Today, an estimated one-third of all the food produced worldwide goes to waste. That’s equal to about 1.3 billion tons of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, seafood, and grains that either never leave the farm, get lost or spoiled during distribution, or are thrown away in hotels, grocery stores, restaurants, schools, or home kitchens. It could be enough calories to feed every undernourished person on the planet. (WWF)
But it isn’t just about wasted food. Food Waste causes climate change and since 43% of most of the edible food that is thrown into our landfills in the United States is from individual households….this is a problem that we can solve, together.
Food Waste = Climate Change
When we take that wilted lettuce or mushy strawberries out of the refrigerator and toss them into the trash, we are also throwing away all the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package that food. Why? Well, when we toss that into the trash it ends up in a landfill and rots. That is what produces methane—a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide.
About 6%-8% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced if we stop wasting food. In the US alone, the production of lost or wasted food generates the equivalent of 32.6 million cars’ worth of greenhouse gas emissions. (WWF)
How Can A Recipe Help?
Meatless Monday was originally started to get people to stop eating so much meat. At Food Finders, we just want you to think about how to better use the food you purchase and since produce is the most common food type to get thrown out–we wanted to offer you a solution to preparing and planning meals, but also to use all the food in the fridge, even when it looks a bit mushy and strange.
Strawberries should not be washed until you eat them. But if you let them sit just a bit too long, they can still be chopped up and mixed with other foods for a delicious and nutritious meal. Today we want you to pull out those strawberries and make a meal out of them. Make it your responsibility to monitor the fridge contents and find ways to use everything–saving water, energy, and our beautiful planet!
Try This Refreshing Strawberry Walnut Salad!
Strawberries, even when mushy, add a flavor and fragrance to a salad that makes it seem like a treat. Today our plant-based meal is also high in fiber, which makes it so filling for a lighter choice. Plus, for every strawberry you can save and eat, you will know that you are doing your part to prevent food waste.
Major Health Benefits
Nutrition is one of Food Finder’s important mission goals. When we feed people food, they nourish their bodies and minds. This delicious salad is filled with many health benefits. First, you have the base… baby spinach. As simple as it sounds, spinach can also be very nutritious as it is a good source of both vitamin A and vitamin C–and it is another food that often gets thrown out because it is left too long. Now you have your strawberries. Not only are they the perfect summer fruit to cool down with, but strawberries can also even help with inflammation. Lastly, you want to add a bit of crunch by adding walnuts. This Omega-3 plant source is much needed as it helps to boost your immune system and decrease the chance of heart disease. Mixing this all up you are preventing food waste, nourishing your body, and enjoying a delicious meal that will hopefully inspire many more!
For the Salad:
- 10 oz bag baby spinach
- 1⁄3 cup of feta cheese
- 1 lb strawberries, sliced
- ¼ cup of walnuts, chopped
- 1 red onion, sliced
For the Dressing:
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 ½ tbsp. white wine vinegar
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 ½ tbsp. of honey
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
- ⅛ tsp. garlic powder
NOTE: This meal can be made in 15 minutes or less!
- In a large bowl, fill with your baby spinach and other salad toppings. We suggest putting all your toppings in a separate bowl (away from the salad) and shake it to get a nice mix of everything. Then you can add it along with the dressing.
- Next you will need to make the dressing for your salad. Whisk all your ingredients together in a small bowl or reusable container.
- You can now pour your dressing on your salad to your own liking. If you’d like, you can also add a dash of pepper as a finishing touch.
- And that’s it! Time to enjoy your meal.
If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #meatlessmondays, please email us! Feel free to check out our other #meatlessmonday recipes on our blog if you haven’t already.
Make a Choice
In addition to planning your meals and keeping food from ever going to the landfill, you can also make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger by helping us grow our food rescue operations: Donate