Wasting Food Revisited

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On a morning walk several weeks ago, I passed by a number of homes where the ground under fruit trees was covered with rotting fruit.  Seeing the apples reminded me of a post I wrote in August.  At that time, The Daily Post challenge had been to identify what we considered to be the 8th Cardinal Sin.  I decided to add “Wasting Food” to the 7 Cardinal Sins from the Bible. (See The Eighth Cardinal Sin: Wasting Food)

In doing the research for that post, I learned that in 2012, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) of the United States concluded that the U.S. wastes 40 percent of its food.  My response to the challenge reviewed many of the ways we waste food in this country.  When I saw the rotten apples, I realized I should also consider letting the fruit and vegetables in our gardens rot as a form of wasting food.  After all, if we don’t need the produce, we could give it to individuals and families in need or to organizations such as missions and/or food banks.

Earlier this summer, I had considered sending a note to neighbors reminding them that the food banks welcome garden fruit and vegetables but I never did it.  I regret not having followed through on that impulse.

A few days go, I discovered in Seattle we have a group called City Fruit.  Their website states:

City Fruit promotes the cultivation of urban fruit in order to nourish people, build community and protect the climate. We help tree owners grow healthy fruit, provide assistance in harvesting and preserving fruit, promote the sharing of extra fruit, and work to protect urban fruit trees.

Since 2008, City Fruit volunteers have harvested and donated more than 80,000 pounds of fruit (24,000 pounds were harvested in this year alone).  This is definitely a group I could tell my neighbors about next year.

The spiritual group I belong to feeds the homeless in Seattle once or twice a month. That project is called “Mother’s Kitchen.”  In August, one of our members decided to plant a garden dedicated to Mother’s Kitchen so that the people we serve would be eating more organic produce.  She also asked us to donate vegetables from our gardens.  I did not have a very good harvest this year so did not donate anything.

I pledge to those of you who are reading this, that next year I will inform neighbors of places that would welcome their unwanted fruit and vegetables and will do a better job of not wasting garden produce myself.  I will continue to give extra produce to family members and friends, but will also share what I have grown with food banks and Mother’s Kitchen.

How do you, or will you, prevent vegetable and fruit wastage in your gardens?

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10 thoughts on “Wasting Food Revisited

  1. I don’t have a garden, and don’t buy fresh fruit from the store for the very reason you mention (it tends to rot before I get around to eating it), but across the street from my apartment is a decent sized park with apple and chestnut trees with food for the taking. There are dozens and dozens of apples just rotting on the ground. Now, I don’t eat free fall apples because hey, there are also fauna in the park who are more than happy to make a meal of the apples on the ground and they are more than welcome to them. And I don’t eat apples as a general rule… But I wonder how many parks in Seattle (and other cities) have fruit bearing trees that no one takes advantage of?

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    1. The day I was writing about I saw two trees in one block like this. I have watched the fruit rot under one of them, year after year. Those trees were in front of the houses. Most people have their fruit trees in their back yard.so I would imagine the actual amount of wasted fruit would be staggering. I know years ago when I had plum trees I let so much fruit go uneaten.

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      1. I have friends in Albuquerque (the city I just moved from) who are desperately trying to do something with their apples and other fruits. They are overwhelmed with the amount of fruit they have! I wonder if I should mention giving it to homeless shelters to them? I don’t even know if it’s crossed their minds…

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  2. Having been on the side of having to much food people will except the food if you package it up but will not come and get if you expect them to harvest it. Now we have been offered food if we harvest it and don’t have either the time or strength to do the harvesting. This a reason why you see decaying food on the ground. I don’t know the answer.

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    1. The food banks, missions, etc. can’t harvest the fruit, but there are some organizations, such as the City Fruit one I mentioned in the post whose purpose is to harvest unwanted fruit. It would make an interesting neighborhood project. Or it might be a good project for a church or other service organization.

      Thanks for commenting. You’ve given me some new ideas! 🙂

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  3. hello karuna its dennis the vizsla dog hay hmm wel the way we yoozed to not wayst froots and vedjtabulz wuz to giv them to tucker but sinse he is gawn and i am not a fan of either wun i gess we wil need to figger sumthing else owt!!! ok bye

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