Take a year-long journey learning the truth about the food we throw away.Join BriarPatch Food Co-op for a year-long exploration to better understand the impact of food waste and what you can do to help reduce it. Throughout the year, we'll share resources, links, activities and recipes. We hope to feel more empowered, have fun and make a difference, as we go on this journey together! Be sure to check in to this page each month to get the tools you need for your food waste journey.
Learn why food is too good to waste.
- Just Eat It – We all love food. As a society, we devour countless cooking shows, culinary magazines and foodie blogs. So how could we possibly be throwing nearly 50% of it in the trash? Filmmakers and food lovers, Jen and Grant, dive into the issue of food waste and pledge to quit grocery shopping and survive only on discarded food for 6 months. Featuring interviews with author, activist, and TED lecturer Tristram Stuart, food waste expert Dana Gunders, and acclaimed author Jonathan Bloom, JUST EAT IT looks at our systemic obsession with expiry dates, perfect produce and portion sizes, and reveals the core of this seemingly insignificant issue in a cinematic story that is both deliciously entertaining and truly shocking.
- The Extraordinary Life and Times of Strawberry – Follow the journey of a strawberry from the farm to the refrigerator to understand all that it takes to bring your food to you. Did you know that 40% of our food ends up wasted? Wasted food is the single largest contributor to landfills in the US—not to mention that it wastes water, labor, fuel, money, & love! Courtesy of The Natural Resources Defense Council.
By making small shifts in our daily habits–how we shop, store and prepare food–we can keep the valuable resources used to produce and distribute food from going to waste.
- Track Your Waste. Use the 7 Day Waste Journal to track how much food you waste and where it goes!
- Get the Tools. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as we bring you new resources and tips each month to help reduce your waste.
- Set a Goal. What changes can you make to reduce food waste?
- Join the Conversation. Share your successes and challenges on social media with your friends and neighbors throughout the year.
Take the guesswork out of what to eat.
- Watch our virtual ‘Tackling Food Waste with a Plan Event’
- Savethefood.com’s Free Online Food Planning Toolkit including ‘Meal Prep Mate’ and ‘The Guest-imator’
- There is no shortage of meal planning apps to assist you – check out a review here.
- Here are some quick tips from our produce department on how to keep it fresh!
- Learn to lengthen the life of your produce with the National Co-op Grocer’s Produce Storage Guide.
- Freeze! It’s another great way to reduce waste. Tips for Freezing Food.
- Ever wonder if something will stay fresher in the fridge or the counter? Check out Save The Food’s pro tips for storing everything including proteins, grains, veggies, fruit, dairy, bread, condiments and spices.
A great way to transform your kitchen and yard waste into a nutrient-rich addition to your soil.
Be prepared and reduce food waste during a power outage.
- “No Power Pantry” Guide
- How to build a root cellar.
- How to make Milk Kefir
- All about fermentation with Sandor Katz Wild Fermentation Portal
- Preserving Your Organic Harvest
- National Center for Home Preservation – a Great source for research-based recommendations about home food preservation. From Canning and pickling to smoking, drying and freezing.
Encouraging kids to learn about, grow and cook their own food will help reduce waste and get the next generation excited about food systems.
- California Tastes Amazing, a downloadable recipe book based on popular school meals, that parents and children can cook together at home.
- Abundant California includes fun lessons about California crops and introduces kids to the food system that sustains us all. For children in grades 3-5.
- Food Waste Warrior Toolkit created by the World Wildlife Fund is designed for kids in grades 5-12. The toolkit uses math and science to examine what happens to food that is thrown away, including environmental impacts.
- Kids Go Green: Reducing Food Waste Learn about the impact of food waste on the environment in this animated video from WNET. Includes discussion questions and teaching tips.
- The Amazing Garbologist Adventure A downloadable workbook exploring food waste through science and what it takes to be a Food Rescue Action Hero.
- Watch Food Waste Warriors as they go undercover to explore what food their family is wasting.
- Purdue University’s Nature of Teaching has a variety of Food Waste Curriculum for K-5 and beyond.
Donating food and feeding hungry people is a wonderful way to give back and put edible food to good use before it goes to waste.
- Reduce Wasted Food By Feeding Hungry People We can be leaders in our communities by collecting unspoiled, healthy food and donating it to our neighbors in need. By donating food, we’re feeding people, not landfills, supporting local communities and saving money!
- Sierra Harvest’s Gold Country Gleaning Program organizes volunteers to harvest local produce that would otherwise go to waste and donates it to Interfaith Food Ministry. In 2019, volunteers harvested over 20,000lbs of fresh fruit and vegetables for food-insecure families in Nevada County. You can sign up on their website to donate your crop or volunteer as a gleaner.
- Food Bank of Nevada County distributes food to 2,000 individuals each week. Food donations can be made to directly to the Food Bank at 313 Railroad Ave, Grass Valley or in the donation barrel at BriarPatch. You can also donate your time and volunteer! For more information on how to donate food and what types of food are accepted, check out their website
- Interfaith Food Ministries distributes food to Nevada County families every Mon, Weds, Fri and the second Saturday of the month. Food donations can be made to their warehouse at 440 Henderson St. Grass Valley or at one of their collection barrels around town. IFM encourages adding a row or two of vegetables to your garden to donate.
Planning for holiday meals may look a little different in 2020. Whether there are fewer guests at the table or you’re ditching the table for a socially–distanced picnic, here are some tips for reducing waste this Holiday Season:
- Plan your Menu & Shop for Appropriate Portions
- Save your Bones & Veggie Scraps to Make Stock or Broth
- Love Your Leftovers with Creative Leftover Recipes
- If you have extra, Freeze
- Donate un-cooked food to local food pantries
Ten tips on hosting a Wonderful and Waste-Free Holiday
I Value Food’s how-to Reduce Food Waste at Thanksgiving
Less Waste, More Taste: A Master Chef Reimagines Thanksgiving Leftovers