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.

READ MORE
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

READ MORE
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

READ MORE
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

READ MORE
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

READ MORE
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

READ MORE
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

READ MORE
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

READ MORE

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
    WH-Hunger-ConferenceHunger

    Food Insecurity and Food Waste: A Review of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

    Overview

    On September 28, 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration held the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. As Food Finders’ new Outreach and Advocacy intern, I have been asked to review the conference, which is the first of its kind in over 50 years. The goal of the conference is to end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity in order to reduce diet-related diseases in Americans by 2030. The Biden-Harris administration announced that they had received over $8 billion in private- and public-sector commitments. There are over 20 partners, including AARP, Chobani, Doordash, Google, and the University of California System. Each group pledges to create programs that address food-insecure vulnerable populations by improving access to nutrition programs in the United States. 

    The areas I will cover in the post are:

    • the five pillars identified in the National Strategy,
    • how the pillars relate to Food Finders’ mission, and 
    • what is missing from the strategy.

    [Photo 1: President Joe Biden speaks during the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health on Sept. 28, 2022, Link]

    “Together, we can build a healthier future for all Americans” – President Joe Biden

    The Five Pillars of the National Strategy

    The National Strategy identified five hefty pillars to address hunger, nutrition, and health:

    1. Improve food access and affordability.
    2. Integrate nutrition and health.
    3. Empower all consumers to make and have access to healthy choices.
    4. Support physical activity for all.
    5. Enhance nutrition and food security research.

    Each pillar aims to address issues that plague our communities and promote healthier lifestyles for children and families through improving access to healthy foods, safe locations for physical activity, and nutrition and health education. The fifth pillar, which focuses on food security research, encompasses all the pillars. Increasing research in these areas would allow organizations to understand just how current and new programs and implementations are impacting the issue of food insecurity. 

    [Photo 2: Impacts of Food Insecurity from the White House National Strategy (page 6) Link]

    Pillar 1 and Food Finders

    While each pillar is important, Pillar 1 aligns the most with Food Finders’ current mission, which is to eliminate hunger and food waste and improve nutrition in food-insecure communities. The first pillar aims to reduce hunger and increase access to healthy meals for everyone first by “helping all Americans become economically secure” through the expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit and increasing the minimum wage (p. 8). Increasing the incomes of households is an incredibly important step toward increasing access to healthy foods. While this pillar focuses on the economic side of food insecurity, Food Finders works to get food directly to those who need it. Food Finders has several programs, such as the Food Rescue Program, Food4Kids, and community Food Hubs. The organization coordinates daily pick-ups of surplus food from grocers, schools, and restaurants through each program. It distributes the food directly to pantries, shelters, youth programs, and senior centers for either hot meals or grocery distribution. Overall, their goal is to keep food from going to waste and divert it to adults, families, and children who need it the most.  

    Panels on the pillars

    The White House held ten panels on the National Strategy Pillars. Each pillar had two panels, and the agenda for each panel and its corresponding YouTube link can be found here. The first panel for Pillar 1 is “Nourishing Brighter Futures: Ensuring affordable food for all children and families.” This panel features several experts discussing the common barriers to food access, such as the stigma around food insecurity and inadequate wages. The discussion emphasizes the importance of nutrition education for children and improving children’s access to food at home for families and at school.

    [Photo 3: Panel 1A Mike Curtin, Jr. moderates a conversation with Shavana Howard, Donna Martin, Mark Ramos, and Shannon Razsadin, YouTube]

    What is Missing From the Strategy?: The Importance of Food Waste

    Despite the enormous negative impact of food waste on the environment, the White House National Strategy dedicates only five bullet points to address food recovery. When uneaten food piles up at the landfill, the decomposition process releases huge amounts of methane gas, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. Wasting food also wastes freshwater, cropland, and fertilizer, not to mention the time and effort put into planting and harvesting the crops by farmers and agricultural workers. 

    [Photo 4: Environmental Impact of Food that is Produced But Never Eaten, ReFED]

    The Strategy cites the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as leading resources for preventing food loss and waste. But it does not mention food surpluses due to overproduction or the efforts of local community organizations to allocate food to the right places. The document also ensures that the Department of the Treasury will “clarify the enhanced charitable deduction calculation to support businesses donating food”. Still, it does not mention the need to support farmers to harvest unprofitable crops due to cosmetic reasons (p. 14). The State of Pennsylvania has a program that does this. Later, in the Call to Action, the Administration asks to state, local, and territory governments to “enact food waste reduction and recovery policies such as providing tax incentives to food donors” (p. 16).

    According to ReFED, 40% of all food is not eaten, while over 50 million Americans remain food insecure. To Food Finders, the issue and solution are obvious, and the organization combines both of these problems to promote a mission that prioritizes sustainability over consumerism and overproduction. In 2021 alone, Food Finders rescued 7.2 billion gallons of water, 8.6 million pounds of CO2 emissions, and provided 13.2 million meals to Southern Californians. This year the organization expects to surpass those numbers. 

    Although the National Strategy is far-reaching in its mission to increase access to healthy foods for Americans, it fails to adequately highlight the need to reduce food waste and its subsequent detrimental impacts on our environment. It also fails to highlight the connection between reducing food insecurity through reducing food waste. While governmental organizations are pushing for change, it would have been very powerful for the White House to give more attention to this aspect of the hunger issue. However, this slight oversight only fortifies Food Finders’ determination to increase the visibility of their efforts on a local and regional level and the efforts of other anti-food waste organizations in the United States. 

    What Can You Do To Help?

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

    #Hunger #Nutrition #Health #WhiteHouse #FoodFinders

    READ MORE
    CANstruction posterCommunity

    CANstruction

    CANstruction is going to be coming to a close soon! There’s still time, today and tomorrow, to head over to the Cove Hotel (200 E Willow St, Long Beach, CA 90806), and check out the three amazing pieces this year’s teams designed and put together. Centered around the theme “Yes She CAN!” the sculptures were made to honor pioneering women of the past and future.

    The first sculpture you’re greeted with is made in honor of Amelia Earhart. Her trailblazing contributions to the field of aviation still have massive impacts today. This sculpture recreates the plane she used to perform many of her feats, the Lockheed Vega. The piece reminds the viewer of the many records she broke during her career, and the massive advancement of women in aviation. Tragically lost over the pacific ocean, in her attempt to fly around the world, her career was cut short. Her tremendous achievements are remembered even today, honored in many ways by men and women who she inspired and who look up to her. This team used some unique tools to achieve the amazing final product. A combination of wire and custom circular attachments at the end of cans allowed them to put together long poles of cans, necessary for their final stunning sculpture. 

    The second sculpture is a re-CANstruction of the Hearst Castle. The castle itself was designed by Julia Morgan, a Civil Engineering graduate of UC Berkeley. In 1919, she was commissioned by William Randolph Hearst to design what would come to be known as the Hearst Castle. This CANstruction pays homage to not only the amazing engineering and design she achieved, but also her long lasting influence and legacy. A women engineer and architect at the turn of the 20th century, who pioneered the way for women in Engineering and Architecture. 

    The final sculpture you’ll come across looks towards the future. It envisions the first female astronaut on the moon. The sculpture relied on the use of different platforms that allowed the designers to create unique shapes, wider in the middle and narrower down at the bottom. We were told the astronaut herself was particularly difficult to build, needing precise measurements and careful balance. The final completion is a beautiful look into the future, what could be and what we can hope and strive for. 

    These sculptures will be up through tomorrow at the Cove Hotel. Come down with cans of your own to vote on your favorite creation, and check back at the end of the week to find out if your favorite won. In benefit of food finders, the cans used for the pieces and the cans donated by patrons will all be collected by Food Finders and redistributed to our partner agencies after the 26th.

    READ MORE
    Food Waste

    Make This Delicious Candied Orange Peel Recipe

    #WhyWasteFoodWednesday

    Can We Reuse Leftover Orange Peels?

    Most of us have probably eaten an orange for a quick snack and thrown away the peel without giving it much thought. But, this action contributes to a bigger problem… our growing landfill epidemic. Fun fact: A shocking 3.8 million tons of orange peels go to waste each year! That’s a huge amount of fruit peels making it to our landfills annually. So, how can we help? Try reusing your leftover citrus peels to make a fun snack! This #WhyWasteWednesday, check out our delicious candied orange peel recipe.

    unpeeled orange with peels left to be discarded
    Unpeeled naval orange with peels left to be discarded.
    candied orange peels
    Candied Orange Peels

    Candied Orange Peel Ingredients

    • 1 large naval orange
    • ¾ cup of sugar
    • ½ cup of water
    • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

    Source: Food Network

    THE STEP BY STEP RECIPE:

    Step 1: Prep the orange peels.

    Cut orange peels.

    For this recipe, you will need to first cut your orange peels strategically to make the most of the fruit scraps. Make about ¾ –1 inch cuts from the orange part of the peel to the green stem. You will need to continue doing so until the peel is completely used. While it might make things easier to use a vegetable peeler, you can also do so by just eye balling it!

    Step 2: Boil water and add your peels.

    Next, bring half a cup of water to a boil in a saucepan. Once the water is boiled, add in the orange peels you’ve just cut! You will want to cook them for about 1 minute. (Try not to go over this time or else they will be too hard.) After doing so, drain water used and run cold water over the peels. Quick Tip: Repeat this step with fresh water for maximum flavor!

    Person boiling water over a stove.

    Step 3: Stir sugar and simmer over medium heat.

    Woman pouring sugar.

    Now it’s time to add the sugar! Stir in the amount needed and wait for it to dissolve. For this step, you will need to put another half cup of water into the saucepan. Make sure to stir until there are no remaining traces of sugar left in the pan. Simmer peels for about 15 minutes or until tender.

    Step 4: Transfer to baking sheet and leave to cool.

    Candied orange peels left to dry

    Make sure to line a pan with parchment paper to place your peels on. You will want to use tongs (or a fork will do the trick) to transfer your peels to parchment paper. After doing so, leave to dry for about 1 hour.

    Step 5: Melt chocolate and drizzle on peels.

    Melted chocolate in bowl.

    Lastly, add the finishing touch…chocolate! You will need melted chocolate for this next portion. Put chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and warm them for about 30 seconds. Then, you can drizzle the chocolate on your orange peels! You will need to leave them on the parchment paper to set, which should take about 15 minutes in the refrigerator.

    Hope you enjoyed this recipe! Be sure to let us know how your candied orange peels came out.

    If you have any other repurposed recipes, please send them to us at marketing@foodfinders.org !

    Make an impact on reducing food waste and eliminating hunger by donating food to our Summer to End Hunger Food Drive.

    READ MORE
    Street Style Elote CornHunger

    Meatless Monday: Elote Corn

    Meatless Monday, A Thoughtful Approach to Preventing Food Waste

    Every other Monday we’ll be spotlighting a #meatlessmonday recipe. The Meatless Monday movement started several years ago to encourage people to reduce their meat consumption for their personal health and the health of our planet. We thought that starting each week by practicing Meatless Monday, the focus at home may also lead people to think more thoughtfully about the food they buy and eat–throwing less away which helps our planet even more!

    Mexican Street Style Elote Corn

    Digital Food Producer , Camille Lowder. “35 Vegetarian BBQ Recipes Perfect for Summer.” Delish, 17 May 2022.

    For this #meatlessmonday we’re sharing a sweet and savory recipe. Elote corn is tangy and spicy, a popular antojito (little craving or street food) originating in Mexico. Often served on a stick, you can skip the skewer and put it right onto the grill. A perfect side to mix up any classic Fourth of July barbecue!  

    Ingredients

    • 6 ears corn, shucked and cleaned
    • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
    • Chili powder
    • 1/3 c. Grated cotija cheese
    • Freshly chopped cilantro
    • Lime wedges, for serving

    Directions

    For the Grill

    1. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high. Grill corn, turning often, until slightly charred all over, about 10 minutes. 
    2. Brush corn with a layer of mayonnaise and sprinkle with chili powder, cotija, and cilantro. Serve warm with lime wedges.

    For the Air Fryer

    1. Cut corn to fit in air-fryer basket. (You may need to cut cobs in half.)
    2. Brush corn all over with olive oil. Working in batches, add corn to air fryer and cook at 400° for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping halfway through, until tender.
    3. Spread 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise onto each cob, then sprinkle with chili powder, Cotija, and cilantro.
    4. Serve warm or at room temperature with lime wedges.

    Yields: 4

    Prep time: 5 minutes

    Total Time: 25 minutes

    Nutrition (per serving): 240 calories, 5 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 17 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 240 mg sodium

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

    READ MORE
    time for spring cleaning food driveEvents

    It’s Time For Spring Cleaning

    Let’s Gear Up for “Summer To End Hunger” Food Donation Event

    Springtime is the best season to think about cleaning out cabinets and drawers and we want to help you make room for summer with some ideas to feel better and make an impact!

    Your Kitchen Cupboards Called to Say: “Help!”

    Overstocked with Pandemic shutdown “hoarding,” our cupboards may be filled with too much food. Check the labels and start putting food items in a box that are not going to get used. Donating overstocked non-perishable foods are a wonderful way to organize and make an impact in your community.

    Food Drives Help To Feed People With The Most Need

    So much of our foods get thrown away when they can be donated and redistributed through organizations like Food Finders. See our Food List below

    When You Donate Food To Avoid Food Waste and Help The Environment

    Food banks are especially important in the food distribution process.  They work with their local communities to ensure that everyone has access to healthful foods. They solicit, receive, store, and distribute fresh produce (when available) and pantry staples (like the foods we are listing below). 

    Food Banks and Pantries help people get connected to other essential benefits and serve as community hubs for volunteers who are serving their local communities.

    How To Host A Food Drive

    Any business, community center, Library, retailer, or city location can host a food drive.  Food Finders will provide a storage bin, signage, and donation food lists. Food Finders will also arrange to pick up all the collected food items from you! 

    Email meden@foodfinders.org or give Mark a call at 562-283-1400 Ext 117.

    Food Drive

    What Kinds of Food Can You Donate?

    1.  Applesauce

    Plastic jars of unsweetened applesauce serve as a great quick snack with just enough fiber and vitamin C. Applesauce is also a smart choice because it preserves well on food bank shelves.

    2. Canned Beans

    Full of protein and fiber, canned beans offer a superb and nourishing way to fill an empty tummy. Try to look for low-sodium variations whenever available.

    3. Canned Chicken

    While canned chicken may seem like a simple choice, it is high in protein content and can be a perfect item for those on the go. Additionally, its versatility makes it a popular item at food banks. Try adding this non-perishable item into soups, casseroles, sandwiches, or crackers!

    4. Canned Meat (SPAM and Ham)

    Do you have some extra SPAM or canned ham? If so, make sure to drop it off at your local food donation site. It’s shelf-stable, does not require much preparation or equipment to eat, and provides a quick source of protein that keeps individuals feeling full for longer periods of time.

    5. Canned Fish (Tuna and Salmon)

    Canned fish has various vitamins, especially omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Many food banks are in need of canned tuna and salmon because it makes for such a convenient and easy meal.

    6. Canned Vegetables

    Residents in need are continuously requesting lively, nutrient-dense, and fiber-rich vegetables. Make sure to grab low-sodium options. Canned variations also last the longest on a food bank’s shelves. Food banks frequently hand out recipes that utilize the items they have in stock. 

    7. Crackers

    Are an ideal snack or can be used as a base for canned proteins. They are also shelf-stable and portable, making them perfect for snacks and lunches. Whole-grain crackers are the best bet.

    8. Cooking Oils (Olive and Canola)

    Food banks heavily depend on these essential and costlier items to be donated. Canola and olive oils are the preeminent choices because of their monounsaturated fats and minor flavor. 

    9. Dried Herbs and Spices

    It is hard to cook a flavorsome meal without herbs and spices. So, drop a few in your shopping cart to donate! We suggest sticking to the fundamentals: oregano, basil, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and cinnamon.

    10. Fruit (Canned or Dried)

    Fruit, whether dried, canned or in plastic cups can make superb snacks for young children and adults. Select those that are packaged in water or fruit juice instead of sugary syrups.

    11. Nuts

    With a handful of nuts, they deliver protein and nutrients instantaneously, which has made them perfect for snacks and lunches. Food banks have a difficult time obtaining them due to their higher price, so they heavily rely on donations. Go for unsalted varieties when possible.

    12. Granola Bars

    Food banks are continuously in need of fast and easy items that families can throw into lunches or eat on the go. Granola bars are the answer. Try to look for the ones that have fewer grams of sugar, made with oats, or other whole grains.

    13. Instant Mashed Potatoes

    Instant potatoes last a very long time and require minimal cooking tools and ingredients. They are also a beloved staple item in every age group, making an item that goes quickly off Food Banks’ shelves. 

    14. Grocery Meals in a Box

    An entire meal that’s shelf-stable and in one package is the best way to nourish a hungry tummy. It is very popular with those who do not have a stocked kitchen or tools needed to prepare a meal. The best options are pasta, rice, and soup kits (particularly those that are lower in sodium and higher in fiber and protein). 

    15. Pasta

    In Food banks, pasta is a staple item since it can be easily turned into a meal. Opt for whole-grain selections that offer more fiber and nutrition compared to white pasta.

    16. Peanut Butter

    Peanut butter is a high source of protein that can be eaten alone or combined with other food items. Since both children and adults like it, peanut butter is easily one of the most desired items at food banks.

    17. Rice

    This popular item is filling, versatile, easy to prepare, and store. Consider substituting white rice for brown rice instead because it is a healthier option with much more fiber to offer. Quinoa is another great alternative item to donate if feasible.

    18. Shelf-stable and Powdered Milk

    The best part of this item is that no refrigeration is required to keep it fresh, which makes it available to everyone. More importantly, milk delivers a much-needed source of calcium and protein (especially for a developing child).

    19. Whole Grain Cereal

    This is another popular item with all age groups. Whole-grain cereal makes for a healthy and quick breakfast or snack. Some selections are low in sugar and high in fiber that helps provide nutrients to good digestive bacteria, which then release substances that help lower levels of inflammation body-wide.

    20. Honey

    This is a sweet, viscous food substance that can be used as a natural sweetener. It is rich in antioxidants and propolis, which each promote burn and wound healing. It can also be used to help suppress coughing in children. 

    21. Soup, Stew, and Chili

    These substances act as a warm and satisfying lunch or dinner. You can find these items in canned or packaged form and they are often sold as a complete meal with protein (meat) and veggies. If possible, attempt to find reduced-sodium alternatives.

    What to skip when donating to your local food bank:

    • Junk food (chips, cookies, candy) 
    • Packaged items with glass or cellophane (these can be easily broken in transit)
    • Items that require can openers or cooking equipment
      • Instead, try to donate pop-top cans–whether for veggies, meat or fruit

    Start Your Own Food Drive with Food Finders Help. Learn More https://foodfinders.org/event/summer-to-end-hunger-food-drive/

    READ MORE
    Events

    Food Finders Kicks Off its 33rd Birthday Month

    April marks our 33rd Birthday at Food Finders!

    On April 1st, to kick off the month, we launched our annual Birthday Campaign to help grow our food rescue operations. When you think about all that has happened over 33 years—one woman starting to collect food in her garage to now where we are rescuing food with refrigerated trucks then sorting and packing donated food in a square food warehouse—we are certain to meet all of our goals and make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger here in Southern California!

    Growth in our 33rd year is a priority. Now more than ever we are working together to make a strong social impact that will affect future generations to come!

    Growing Our Food Operations

    As you may know, our mission here at Food Finders is to eliminate hunger and food waste through food rescue. This operation is led by our wonderful team of passionate and dedicated volunteers, donors, partner agencies, community members–and of course, an incredible group at our office and warehouse in Los Alamitos. This month we will be highlighting a different aspect of our operations each week and spotlighting key team members who run the operation.

    What is the overall goal?

    Our goal is to raise $75,000 towards our food rescue operations. While I know this may seem like a large amount of money, it is going to a good cause. In 2021, for example, we had a goal to raise $50,000 and our grand total was $62,454–a huge success that allowed us to rescue 15, 917, 982 Pounds of Food!!

    2022 Business Types for food donations

    Our focus for this year is on our operations.

    In 2022, the State of California SB- 1383 went into effect. SB 1383’s statute requires businesses in certain categories to begin the repurposing of not less than 20% of edible food that they currently dispose of be recovered for human consumption.

    We have a new Food Acquisitions Team to meet the demand: Tray Turner and Mark Eden, who are out meeting with our current Food Donors while also updating our processes and adding in new businesses each day.

    In the month of January, our Food Acquisitions department started off with some amazing numbers:

    Food Finders Rescued – 1,238,000 Pounds of Food – that is over 1 Million Meals that were delivered by our non-profit partners in January 2022. And in addition to rescuing and repurposing food (that normally would have ended up in a landfill), we also helped planet Earth 672,410 Pounds of CO2 diverted as well as 564,675,000 Gallons of water saved!

    Inside the Food Finders Warehouse

    Warehouse Sorting Bins

    The Food Finders Warehouse is a busy place. On any given day, there will be volunteers sorting and packing bags or boxes while trucks are pulling up in the back to deliver pallets of food. Without our invaluable warehouse team, though, we would not be able to rescue as much food as we have in the past 33 years that Food Finders has been operating.

    Cesar Herrera, our Warehouse Manager, runs the show where he is constantly moving and shifting around staple food items to our food programs. These items significantly increase depending on the time of day, week or year. Last week, we had Fox News Channel 11 visit us to talk about our work and relationship with the Kaiser Permanente Food Donors.

    Our Birthday Milestone is Important

    With your birthday donations last year, we were able to continue to grow as COVID was winding down, and this year we are on track to grow our team, update and purchase more food delivery trucks, and rescue more food as the demand from businesses rises in 2022.

    Make a donation below or Text: FF33Bday to 71444.

    Want Another Way To Help Us Make An Impact?

    In the digital age it is so easy to support and advocate for Food Finders.

    The largest Social Media Network, Facebook, has a great personal fundraising tool that gives each one of us the power to make change by enlisting our family and friends in the fight against hunger, food waste and the resulting global problems from both.

    Start A Personal Fundraiser

    facebook-fundraising-for-food-finders

    Facebook Fundraising

    If you invited 10 friends to donate $10 to your “Fight Hunger” fundraiser, you would be providing 11,000 meals to help fight food insecurity in your community.

    Visit this link for step by step instructions on how to set up a birthday fundraiser on Facebook.

    Mobile Fundraising

    For those of you who do not have a Facebook page, use your Mobile Phone!

    Here is a link to the Food Finders Crowdfunding Page. The process is the same–set up your personal page and ask 10 friends to make a $10 (or more) donation to help us continue to rescue food and help to feed the communities in our neighborhood.

    Celebrate Our 33 Years

    Stay tuned during the entire month of April to learn about each part of our Food Rescue Operations. Start your fundraiser, or reach out to us to volunteer! Everything we do makes an impact.

    Nicole Swayne is a Digital Marketing Intern at Food Finders. She is a student at Cal State Long Beach.

    READ MORE
    Hunger

    LGBTQ And Hunger: What You Should Know

    In honor of Pride Month, Food Finders is shining a spotlight on some of the lesser-known facts about hunger and how it affects the LGBTQ community.

    While hunger is often tied to homelessness, and a high population of people served by our partner agencies and pantries are homeless or unemployed, an oft-overlooked community that is reliant upon food banks, pantries and social services continues to be LGBTQ adults and teens. As indicated recently by Oregon Food Bank, more than a quarter of this community struggles with food insecurity. The reasons for this are tied directly to similar discriminatory acts faced by people of color.

    Discrimination at places of work, within housing and education and even within the healthcare system has affected the levels of poverty that are perpetuated and growing within the transgender community in particular. Additionally, LGBTQ people of color have twice the rate of hunger as general BIPOC. A report issued in 2016 by the Williams Institute showed that The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) served nearly 1.37 million LGBTQ Americans several years ago, and we know that number has increased since. Worse, proposed cuts to the SNAP program further threaten food access for LGBTQ adults, although the country’s current administration is hoping to see increases in the federal funding for SNAP, but the proposals have not been approved.

    Support systems are crucial, in the community and within families. In some families there is rampant unacceptance of LGBTQ members, particularly teens, and they are left to fend for themselves. While organizations like National LGBTQ Anti-Poverty Network , the National LGBTQ Task Force and many others advocate for their communities regularly, there is still much progress to be made.

    You can help! Food Finders urges everyone to take a few minutes to get involved and lend a voice on behalf of our LGBTQ friends and family. Start here to share your stories and messages of support.

    As William Faulkner said, “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty, truth, and compassion against injustice…If people all over the world would do this, it would change the earth.”

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

    #foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

    READ MORE