Gleaners Redistribution of Produce
Forty. That’s the percentage of food in this country that never gets eaten, or that’s grown and never comes to market. It’s the food we distribute that never reaches a destination or sits on grocery store shelves without finding a consumer. And it’s food consumers buy but never eat. It’s called FOOD WASTE.
Sometimes at harvest, farmers have to leave perfectly good produce behind in their fields, if it’s ugly, or too big or too small, it will be discarded—even though it’s perfectly edible. Why? Because consumers want perfect food.
That’s where GLEANERS come in. Farmers let them go onto their fields to collect leftover fruits and vegetables, with the food usually donated to school lunch pro- grams, nonprofits, and food banks. By performing FOOD RESCUES, communities can help redistribute food that would otherwise be wasted, helping to turn food insecurity into food security.
Consumers can also COMPOST, turning food waste into valuable nutrients that improve their soil and feed their plants. Even large farms compost. Full Circle, a farm in Carnation, Washington, mixes coffee chaff from local roasters, dairy and horse manure, unused vegetables from their farm, and even organic compostable material from people like you to revitalize their soil and grow fresh produce for families across the Pacific Northwest.
Butchers and restaurateurs also work together to minimize food waste. Instead of using only selected cuts they expand their menus to include the whole animal, eating from NOSE TO TAIL, because respect for an animal means trying not to waste it. And you can do your part, too. The average American throws away twenty pounds of food a month, so maybe a few things your mother told you when you were young were true: “Take what you want, but eat what you take,” and “Finish your food, because somewhere, someone’s hungry.”