We came across a statement recently that led us to pause and reflect: the healthier a person’s diet, the more food they throw in the trash.  Unfortunately, we all throw away food (roughly a pound per day in the US), but higher quality diets are linked to higher levels of waste.  What really brought this home for us at Fresh Harvest was that fruits and vegetables are trashed the most, accounting for 39 percent of the total waste. Now, there are some obvious factors at play: primarily, spoiler alert (pun intended)…fruits and veggies are perishable and preservative laden Oreo’s are…eternal?  For good reason then, the study was quick to report that “low quality diets may produce less food waste, but they come with a range of negative impacts, including low nutritional value and higher rates of cropland wasted.”

Farm Dinner Prep | Rodgers Greens and Roots

So we know this doesn’t mean we need to trade our veggies for Hot Takis…hopefully that doesn’t need further explanation.  But it does mean it’s worth reflecting on the fact that those of us with a healthier diet are wasting more food.  We’ll share some creative tips this summer on how to reduce our veggie waste, but for now, we’d love to share why we think it’s important to care.  There are plenty of reasons why we should care about reducing our food waste (environmental, social, economic) – but I’m not sure any of those matter without first addressing our own perspective.

Ashley Rodgers | Rodgers Greens and Roots

At the most basic level, we should care about our food waste because it is a privilege to have access to the highest quality food on the planet.  It is SO easy to forget this isn’t the norm for the majority of the world around us. I bring home a ton of produce every week – perks of the gig.  But over time, like anything else that’s readily available, it can lose its value and appeal. It gets easier to toss something wilty or an item that seems like a burden to prepare. I recently spent a couple days at Rodgers Greens & Roots, one of our partner farms, and it put things back into perspective. When I saw firsthand all the work that goes into the food we eat, it was a great reminder of how fortunate I am to consume something as healthy, delicious, and unique as a local organic strawberry.

Rodgers Greens and Roots Organic Farm

So often I say to my kids, “be thankful for what you have”, but I need to be reminded just as frequently. Consuming as if it’s something we deserve is what leads to a pound of food thrown in the trash every day.  Remembering it is a privilege and great responsibility to eat fresh, organic food would certainly minimize our food waste and probably change our outlook on life along the way.  If you’re new to Fresh Harvest and feel like you’re throwing out food more than you’re used to, be encouraged that eating more fruits and veggies comes with a learning curve!  We’re here to help.  Our summer series will provide specific tools on how to reduce fruit and veggie waste in your own kitchen.  We believe good perspective and some helpful tools will make for positive change!