comes to food consumption.
As a regular shopper, you may have come across packaging/containers that are "BPA Free" or foods that are organic, natural, fair trade and local. Here's a quick guide on what these terms mean, what is actually regulated.
As we look at drastically reducing the amount of food waste in the world, it's not hard to see that there are a lot of other things that create unnecessary waste. The biggest ones appear to be one time use items that we use daily.
There's that dreaded "S" word: Saveeeee... Yikes. It's tough to save a chunk of money every so often in a set account. But, what if you could earn rewards, points or save automatically just from doing things you already do? Here's a list of tech hacks we use:
Although there is no award for best grocery shopper, its worth making these weekly trips efficient, fast and also environmentally sound. So what does it take to have an epic and enjoyable trip? The secret is all in the preparation. Like, before you even set foot into the store.
While Flashfood tackles the problem of food waste from grocery stores, a related issue is bought food that is thrown out at home, which can be scraps, leftovers, or forgotten items pushed to the back of your fridge. In Canada, a whopping 45% of total food waste is thrown out at home! There are many things you can do to prevent this - not only benefiting the environment but also realizing that one in nine people across the world are malnourished.
This might not come as a surprise to you, but your current buying habits are dictated by a company's need to sell and move products, i.e. marketing. Grocery is no exception. We've been trained to never buy the last perfectly edible watermelon in the bin. We've also been taught to mistakenly misunderstand a food's best before date as the food's expiry date.
*** The From their family to yours series is a set of stories from our community and what their experience has been like with Flashfood so far. Feel free to submit your story on our reach us page. -- I am still relatively new to Flashfood. I heard about the app about a month and a half ago from my niece who works at Farm Boy. She explained the incredible opportunity to enjoy high-quality food at lower prices. In this short time I have made 35 orders on Flashfood!