Sunday, July 26, 2015

Just Eat It

Remember Nike's motto: Just Do It? Well this is the same thing, only instead of athleticism it has to do with wastefulness. And instead of being a large advertising ploy to get you to consume (athletic things) this is a giant wakeup call to stop consuming or at least to consume in the right way.

Just Eat It is an excellent documentary, the premise: two Canadians on a food rescue mission.
Filmmakers and food lovers Jen and Grant dive into the issue of waste from farm, through retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge. They pledge to quit grocery shopping cold turkey and survive only on foods that would otherwise be thrown away. In a nation where one in 10 people is food insecure, the images they capture of squandered groceries are both shocking and strangely compelling. 
Bottom right photo Minnesotan Curt Sullivan
Fabulous right? I mean how embarrassing! Americans are literally throwing away the opportunity to eliminate hunger right here in our backyard.

See above for examples of squandering. See below for some of the unexpected consequences.

I won't give out any spoilers, because we think you should really watch this movie. Instead here are some food waste facts for our state (Minnesota, baby!!). Wish us luck (who knows what you might read next).

    Minnesota continually reaches the top of the charts for Fittest U.S. Cities (this one dates back to 1990!), best state for kids, top state for business, the BEST American state, not to mention that every year Minnesota vendors find something else to put on a stick. (CONFESSION: Brian and I definitely got side-tracked looking at new foods for 2015 at the fair. give in to you temptations here.) Despite all of those wonderful rankings we still have our share of garbage - and it stinks.
    Stuffed Meatloaf on a Stick: Coming This Fall!

    But wait! Don't be discouraged by the negative.
    There are plenty of good options, that we can all implement, to help minimize food waste and to keep good, edible food from going to waste.


    every.                    single.              time.
    • Challenge your grocery stores to sell ugly fruit! But first check out Silly, Saucy, Scary. Stores can sell these mangled marvels at a 30% discount but the point is force them to sell it! Hungry for more of this? Watch the damn video below! Josey cried a little (CONFESSION: it was nothing compared to her full-body-heaving-breakdown while watching Just Eat It. Please, for her sake at least, just eat it.)

    And let's not forget the programs that Minnesota already has in place:
    • St. Paul Public Elementary schools participates in a food recycling program that sends food waste to pig farms; they repurposed over 2 million pounds of food waste in the 2010-2011 school year.
    • Check out CafĂ© Latte's waste reduction success, they reduced their trash volume by 50% by using commercial composting.
    • Cub Foods and Seward Co-op donate to 360 Communities Food Shelf; Target, Lunds & Byerlys, Cub, General Mills, Whole Foods etc. are food donors to Second Harvest.
    • MSP Airport produces 10 tons a month of organic recycling including food waste and things like paper napkins; that's a 50% reduction in waste! Then they use the soil they make to upkeep the grounds. genius.
    • The MN State Fair produces nearly 40 tons of food waste, which is turned into nutrient-rich soil, during its 12 day run and 1.8 million attendance
    • And just in case you weren't feeling proud to be a Minnesotan quite yet, we shall now reveal the Mall of America's valiant green initiatives:
      • By converting parking garage lighting to LED technology MOA reduced electrical consumption by 7 million KWH annually
      • Wind powers two parking ramps and the Nickelodeon Universe
      • More than 60% of MOA waste is recycled; thats an average of 32,000 tons per year OR more than 18,000 cars in a landfill. 
        • More than 2,400 tons of food waste is sent to a local hog farm feeding more than 1 million hog meals annually
        • More than 4,000 pounds of biodiesel is produced per month by converting fat from restaurant fryers. That's enough to fuel a 53-foot semi truck from New York to Los Angeles five flippin' times
        • More then 100 tons of glass bottles are recycled each year - yup, that powers 3.5 homes running electricity 8 hours a day for 1 year.
      • MOA DOES NOT USE CENTRAL HEATING. I know this one is almost unbelievable. If you've never been to the Mall of America let me tell you, the temperature inside is never on your list of complaints, even when it's below zero outside. Inside the comfortable 70 degrees is maintained year-round by passive solar energy and heat from the store fixtures. We are so impressed.
    Okay so some of that has nothing to do with food waste and we were just bragging. We are still so impressed. In fact we feel as though we must do our part. Because after all part of being a minimalist is about reducing waste and that certainly includes food waste.

    We pledge to search out the ugly fruit, use reusable bags every time at the store AND stop wasting food.

    We'll be weighing any food we waste (so far we're scared to be the first one to throw something out - success?) and we will keep you updated! Wish us luck! (It worked well the first time so you must be some kind of wish granting gurus)

    We know you want to watch this documentary, like you are dying to see it. Have no fear! August 1st it will be playing on MSNBC at 5pm EST. Mark your calendars and get enlightened!

    Need not,
    Brian and Josey

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