This is week #2 of the produce box scheme… and it’s going to be an interesting one.
Aside from the apples and pears, just about everything in this week’s box will be a new (or nearly new) experience in terms of cooking, eating, or both. I’m particularly intimidated by the Brussels sprouts. And the sunchokes are just plain otherworldly.
Tonight I took a mental inventory of how much we actually used from the first box. I wanted to know because by some estimates, nearly half the food produced in this country ends up going into a landfill or down the garbage disposal. So I’d like to think that eating more sustainably also means wasting less food. And I’d like to be able to say that we ate everything in the first week’s produce box. But not quite.
The truth is, we came pretty close. Not counting the extra onions and garlic we ordered (which will keep a bit longer), we managed to use everything but one giant pear-turned-to-mush and a couple of now very sprouty potatoes. And I noticed that less food wound up in our trash can this week. Which is encouraging not only for the obvious ecological reasons, but for economic reasons as well.
One of the biggest gripes against organic/local/sustainable food is that is costs too much. It’s fine for the upwardly-mobile hipster crowd, but out of reach for ordinary eaters on a budget.
There’s no getting around the fact that organic food costs more per pound, per calorie, etc. Although Michael Pollan notes that the real cost of industrialized food is hidden from consumers – namely, the cost to our healthcare system and our environment. (Not to mention all the Middle East oil needed to cart industrialized food an average of 1,500 miles from farm or factory to dinner plate.)
I can’t help but think that reducing or eliminating our food waste would more than make up for the extra cost of local, organic food. To say nothing of the reduced healthcare costs (not like that’s a timely issue) and improved environment.
So the goal for week #2 is to use everything in the box.