looking back to look ahead blogClimate

Looking Back to Look Ahead: An Overview of 2022

Overview

With 2023 well underway, it is important to take some time to reflect on last year in order to plan for this one. Taking a moment to reflect is key to setting up goals that align with your values, are efficient, effective, and achievable, and push you out of your comfort zone. 

In this article, I will:

  • discuss Food Finders’ impact in 2022,
  • reflect on the implementation of SB 1383, and 
  • provide three key ideas that Food Finders must keep in mind for the new year.

Food Finders: Statistics in 2022

In 2022, Food Finders continued its mission of reducing food waste by reallocating edible surplus to those who are food insecure throughout Southern California. The organization rescued 13,386,801 pounds of food and provided 11,155,668 meals. Through their rescues, Food Finders diverted 7,269,033 million pounds of C02 emissions and saved 6,104,381,256 gallons of water. Food Finders’ mission is to simultaneously reduce food waste and food insecurity through strategic surplus diversion and reallocation. These environmentally conscious goals mitigate the effects of climate change and provide much needed food. Finding methods that solve multiple problems at once is the kind of thinking that guides us closer to a sustainable future.

Greenhouse gas emissions such as methane is released from landfills in huge quantities that pose a threat to human health, NPR.

SB 1383: California’s Law to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

On September 19, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1383 into law which established a statewide initiative to reduce emissions produced by short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP). The targets aim to reduce edible food and organic waste disposal by 75% by 2025, and to rescue at least 20% of disposed edible food to be allocated for human consumption by 2025. The law actually expands upon AB 341 (Mandatory Commercial Recycling) and AB 1826 (Mandatory Commercial Organics) which focused on commercial waste diversion and recycling. SB 1383, on the other hand, applies similar guidelines to residents and property managers and owners. Under the bill—which went into effect on January 1, 2022—jurisdictions are required to provide “organic waste collection services to all single-family and multifamily residences.”

The efforts to reduce food waste reflect the increasing threat greenhouse gases pose for Californians, especially to those with health conditions. In California, organic waste left in landfills release 20% of all methane, a gas that is a “climate super pollutant 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide.” According to the EPA, reducing the presence of food and organic waste in landfills in the United States helps reduce climate change since more than 15% of methane emissions caused by humans come from municipal solid waste landfills. In 2019, those landfills emitted almost 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent of methane. California’s dumps in landfills are 50% food scraps, yard trimmings, and cardboard which reflects the need for more conscious efforts when throwing away trash. 

California has specific targets that need to be met in order to reach the goals set by SB 1383, Waste Dive.

SB 1383: Changes, Progress, and What’s Next

According to Waste Dive, California estimates that it will need to prevent 27 million tons of organic waste from ending up in landfills annually by 2025. Unfortunately, 18 million tons of the waste is not “eligible for edible food recovery.” One challenge that companies are facing with implementation lies in the composting infrastructure and equipment to meet the requirements. Some owners have resorted to either selling their businesses to larger competitors or finding new investors.

One major effect that has threatened the timeline is the COVID-19 pandemic. The start of the pandemic impacted the 2020 goals and now California is under pressure to “make up for lost time.” On September 8, 2022, the Hearing on Organic Waste Recycling was held during which Shereen D’Souza, CalEPA’s deputy secretary for climate policy and intergovernmental relations, stated that “it makes sense that the 2020 diversion rates required in 1383 were not met” since the regulations of SB 1383 only became enforceable in 2022. Despite these setbacks, D’Souza concluded that “local jurisdictions are making a lot of progress” since January of last year.

Although the law was passed in 2016, SB 1383 regulations were only enforced in 2022, CalCities.

The most notable changes have been the arrival of waste bins for residents to use. CalRecycle believes that most jurisdictions have adopted the “standard” model or the three-bin system which might be the case since the law’s regulations make “three carts the smoothest path to compliance.” Overall, it is still too early to determine the total effects of SB 1383’s implementation. The Little Hoover Commission, an independent state oversight agency, is currently conducting a study that will “assess how California’s organics recycling law is implemented, examine what impact it has on the state’s environmental goals, and provide recommendations to the Governor and Legislature for any changes.” 

Three Key Areas for Food Finders

As Food Finders’ Community Outreach and Advocacy Intern, I have been tasked with reaching out to different organizations in the industry to understand what their goals are and how they became involved in policy and advocacy work. Over the past few months, I have met with several local and out-of-state organizations who are focused on ending food insecurity, food waste, or like Food Finders, work at the intersection of both issues. Each organization has provided me with insight that exposes their core values which inform their goals and plans regarding policy advocacy. From these meetings, I have compiled three major takeaways that should guide Food Finders in its development of a policy and advocacy agenda that creates lasting systemic change.

Grounding the policy work in the community 

In every single meeting I have had so far, the importance of community has been at the forefront of the conversation. The idea that policy should address the needs of a community cannot be more obvious, and yet, it is often inexplicably neglected. The community should always be involved in decision-making that affects their lives because they carry knowledge that is crucial to their own betterment and longevity. When the policy doesn’t represent the people or align with the community values and concerns, even the kindest intentions are rendered useless without consent and accordance on multiple levels.

One way to create a space for this kind of dialogue is through the inception of a community-led policy council. Oregon Food Bank, an Oregon-based organization that aims to address the root causes of hunger in order to eradicate it, created its Policy Leadership Council in 2021. The Council is composed of community members who are BIPOC, LGBT, have experienced food insecurity and “some sort of oppression” in their lives. Simply put, the Council is made of community members and the community informs the direction of their advocacy. Without input from the Council, the Board would not know how best to address the issues that impact their community. 

Taking the pulse of the community

Taking the pulse of the community regarding food insecurity and food waste is crucial before taking the next step towards policy advocacy. Since Food Finders focuses on finding food (as well as distributing, reallocating, and reducing waste), understanding how the community views the issues of food insecurity, waste, and its impact on the environment is important. Simply asking the questions of What do they know? and What do they want to know? can open up a dialogue and clear the pathway toward aligning food waste and insecurity policies with the values of the community. 

Recognizing the social issues that impact food insecurity

My third and final takeaway encompasses not just food insecurity, but what causes food insecurity. A lack of food does not equal food insecurity which is why more food (read: food waste and overproduction) is not the solution to this persistent problem. Other social circumstances that affect food insecurity are poverty or low income, lack of affordable housing, lack of access to healthcare, and systemic racism and racial discrimination. Thus, addressing the root causes of food insecurity has to be a priority in order to do more than place a band-aid on an already infected wound. Addressing issues such as homelessness, low wages, and affordable housing is what can eliminate food insecurity once and for all.

Homelessness and food insecurity

In 2022, California contributed to 30% of the country’s homeless population even though the state makes up less than 12% of the country’s total population. According to CalMatters, California’s homeless population grew by 22,000 during the pandemic. Although the state’s investment in shelters is “bearing fruit,” there still isn’t enough “permanent, affordable housing to bring people indoors for good.” On February 24, 2022, the “Homeless Count” in Long Beach determined that 1,801 people were living on the streets or other locations, 485 people were found living in cars, vans, and RVs, and 1,009 people were living in emergency shelters and transitional housing programs. Since 2020, there has been a 123% increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness who are sheltered in Long Beach. As we know, newly-elected Mayor Rex Richardson (who recently visited my college campus), undoubtedly has made it clear that homelessness, an issue that affects everyone and spans across the state of California, is a major priority for his administration. During his State of the City on January 10, 2023, Mayor Richardson listed homelessness and stable housing as the first key area to address in his first 100 days. 

On February 24, 2022, 69% of the total homeless population were unsheltered in Long Beach, City of Long Beach.

Another area the pandemic affected was food insecurity. The pandemic exacerbated food insecurity across the nation with the USDA reporting that 13.5 million US households were food insecure in 2021. According to the California Association of Food Banks, 8 million California residents struggle with food insecurity and in Los Angeles County, 30% of low-income residents don’t know where their next meal will come from. Homelessness and hunger are very much linked to one another since individuals experiencing homelessness are often food insecure.

Edible Food Waste: The Solution to Feeding Long Beach’s Homeless Population?

Mayor Richardson’s decision to tackle homelessness in Long Beach is commendable and shows a dedication to all the residents of the city, even the ones who are often invisible. This hefty endeavor will require cooperation and collaboration between different levels of government, various sectors and industries, and the local community. According to Stanford’s Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), accelerated production of affordable housing, reforms to the criminal justice system, and vast improvements in mental health care are crucial to address California’s homeless problem. Although hunger wasn’t explicitly identified, caring for unhoused residents includes addressing their most basic needs. 

Food waste is an issue that often flies under the radar. Consumers rarely stop and wonder what happens to those packed shelves and towering fruit displays when the store closes. In reality, 30% of the food in American grocery stores is thrown away while a significant amount of food doesn’t even make it to shelves due to cosmetic “imperfections.” Food Finders already works hard to intercept food destined for the landfills so that perfectly edible food can be enjoyed by those who need it throughout Southern California. The bottom line is that there is enough food out there. SB 1383 requires that at least 20% of edible food is recovered for human consumption by 2025, which will result in a “boom” in rescued food. It might be worth noting for Mayor Richardson’s administration that when they are searching for a way to feed the city’s unhoused residents, the food might already be there.

What Can You Do To Help?

Food Finders works daily to change how edible food waste is distributed to eliminate hunger and food insecurity. If you would like more information, please visit our website, volunteer, or support our mission to eliminate hunger and food waste by making a donation today.

#sb1383 #foodwaste #climatechange #foodinsecurity #homelessness #longbeach

Nickee O’Bryant is the Community Outreach and Advocacy Intern at Food Finders. She is a senior at California State University, Long Beach and is studying International Studies and French and Francophone Studies. Through monthly blog posts, Nickee documents her journey as she learns more about food insecurity, food waste, and how they are interconnected.

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Climate

Why Meatless Mondays?

Join Food Finders in our weekly #MeatlessMonday posts and recipes. Taking one day a week to eat “meatless” is of the utmost importance, especially in the United States, as we consume much more animal products than the rest of the world. Below are some of the reasons that we spotlight these recipes:

  • Meatless Monday is of utmost importance, especially in the United States, as we consume much more animal products than the rest of the world.
  • The meat industry uses vast amounts of our finite fossil fuels and water and lots of grain to feed livestock, which is extremely inefficient. Why not use those resources to feed people more directly?
  • About 1,850 gallons of water is needed to produce a singular pound of beef, comparable to only 39 gallons of water per pound of vegetables. A vegetarian diet alone could dramatically reduce water consumption by 58% per person!
  • Meat production also is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, which has proven to correlate to the climate change crisis. 
  • Some benefits of eating plant-based once a week include:
    • Save 133 gallons of water with each meatless meal!
    • Reduce your carbon footprint by 8 pounds each Meatless Monday you participate in
    • If you commit to participating in Meatless Monday every Monday, that is equivalent to skipping one serving of beef for a year, would save the same amount of emissions as driving 348 miles in a car.

Why Meatless Monday? Some avoid meat products for environmental reasons, or for their love of animals, and ethically oppose consuming animal products. Others go meatless to live longer, healthier lives. A lot of scientific research points to significant health benefits of eating vegetarian, and even the federal government recommends consuming most of our calories from grain products, vegetables, and fruit. An estimated 70 percent of all diseases are related to diet, and that’s just one benefit of a meatless diet. 

Ward Off Disease

Vegetarian diets are shown to have more health benefits than the average American’s diet. Eating meatless can help treat and prevent heart disease and reduce the risk of certain cancers. A low-fat vegetarian diet is a major way to prevent the progression of coronary artery disease, and can help prevent it entirely. Cardiovascular disease kills 1 million Americans annually and is the leading cause of death in the United States.

To Help Reduce Pollution

The meat industry has huge, devastating effects on our environment. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), chemical waste and animal waste runoff from factory farms is responsible for 173,000 miles of polluted rivers and streams. This runoff flowing into farmland is one of the greatest threats to water quality today. Agricultural activities that cause pollution include confined animal facilities, plowing, pesticide spraying, irrigation, fertilizing and harvesting.

Create a Plate Full of Color

Disease-fighting phytochemicals give fruits and vegetables their rich, varied hues. They come in two main classes: carotenoids and anthocyanins. Carotenoids include rich yellow and orange fruits: carrots, oranges, sweet potatoes, mangoes, pumpkins, corn. Leafy greens are also full of carotenoids, owing their color to chlorophyll. Anthocyanins cover all red, blue, and purple fruits and vegetables: plums, cherries, red bell peppers. Planning meals and rotation by color will help boost your immunity and prevent a range of diseases. 

Help End World Hunger

On Average, 40% of grain worldwide is fed to animals, in wealthier countries grain used for feed is around 70%. If these crops were used to feed people rather than animals, roughly 70% more food would be added to the world’s supply. This would be enough to feed 4 billion additional people, and the sudden surplus of this food alone would feed over half the Earth’s population; let alone the 795 million who face hunger every day.

Finding good-for-you and great-tasting vegetarian foods is almost effortless nowadays. Walking down the aisles at a supermarket or down the street during lunch, vegetarian options are abundant. The internet, or a local bookstore are also a great resource for delicious at-home recipes. Even eating out, including fast-food, it’s not difficult to find vegetarian options. Their menus usually will now include healthful salad, sandwiches, and entrees on their menus. So instead of asking ‘Why Meatless Mondays?’, instead ask why not.


Asaph. (2022, May 18). Why Be a Vegetarian? Consider Your Health. Vegetarian Times. Retrieved January 9, 2023.

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Climate

Classic Potato Latkes

#MeatlessMonday

This recipe is for a classic, unadorned latke; no kohlrabi or cumin here. Serve them hot and make more than you think you need. They go fast.

Ingredients

  • 2 large Russet potatoes (about 1 pound), scrubbed and cut lengthwise into quarters
  • 1 large onion (8 ounces), peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon fine sea salt), plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Safflower or other oil, for frying

Cooking Instructions

  1. Using a food processor with a coarse grating disc, grate the potatoes and onion. Transfer the mixture to a clean dishtowel and squeeze and wring out as much of the liquid as possible.
  2. Working quickly, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the eggs, flour, salt, baking powder and pepper, and mix until the flour is absorbed.
  3. In a medium heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat, pour in about ¼ inch of the oil. Once the oil is hot (a drop of batter placed in the pan should sizzle), use a heaping tablespoon to drop the batter into the hot pan, cooking in batches. Use a spatula to flatten and shape the drops into discs. When the edges of the latkes are brown and crispy, about 5 minutes, flip. Cook until the second side is deeply browned, about another 5 minutes. Transfer the latkes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and sprinkle with salt while still warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.
    ****************

Why Meatless Monday?

  • Meatless Monday is of utmost importance, especially in the United States, as we consume much more animal products than the rest of the world.
  • The meat industry uses vast amounts of our finite fossil fuels and water and lots of grain to feed livestock, which is extremely inefficient. Why not use those resources to feed people more directly?
  • About 1,850 gallons of water is needed to produce a singular pound of beef, comparable to only 39 gallons of water per pound of vegetables. A vegetarian diet alone could dramatically reduce water consumption by 58% per person!
  • Meat production also is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, which has proven to correlate to the climate change crisis. 
  • Some benefits of eating plant-based once a week include:
    • Save 133 gallons of water with each meatless meal!
    • Reduce your carbon footprint by 8 pounds each Meatless Monday you participate in
    • If you commit to participating in Meatless Monday every Monday, that is equivalent to skipping one serving of beef for a year, would save the same amount of emissions as driving 348 miles in a car.

Clark, M. (2012, November 30). Classic potato latkes. The New York Times. Retrieved November 17, 2022.

If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #meatlessmondays, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#meatlessmonday #foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #improvenutrition #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #Volunteer #Charity #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Climate

Best Stuffing Recipe

#MeatlessMondays

Happy Thanksgiving! This classic stuffing recipe is the BEST Thanksgiving side dish! Leeks, celery, and fresh herbs fill it with rich, savory flavor.

Serves: 8

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 small loaf (1 pound) day-old crusty sourdough bread, (not sandwich bread)
  • ½ cup salted butter or vegan butter
  • 2 leeks, halved, thinly sliced, and rinsed well (2 cups)
  • 4 celery stalks, diced (1¾ cups)
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped sage
  • Heaping ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1½ to 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease an 8×11 or 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Tear the bread into 1-inch pieces and place in a very large bowl.
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes, turning the heat to low halfway through. Pour the leek mixture over the bread and sprinkle with the sage, parsley, rosemary, and thyme. Use your hands to toss until coated. Pour 1½ cups of the broth evenly over the stuffing and toss to coat. Add the eggs and toss again. The bread should feel pretty wet. If it’s still a bit dry, mix in the remaining ½ cup of broth. The amount you use will depend on how dense and dry your bread was.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish. If making ahead, stop here, cover the dish with foil, and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
  5. When ready to bake, drizzle the olive oil on top and bake, covered, for 30 minutes. If the stuffing is still pretty wet, uncover the dish and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes to crisp the top a bit.

Why Meatless Monday?

  • Meatless Monday is of utmost importance, especially in the United States, as we consume much more animal products than the rest of the world.
  • The meat industry uses vast amounts of our finite fossil fuels and water and lots of grain to feed livestock, which is extremely inefficient. Why not use those resources to feed people more directly?
  • About 1,850 gallons of water is needed to produce a singular pound of beef, comparable to only 39 gallons of water per pound of vegetables. A vegetarian diet alone could dramatically reduce water consumption by 58% per person!
  • Meat production also is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, which has proven to correlate to the climate change crisis. 
  • Some benefits of eating plant-based once a week include:
    • Save 133 gallons of water with each meatless meal!
    • Reduce your carbon footprint by 8 pounds each Meatless Monday you participate in
    • If you commit to participating in Meatless Monday every Monday, that is equivalent to skipping one serving of beef for a year, would save the same amount of emissions as driving 348 miles in a car.

If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #meatlessmondays, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com. If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#meatlessmonday #foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #improvenutrition #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #Volunteer #Charity #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Climate

Tips for Reducing Your Food Waste This Thanksgiving

#WhyWasteFoodWednesday

#WhyWasteFoodWednesday is a call to action to take those almost-in-the-trash food items and turn them into delicious meals!

At least 1.3 billion tons of food is lost or wasted every year around the world—in fields, during transport, in storage, at restaurants, and in our homes! If each individual made a call to action to stop their own food waste–the planet benefits, we have less hunger, and your own grocery bills will go down through the savings.

UN Food & Agricultural

How to Reduce Food Waste at Thanksgiving Dinner

Food waste is a year-round concern, and the large Thanksgiving meal can present a challenge. You’re buying many more ingredients, and you’re making large-scale recipes with lots of potential leftovers. You may be preoccupied with the business of the holiday season, so keeping your food waste in mind can become a small concern. But there are easy ways to reduce food waste and, therefore your environmental impact, even around the holidays. Here are a few tips geared toward Thanksgiving dinner.

Plan How Much Food to Make

Until you know how many people you’re cooking for, you’ll be unable to plan portions accurately. Press for answers and get people to commit. Not only will this ensure you’re not overcooking, it will also benefit party planning in general.

Make an Entire Thanksgiving with Fewer Ingredients 

The variety of dishes is a key part of Thanksgiving dinners. Part of the problem is that it can mean separate lists of ingredients for every recipe. But it’s ok if there’s some overlap between your courses; it’s smart, thrifty, and eco-friendly, because it means less packaging and less of a chance that you’re going to have lots of half-used bottles and cans hanging around your fridge or pantry waiting to go bad. Even better, synchronizing ingredients and flavors can make your meal seem like a well-thought-out package and make you look like a genius menu planner. 

Use Every Ingredient Wisely

After you’ve shopped and before you reach the leftovers phase, there are ways to make smart use of the extra bits of various ingredients. A great read is a piece by Food editor Joe Yonan’s; “root-to-leaf and seed-to-stem cooking.” He shows you how to use the more expected seeds and the less expected peels of butternut squash for a crispy garnish that would work on any soup or salad. When you have peels left from an apple pie, toss them with cinnamon, sugar, and lemon juice and then bake them to make crisps. At the very least, hang on to scraps for vegetable broth. Freeze the scraps, or make the broth and then freeze that.

The same line of thought applies to whatever meat you may be serving, as well. Rendered or strained fat can be refrigerated and saved for roasting vegetables or sautéing ingredients for hash made from leftovers. Get the most out of your turkey carcass by simmering them with some aromatics for an outstanding stock to be used in future soups. Giblets included with your turkey can become part of the dressing or gravy. Extra pie crust or crust trimmings can be brushed in butter, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, twisted into any shape you want and baked for a quick sweet treat.

How to Use and Store Leftovers

Even if you’ve calculated the exact amount for the number of people at your Thanksgiving, you’re probably going to end up with at least some leftovers. And, to many, leftovers are an important part of Thanksgiving.

To prepare, have lots of containers for packing up food on hand. Your usual glass or plastic hard-sided options are perfect. If you’re planning to send guests home with food, consider asking them to bring their own storage containers. That way, no one is scrambling when it comes time to pack up.

And be mindful of how long food is put out for. Perishable food, including turkey and many sides, can be left at room temperature for 2 hours. Even less is better, so as soon as everyone is done eating, start cleaning up, as much of a drag as it can be. Eat your refrigerated leftovers within four days. If you need to buy yourself more time, go ahead and freeze them before the four days are out, though ideally sooner for the best quality. Hand out leftovers to guests when they leave.


Krystal, B. (2022, November 10). Advice | how to reduce food waste at Thanksgiving dinner. The Washington Post. Retrieved November 14, 2022.

If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #whywastewednesday, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#whywastewednesday  #foodfindersinc  #foodrescue #stopfoodwaste #reducehunger #improvenutrition #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #Volunteer #Charity #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Climate

The Best Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce

#MeatlessMonday

Look no further for the Best Ever Cranberry Sauce! This easy and delightful recipe takes only 15 minutes to make and a handful of ingredients! Spiced with cinnamon and sweetened with orange juice, it is the best combination of sweet and tart! The perfect complement to your holiday meal! 

One Thanksgiving recipe that often seems to be overlooked is the cranberry sauce. So many people go for the canned stuff, and while it’s great in a pinch, it doesn’t even come close to homemade.

Cranberry Sauce for the Holidays

Cranberry sauce is an essential part of every holiday meal for one simple reason – it cuts through the heaviness of all the other dishes. It’s light, it’s bright, and it’s actually pretty darn healthy. Adding orange and cinnamon to cranberry sauce really gives it more depth of flavor and sweetens it just slightly. It’s still lovely and tart, but not quite so tart that you’ll be puckering your lips.

Can I Make This in Advance

You betcha! In fact, this is a great make-ahead recipe. It’s served chilled so you need to make it at least one day in advance anyways. The flavor is even better after two or three days so if you have time beforehand, consider just getting this recipe out of the way at the beginning of the week. Another note: you might want to double the recipe for plenty of leftovers!

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup water
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries rinsed and picked through
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 piece of orange peel just use a potato peel or paring knife

Cranberry sauce is the perfect way to cut through the heaviness of a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and it adds a gorgeous pop of color and flavor to every bite. I hope you give this super easy recipe a try this holiday season!

Cooking Instructions

  1. Combine sugar, orange juice, and water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine.
  2. Add cranberries, salt, cinnamon stick and orange peel.
  3. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  4. Continue cooking, for about 10 minutes, or until all or most of the cranberries have popped. I like to leave a handful of berries whole.
  5. Let cool for at least 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  6. Can be made up to 3 days in advance.

Nutrition

Calories: 100kcal 

Carbohydrates: 25g

Sodium: 2mg

Potassium: 67mg

Fiber: 2g

Sugar: 21g

Vitamin A: 55IU

Vitamin C: 13.4mg

Calcium: 9mg

Iron: 0.2mg


Why Meatless Monday?

  • Meatless Monday is of utmost importance, especially in the United States, as we consume much more animal products than the rest of the world.
  • The meat industry uses vast amounts of our finite fossil fuels and water and lots of grain to feed livestock, which is extremely inefficient. Why not use those resources to feed people more directly?
  • About 1,850 gallons of water is needed to produce a singular pound of beef, comparable to only 39 gallons of water per pound of vegetables. A vegetarian diet alone could dramatically reduce water consumption by 58% per person!
  • Meat production also is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, which has proven to correlate to the climate change crisis. 
  • Some benefits of eating plant-based once a week include:
    • Save 133 gallons of water with each meatless meal!
    • Reduce your carbon footprint by 8 pounds each Meatless Monday you participate in
    • If you commit to participating in Meatless Monday every Monday, that is equivalent to skipping one serving of beef for a year, would save the same amount of emissions as driving 348 miles in a car.

***

Timeout, T.- M. O. (2019, November 12). The best cranberry sauce: Ready in 15 minutes! Mom On Timeout. Retrieved November 14, 2022.

If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #meatlessmondays, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate #meatlessmonday #foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #improvenutrition #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #Volunteer #Charity #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Climate

Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta with Ratatouille

#MeatlessMondays

Classic French ratatouille sounds fancy, but is actually a simple, lovely way of cooking vegetables that are all in season at the same time together in a single plan. Ratatouille together with creamy polenta make a dinner that’s at once hearty and warming, fresh and oh-so-flavorful.

“Ratatouille—a classic combination of late summer vegetables, cooked to tender perfection—is an ideal partner for creamy goat cheese polenta. Together, they’re the vegetarian dinner of your dreams!”

The Modern Proper

Serves: 6 minutes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Calories: 513

Ratatouille

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 1 small globe eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 medium yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 yellow, red, or orange bell pepper cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed

Polenta

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups whole milk, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups stone-ground polenta or yellow cornmeal
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 10 to 12 fresh basil leaves, minced

Cooking Instructions

  1. Make the ratatouille. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and rub the cut sides of the garlic clove all over the bottom and sides. Discard the garlic clove.
  2. On a clean work surface, spread out the eggplant, zucchini, squash, bell pepper, tomato, and onion. Drizzle them with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with the garlic powder, salt, and black pepper to taste. Toss to coat well.
  3. Transfer the veggies to the prepared baking dish.. Scatter on the thyme leaves.
  4. Cover. and bake for 20 minutes, then uncover and continue baking until the vegetables are tender, about 25 more minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the polenta. In a medium pan, combine the stock, milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the polenta.
  6. Cook, stirring often, until the polenta begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 6 ounces of the goat cheese. If you’d like the polenta a bit thinner, stir in a bit more milk.
  8. To serve, divide the polenta evenly among six bowls and spoon on a generous serving of the ratatouille. Top with additional goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, and basil. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

  • Protein: 18g
  • Carbohydrates: 56g
  • Total Fat: 25g
  • Dietary Fiber: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 45mg
  • Sodium: 1213mg
  • Total Sugars: 12g

Why Meatless Monday?

  • Meatless Monday is of utmost importance, especially in the United States, as we consume much more animal products than the rest of the world.
  • The meat industry uses vast amounts of our finite fossil fuels and water and lots of grain to feed livestock, which is extremely inefficient. Why not use those resources to feed people more directly?
  • About 1,850 gallons of water is needed to produce a singular pound of beef, comparable to only 39 gallons of water per pound of vegetables. A vegetarian diet alone could dramatically reduce water consumption by 58% per person!
  • Meat production also is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, which has proven to correlate to the climate change crisis. 
  • Some benefits of eating plant-based once a week include:
    • Save 133 gallons of water with each meatless meal!
    • Reduce your carbon footprint by 8 pounds each Meatless Monday you participate in
    • If you commit to participating in Meatless Monday every Monday, that is equivalent to skipping one serving of beef for a year, would save the same amount of emissions as driving 348 miles in a car.

***

If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #meatlessmondays, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

Creamy goat cheese polenta with ratatouille. The Modern Proper. (n.d.). Retrieved November 1, 2022.

#meatlessmonday #foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #improvenutrition #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #Volunteer #Charity #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Climate

Corn Husk Smocked Chicken

#WhyWasteFoodWednesday

#WhyWasteFood Wednesday is a call to action to take those almost-in-the-trash food items and turn them into delicious meals!

At least 1.3 billion tons of food is lost or wasted every year around the world—in fields, during transport, in storage, at restaurants, and in our homes! If each individual made a call to action to stop their own food waste–the planet benefits, we have less hunger, and your own grocery bills will go down through the savings.

UN Food & Agriculture

Scraps: Corn Cobs, Corn Husks, Corn Silks

Corn Husk Smoked Chicken

Corn is delicious, but creates more waste than what ends up on the plate. That’s the inspiration behind this dish. This is a delicious dinner that uses all the parts that typically end up in the compost. 

Creamy Polenta

Ingredients

  • 5 corn cobs
  • 1½ tsp (9g) kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup (90g) coarse ground cornmeal 
  • 2 tbsp (30g) freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano 
  • 1 tbsp (14g) unsalted butter

Directions

  1. In a heavy-based saucepan, combine the corn cobs with enough water to cover them. Heat over medium-high heat just until it begins to boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 1 hour, covered. 
  2. Strain and discard the corn cobs. Return the corn stock to the stove and simmer over medium-high heat. Add the kosher salt. Add the cornmeal and whisk the mixture as it comes to a boil. Continue whisking for an additional 3 minutes. 3 4 
  3. Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan, and cook the polenta, stirring every  5 minutes or so (switch to a wooden spoon from this point forward), until the cornmeal is completely cooked and quite tender,  2½ to 3½ hours. It may seem too thin initially, but it will gradually thicken.  As the polenta cooks, a skin will form on the bottom and sides of the pan (if you are not using a non-stick pan), which is proper and gives the polenta a slightly toasty flavor. 
  4. Fold in the cheese and butter until fully incorporated.

Corn Silk

Ingredients 

  • 2 cobs of corn worth of corn silk 
  • 4 cups (1 L) canola oil 
  • ½ tsp (3 g) kosher salt 
  • ¼ tsp (1 g) smoked paprika

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 165F(75C)
  2. discard any dark brown/black silk. Transfer the remaining silk to a parchment lined baking sheet and dehydrate in the oven overnight. 
  3. Fill a heavy-bottomed pot with oil and bring to 400°F (205°C) over medium heat and fry the silk for 15 seconds, or until crispy and golden. 
  4. Transfer to a paper towel to drain, and season with kosher salt and smoked paprika.

Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 whole corn husks 
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, skin on 
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) canola oil 
  • 1½ tsp (9 g) kosher salt 
  • 2 tsp (2 g) rosemary, finely chopped 
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced 
  • 1 cup (125 g) chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and torn

Directions

  1. Submerge the corn husks in cold water and soak for 1 hour. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). 
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken with 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the canola oil, 1 tsp (3 g)  of kosher salt, 1 tsp (1 g) of rosemary, and 2 cloves of garlic. 
  4. Drain the corn husks and place in an ovenproof pan. Warm the husks over medium-high heat until they begin  to smoke. immediately transfer to the bottom of the oven. 
  5. In a different ovenproof pan, warm the remaining canola oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers and runs easily across the pan. Add the chicken breasts, skin side down, and cook until the skin turns a medium golden brown. Flip the chicken breasts over and transfer to the oven. Be sure to turn on your hood fan as the smoke from the corn husks will billow from the oven and potentially irritate your eyes. roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked completely. 
  6. Transfer the chicken to a plate to rest. return the pan to the stovetop over medium-high heat and add the chanterelle mushrooms. Once they begin to sizzle in the rendered chicken fat and juices, add the remaining rosemary and garlic. Cook for another minute and remove the pan from heat.

Plating

Place half the polenta in the center of a plate and garnish with mushroom-rosemary-garlic mixture. Top with 1 chicken breast and finish with a nest of silk. Repeat with the remaining polenta and chicken breast.


If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #whywastewednesday, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#whywastewednesday  #foodfindersinc  #foodrescue #stopfoodwaste #reducehunger #improvenutrition #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #Volunteer #Charity #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Climate

Flotsam Filo Pie

#WhyWasteWednesday

#WhyWasteFood Wednesday is a call to action to take those almost-in-the-trash food items and turn them into delicious meals!

At least 1.3 billion tons of food is lost or wasted every year around the world—in fields, during transport, in storage, at restaurants, and in our homes! If each individual made a call to action to stop their own food waste–the planet benefits, we have less hunger, and your own grocery bills will go down through the savings.

UN Food & Agriculture

Scraps: leftover meat or fish, leftover vegetables, leftover herb stems

Serves: 6

Prep: 40-45 minutes

Cook: 35-40 minutes

Vardagen: Baking Pan

Flotsam Filo Pie

Filo pie is known as börek in Turkish. It’s a quintessential dish you can eat almost every day, with there being countless varieties that offer different shapes and fillings that will satisfy every taste. This recipe is perfect to change and make the best use of leftover food and still enjoy a tasty, pleasant meal. Serve it with tomato cucumber salad in summer and with mixed salad greens in winter.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (150 g) leftover cooked protein such as fish, beef, lamb
  • 1 cup (90 g) leftover vegetable bits (raw or cooked); can be a mixture, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (200 g) leftover herb stems such as parsley, dill, cilantro, tarragon, chives, or chervil, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • ½ cup (125 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 package filo sheets
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp (9 g) nigella, sesame, caraway, or fennel seeds (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix all chopped ingredients, and depending on their original seasoning, add the salt and black pepper.
  3. Combine the milk and vegetable oil in a small bowl.
  4. Lay the filo sheets on the kitchen counter or a table and cover them with a slightly damp cloth to prevent them from drying and cracking.
  5. Use 2 filo sheets per pie, brushing them with the milk and oil mixture. Spread 2 to 3 tbsp (30 to 45 ml) of filling on 1 long edge, about 1-inch (2½ cm) thick. Roll the filled portion of the sheet loosely to the other end, and then swirl it to create a snail shape. Repeat until all of the filling has been used.
  6. Place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  7. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk with a ½ tsp (2 ml) of water. Brush the mixture onto each pie and sprinkle them with the seeds.
  8. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, and enjoy!

Note

Nigella and sesame seeds pair with any filling, while caraway seeds pair well with a meat filling. Fennel seeds complement any fish or seafood filling.


If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #whywastewednesday, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#whywastewednesday  #foodfindersinc  #foodrescue #stopfoodwaste #reducehunger #improvenutrition #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #Volunteer #Charity #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Halloween Peppers

Happy Halloween!

#MeatlessMondays

Celebrate Halloween with these spooktacular healthy stuffed peppers. They’re perfect for a Halloween buffet or a family dinner ahead of trick-or-treating.

Prep:25 mins

Cook:35 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 small peppers (a mix of orange, red and yellow looks nice)
  • 25g pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 1 red onion , chopped
  • 2 fat garlic cloves , crushed
  • 1 small aubergine , chopped into small pieces
  • 200g pouch mixed grains (we used bulghur wheat and quinoa)
  • 2 tbsp sundried tomato paste
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • bunch basil , chopped

Cooking Instructions

  1. Cut the tops off the peppers (keeping the tops to one side) and remove the seeds and any white flesh from inside. Use a small sharp knife to carve spooky Halloween faces into the sides. Chop any offcuts into small pieces and set aside.
  2. Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for a few mins until golden, and set aside. Heat the oil in the pan, and heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cook the onion in the oil for 8-10 mins until softened. Stir in the garlic, pepper offcuts and aubergine and cook for another 10 mins, until the veggies are soft. Add a splash of water if the pan looks dry. Season.
  3. Squeeze the pouch of grains to break them up, then tip into the pan with the tomato paste. Stir for a minute or two to warm through, then remove from the heat and add the lemon zest, basil and pine nuts.
  4. Fill each pepper with the grain mixture. Replace the lids, using cocktail sticks to secure them in place, and put the peppers in a deep roasting tin with the carved faces facing upwards. Cover with foil and bake for 35 mins, uncovered for the final 10. The peppers should be soft and the filling piping hot.

    Why Meatless Monday?

    • Meatless Monday is of utmost importance, especially in the United States, as we consume much more animal products than the rest of the world.
    • The meat industry uses vast amounts of our finite fossil fuels and water and lots of grain to feed livestock, which is extremely inefficient. Why not use those resources to feed people more directly?
    • About 1,850 gallons of water is needed to produce a singular pound of beef, comparable to only 39 gallons of water per pound of vegetables. A vegetarian diet alone could dramatically reduce water consumption by 58% per person!
    • Meat production also is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, which has proven to correlate to the climate change crisis. 
    • Some benefits of eating plant-based once a week include:
      • Save 133 gallons of water with each meatless meal!
      • Reduce your carbon footprint by 8 pounds each Meatless Monday you participate in
      • If you commit to participating in Meatless Monday every Monday, that is equivalent to skipping one serving of beef for a year, would save the same amount of emissions as driving 348 miles in a car.

    ***

    If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #meatlessmondays, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.

    If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

    #meatlessmonday #foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #improvenutrition #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #Volunteer #Charity #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

    READ MORE
    Two plates of pesto pasta taken from above place on a wooden table on top of green placemats with a glass of water and a wooden cutting board with pesto and a spoon on it.Climate

    Save those Halloween Pumpkin Seeds for this Crispier Pesto Pasta

    #WhyWasteFood Wednesday is a call to action to take those almost-in-the-trash food items and turn them into delicious meals!

    At least 1.3 billion tons of food is lost or wasted every year around the world—in fields, during transport, in storage, at restaurants, and in our homes! If each individual made a call to action to stop their own food waste–the planet benefits, we have less hunger, and your own grocery bills will go down through the savings.

    UN Food & Agricultural

    Scraps: Wilted Greens, Pumpkin Seeds


    This pesto recipe is a wonderful compliment to leafy greens-especially those on the edge of being composted. It can be used in any recipe where you would normally use pesto. Also make delicious use of those leftover pumpkin seeds from your holiday carving. Freshen it up with herbs and your friends won’t even know they are eating salad that has been saved from the compost!

    Ingredients

    Pesto

    • 2 cups (60g) packed mixed greens, slightly wilted
    • 2 cups (60g) packed basil/herb stems
    • 1 cups (118g) pumpkin seeds
    • ½ cup (125ml) olive oil 
    • 1 clove garlic 
    • Salt to taste 

    Pasta

    • 7 oz (200g) penne or any dried pasta
    • ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 cup (150g) cherry tomatoes 
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 1 tbsp (15ml) pesto (recipe above)
    • ¼ (7½ g) arugula leaves
    • 2 tsbp (30ml) fresh lemon juice
    • ¼ cup (60g) parmesan cheese, grated

    Directions

    Pesto

    1. Place all Ingredients in a blender and let it rip. Set aside for pasta. 

    Pasta

    1. In a large pot, boil water and cook the pasta according to package directions. Strain and set aside. 
    2. In the same pot, over medium heat, ass the olive oil and sweat the garlic and cherry tomatoes with a generous pinch of salt 
    3. Add the cooked pasta and toss, then add a large tablespoon of pesto and toss
    4. Season with salt, and stir in arugula leaves 
    5. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice and grated parmesan

    Notes

    To prevent the color of the pesto from browning, blanch the greens and herbs in boiling water for 45 seconds. Cool over an ice bath before using. 

    The 3 P’s

    Pickle, preserve, and pesto. Think of this as a kitchen mantra (or a delightful tongue twister). For just about every fruit, vegetable, or herb you can think of, there’s at least one pickle, preserve, or pesto you can turn it into. Turn your wilting greens into pesto. Save up your bruised fruit in the freezer and turn it into jam. Pickle your wrinkling veggies and enjoy them later.

    You can also use herbs, garlic, chilies, and lemons to infuse cooking oil. Your taste buds will be most grateful. Use a simple jar or bottle like Korken and watch the magic happen. 


    If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #whywastewednesday, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.

    If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

    #whywastewednesday  #foodfindersinc  #foodrescue #stopfoodwaste #reducehunger #improvenutrition #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #Volunteer #Charity #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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