Community

Black Leaders in Food Justice

#BlackHistoryMonth

In celebration of Black History Month we are highlighting three black individuals who have had significant contributions in the way that we approach hunger and food justice, both historically and currently. Although communities of color have always had a critical role in shaping our American foodscape, their contributions have historically gone unrecognized. These three advocates offer a peak into these contributions, to engage and learn from not only this month, but at all times.

George Washington Carver is perhaps one of the most honored figures in the black American landscape for his food contributions, specifically the peanut. What many people don’t know about him is that he had a master’s degree in Scientific Agriculture. Born into slavery, he often skirted chores as a child to study plants and eventually found his passion in food and cooking. He obtained a college education as the first black student at Iowa State University, and after joining the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama as the director of agriculture, he made significant strides in helping farmers to efficiently grow crops, best utilize their harvest, and even published bulletins and recipes to distribute to farmers. He was one of the earliest proponents of sustainable agriculture and “conscious eating”. His research made a huge impact on soil fertility and waste reduction in addition to general farming practices.

Dr. Rashida Crutchfield is an associate professor at CSULB, where she initiated a study of student homelessness and hunger. What started as a local concern became a national study, and her passion to lend a voice to those who were displaced and food insecure helped initiate the Office of the Chancellor’s 3-phase study on basic needs, setting a precedent for making student food insecurity and homelessness among students a health priority. She’s since become a respected authority and advocate in this arena, and her findings and strategies to address these issues were published in 2019 as a book.

Ron Finley is a community contributor in downtown L.A., often referred to as the Guerrilla Gardener. Since 2010 he has been actively growing fresh produce for his local neighborhood using abandoned strips of land or parkways. These areas of South Central, often labeled as food deserts, have limited or nonexistent access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The “food prisons” as Finley calls them, impact the health of residents, each of whom deserves equal access to nutritious foods. To tackle this issue, he not only shares his harvest but teaches gardening and the importance of good food and provides a place for residents to gather and form tighter community bonds.


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

#BlackHistoryMonth #foodfindersinc  #foodrescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #volunteer #charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #helpendhunger #endhunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #donate #makeanimpact

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Food Waste

Stopping Food Waste in Your Home

As a food rescue organization, Food Finders, Inc. is always searching for tools and tips to help make people aware of the high costs of wasting food. Today we discovered a wonderful article on building a “Sustainable Pantry.” Like most things at home, it’s about organizing things so that they are accessible and easy to find, but with food, we must make sure that good food doesn’t go to waste because we forgot about it before going bad. We hate that!! Below are some very useful tools to start the new year off right: organize pantries, refrigerators and your counter space so that you do not waste food.

Organizing your fridge prevents food waste

Building a Sustainable Pantry

Like many of us, you may have found your routine changing with news of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, whether you’re working remotely or keeping more supplies around for a possible extended stay at home. In stressful times, we usually look to food as a source of comfort. That doesn’t have to change if you follow a few guidelines and do as best you can to plan ahead. (Experts agree that it’s always a good idea for everyone to have 2-4 weeks of food on hand if budgets and space permit.)

Here are some smart and easy-to-follow tricks we’ve found for stocking up responsibly without adding to your stress.

Here’s our handy printable checklist

Source: Misfits Markets

Take stock of what you’ve got
Before you shop, do a simple pantry check and inventory what you already have. Move items that have the most recent expiration dates to the front of your pantry. Just like the FIFO (first in, first out) method for the fridge, the same rules can apply for shelf-stable items. You’ll want to eat up nearly-expired food first and plan to restock.

Buy what you like
If you’re going to have more food on hand than usual, make it stuff that you and your household already eat. If that means an abundance of pasta or soup mix—great! Keep doing what you’re doing. It’s a good idea to have both favorite snacks and nutrient-rich crowd-pleasers on hand, so don’t be tempted by labels with years-long expiration dates if it’s not something you normally eat. If by chance you don’t end up having to rely on your pantry of food, unfamiliar foods will continue to go to waste and could be better used by others who like them.

Start with non-perishables
Anything that can live in your pantry for weeks and months at a time is good to have on hand. The following items have long shelf lives with extended expiration dates. As long as you have a few on hand, you can make any meal in a pinch without sacrificing taste or nutrition:

  • Rice: A mix of short and long grain, plus varieties like risotto, can take on basically any flavor profile.
  • Dry pasta: Get long noodles as well as shorter ones like penne or bowtie so you’ve got a bit of variety on hand. If you’re looking into pasta mixes like mac and cheese, note whether you need milk to complete the recipe.
  • Cereal: Non-flavored versions can be added to snack mixes as well as your morning bowl.
  • Dried and canned beans: Dried tend to taste better when made at home but canned is easiest in a pinch.
  • Canned tomatoes and pasta sauce: Canned tomatoes work with a variety of cuisines from Indian and Italian to French.
  • Lentils: High-protein legumes are great for soups and salads. They’ll also keep you fuller, and longer if you need to space out your meals more than usual.
  • Nuts: Filled with protein, dried nuts are great for snacking and add flavor and crunch to salads. They can also stay fresh for up to 6 months.
  • Dried fruit: Perfect for snacking, salads, baking, or even rehydrating; try to invest in unsweetened versions as some are packed with sugar.
  • Peanut or nut butter: Good for spreading on bread as well as making energy balls.
  • Baking essentials: Just remember that flours expire too, so use the oldest ones first.
  • Dried herbs and spices: If you haven’t refreshed yours in a while, consider stocking up on new ones since flavor deteriorates with time.
  • Canned fish: Tuna is a go-to for sandwiches and for adding lean protein to salads if you need a meal in a pinch and don’t have access to an oven.
  • Stocks or broths: Vegetable, beef, and chicken broth are the base for many big-batch dishes like chili or bean soups.
  • Shelf-stable milks: Though dairy milk is occasionally found in shelf-stable packaging, here’s where the trend of plant-based milks really comes in handy. Consider keeping unsweetened, non-flavored (unless you really love it) almond, oat, coconut, or soy milk on hand.

In our Marketplace, we currently sell a number of deeply-discounted pantry and shelf-stable items such as oatmeal, dried lentils, and canned tomatoes—and even more goodies to come!—so you can fill your pantry while getting the fresh Misfits Market produce that you love.

Move onto fresh fruits and veggies
Some produce can last for weeks or months without refrigeration as long as it’s kept in a cool, dark, and dry place. We call these cellar foods. Many are hardy and starchy, so they help you make large and filling meals that can last a few days when refrigerated. Store the following items in a pantry or basement cellar if you have one:

  • Potatoes
  • Onions – just be sure to store far from other items, as the gasses they emit can cause other foods to ripen (and rot) faster
  • Hard/winter squash
  • Apples – as with onions, they also emit ethylene, a gas that speeds up spoiling so keep them separate from other veg
  • Beets – if yours come with greens, store in the fridge instead
  • Sunchokes
  • Rutabaga
  • Garlic

Other fruits and veggies do require refrigeration but can still keep for 1-3 weeks:

  • 1 week: mushrooms, strawberries, raspberries, green beans, zucchini
  • 1-2 weeks: brassica (cauliflower and broccoli), lettuce and leafy greens, celery, bell peppers, eggplant, blueberries, cucumbers
  • 3-4 weeks: citrus like lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit, apples (yep, we said the cellar but they will last longer in the fridge if you have room), carrots

Store fruits and veggies in the fridge with FIFO in mind: Keep the ones you need to eat first in the front of the fridge and the produce with a longer shelf life in the back. Always prioritize eating the most perishable fruits and veggies first or you’ll continue to create more food waste. Before eating produce that’s been in the fridge for a while, check for dark spots, mold, and mushy areas. You may be able to cut away bruised spots with no issues, but always smell the produce first—if it seems off, toss it.

Consider pickling
You can save time, money, and even save your Misfits Market produce from going to waste by pickling. Onions, cabbage, and even cherry tomatoes can be pickled and used for weeks if access to fresh produce is touch and go. 

Freeze everything else
Frozen foods you can quickly heat will always be a staple in any emergency, but you don’t need to rely solely on pre-made meals and packaged veggies. If you can spare the time, take a day or weekend to cook meals in batches, starting with your favorite meals and foods like chicken, roasted veggies, smoothie packs, meatloaf, and lasagna. Many of these meals can last 3-6 months in the freezer so you’ll have easy weeknight meals or blended drinks at the ready if you’re in a situation where you can’t make it to the store or if you’re in-between Misfits Market deliveries.

What’s more, bread, butter, and even eggs can be frozen. If you can’t fit everything you’ve bought in the fridge, take perishable items you always use and toss them in the freezer to use in a pinch. Just use them within a week after thawing.

Then, you’re ready to eat
In the event you’re holed up at home for any reason in the future, you can easily combine your shelf stable items with fresh produce as long as they’ve been stored and frozen properly. Pair fresh Misfits Market fruits and veggies with pantry items and you can still eat fresh, delicious, and nutritious meals like grain bowls, smoothies, tacos, one-pot pastas, soups, chilis, fried rice, and even ramen. Canned tomatoes can be paired with just about any fresh veg. Toss canned beans into salads and on top of baked potatoes. Add steamed fresh veggies and a hard boiled to instant ramen for a filling, nearly no-cook meal.

Save everything
Following the sage advice of Atlantic staff writer Amanda Mull, don’t toss anything that could be repurposed for another meal or to flavor multiple dishes.

  • Parmesan rinds add flavor to soups and homemade tomato sauces—combine canned tomatoes with tomato paste, garlic, fresh basil, salt, pepper, and a Parmesan rind. Remove the rind before serving and you have a fragrant and flavorful homemade sauce to pair with a box of pasta.
  • Veggie scraps, tips, ends, and peels can be saved and used to make a flavorful homemade stock, which can quickly become the base for homemade soups with a can of beans or chickpeas.
  • Leftover bones from whatever meat or poultry you cook can be saved to make a beef or poultry broth.
  • Even pickle juice from store bought (or homemade!) pickles can be used in place of vinegar in things like gazpacho, to brine other veggies and eggs, and even added to hummus and other dips for a tangy kick.

Got a tip for saving food indefinitely or a question about the best way to stock your pantry? Let us know in a comment below!

#foodwaste #foodfindersin #sustainable pantry #misfitsmarket #foodstorage

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Food Waste

Food Inflation vs. Food Insecurity: How Inflation Has Impacted Food Insecurity Since the Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Overview

In the midst of the holiday season, one thing is on everyone’s mind: food. But whether food is easily accessible and affordable is another story and gives way to the different, less joyful word on everyone’s minds: inflation.

To understand the impact of inflation on current food prices in the United States, I will explore the following areas:

  • current causes of food inflation in the US,
  • the rise of food prices and impact on low-income households, and 
  • food insecurity during the holidays.
Food inflation has been on the rise especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Current Causes of Food Inflation in the US

It is important to put the current rates of inflation into context. In the United States, the price of food began to increase in mid-2021 and coincided with higher distribution costs, labor shortages, and commodity price increases in the sector. Many farmers and manufacturers saw disruptions in the supply chain which led them to shut down temporarily or permanently. Labor shortages and higher wages were reflected in the raised menu prices for customers. At the same time, global food prices were also increasing but the start of the war in Ukraine in early 2022 exacerbated these trends. Evidently, the war has put significant pressure on global food inflation which began to increase first in developing countries and then in developed ones.

COVID-19 Pandemic 

Unfortunately (but not surprisingly), the COVID-19 pandemic continues to mark our lives in numerous ways which includes inflation. Although, a global pandemic like this one is rare, this means that there is less information for policymakers to rely on regarding decision-making protocol during periods of emergency. According to a White House statement on prices during the pandemic, three temporary factors have contributed primarily to the increase in inflation: 

  1. base effects,
  2. supply chain disruptions and misalignments, and
  3. pent-up demand. 

Base effects occur when “the base, or initial month, of a growth rate is unusually low or high.” Supply chain disruptions arise when the cost of production increases and businesses decide to pass on higher prices to consumers. Finally, pent-up demand during the pandemic has led to a surge in consumers eating out at restaurants. But as Americans find less food options available compared to pre-pandemic levels, restaurant prices may increase as a result. Optimistically, the authors believe that these factors will be “transitory,” fade over time, and mimic America’s behavior following past wars and pandemics. But they do warn that history is “not a perfect guide” either.

Several sectors have experienced product shortages during the pandemic, Econofact.

Future Outlook on Food Inflation

While history may not be able to predict our future exactly, we have tools today to get a picture of what is likely to come. According to the USDA, food prices, food-at-home prices, and food-away-from-home prices are expected to “grow more slowly in 2023 than in 2022” but will remain above “historical average rates.” According to President Joe Biden’s recent statement on Personal Consumption Expenditures in October, inflation moderated and the nation is on their way to “more steady, stable economic growth” and food inflation has also slowed.

“How people believe prices are going to behave in the future plays an important role because inflation expectations can sometimes become self-fulfilling.”

– Alberto Cavallo, Associate Professor Harvard Business School

The Impact of Rising Food Prices on Consumers and Low-income Households

The rise in food prices is reflected in the changing consumer habits. According to CNN, more consumers are searching for deals, switching to off-brand choices, and eating at less pricey restaurants like IHOP and Applebee’s. Others have started shopping at cheaper grocers and buying store-bought items instead of making them at home. Most worryingly, one respondent stated that once she can afford it, she will “go back to buying more fruits and veggies.” In Los Angeles County, 12.1% of adults reported consuming five or more servings of fruits and vegetables the previous day and the rate rose with education and income. It is not difficult to understand how income can affect buying habits. Increasing food prices do not affect everyone equally. According to Rory Smead, an associate professor at Northeastern, those in the “middle class and reasonably comfortable” will not feel the impacts as much as those “working in the margins.” So with the rise in food inflation and daily fruit and vegetable consumption rates already fairly low at least in Los Angeles, a county with a high rate of food insecurity, we should be very concerned about how rising prices are affecting the long term health of low-income households.

Rates of different age groups in fruit and vegetable consumption in Los Angeles, Dignity Health St. Mary Medical Center, p. 94

COVID-19 Pandemic and Food Insecurity

According to the White House National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, the COVID-19 pandemic “exacerbated food insecurity, diet-related diseases, and health disparities” and disrupted a decade-long downward trend in food insecure households with children (p. 6). In 2021, the USDA reported that 13.5 million (10.2%) US households were food insecure at some point during the year while 8.4 million (6.4%) US households reported low food security. In California, 8 million 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. NYU also found that the pandemic increased food insecurity especially among families with children and that school closures made it more difficult for children to access meals through the National School Lunch program.

National School Lunch Program lunches served 1971-2021, USDA

Food Insecurity During the Holidays

The holiday season can be the busiest times of year for food banks and with the impact of the pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine on inflation and food prices, food-insecure households and individuals are even more vulnerable during this time of year. Additionally, as schools close for the winter break, students who benefit from the National School Lunch Program temporarily lose access to a source of food. 

As we continue to ease the pandemic restrictions on everyday life, economic instability and uncertainty remain. That is why the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health is so important. In its first pillar, The National Strategy recognizes the need for economic security and providing Americans and their families with more income through expanding the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the minimum wage.

In the meantime, families need to eat now which is what many organizations and groups are focused on throughout the country year-round.

Food Finders

Food Finders, anticipating the increased need during the holidays, holds an annual Holiday Food Drive to collect food for their non-profit partners. It begins October 1st through December 31st. Throughout November, Food Finders held a Turkey Drive and during their Holiday Pack and Sort event on November 19th and 20th, the organization distributed 2,322 food boxes for agencies to provide for families and assembled a total of 4,231 boxes. They also distributed 2,600 turkeys during the event and provided an additional 200 turkeys and 100 hams during the month of December.

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 support our mission to eliminate hunger and food waste by making a donation today.

#inflation #hunger #foodprices #pandemic #covid19 #foodinsecurity

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

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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Holiday Meals and HungerGiving

Hunger Over The Holidays

The holiday season can be a magical time that brings people together. Often, celebrations and get-togethers are accompanied by a much-anticipated shared meal. However, for some, the holidays can be difficult, and those holiday meals (as well as others) may be hard to provide for their children.

Children are what make the holidays fun and filled with laughter! But child hunger is a serious year-round issue. Sadly, during the holiday season, there are some unique struggles–the first of which is the focus on collecting and distributing toys. Every adult wants a child to be a child, enjoying games and toys until adulthood takes over. But with inflation on the rise and food insecurity increasing, we propose that in addition to donating toys this year, you also share a part of your holiday table!

Holiday Break

While children are in school, they have access to the USDA National School Lunch Program. This program provides food to over 30 million kids per day that otherwise might go without. During the school year, Food Finders helps families over the weekend with a program called Food 4 Kids, but Holiday breaks mean that those children do not have access to either program. This may mean a decreased food availability or a financial strain on their parents as more food than usual is needed to feed their families.

With holiday movies playing everywhere, families are pressured to provide more food for their children during the holidays. These big Holiday Spreads include classic foods like turkey and ham, both of which have increased in cost since the Pandemic. The emotional impact on children and their parents makes the celebrations experienced by neighbors and friends more disheartening when you cannot afford the traditional meal.

Holiday Food

Although the quantity of food is a concern, quality is also important to ensure children get the nutrients they need to be healthy. Low-quality food can greatly impact tiny stomachs. This can affect energy, focus, and even long-term health. Eating regular, nutritious meals over the holiday break means that kids can return to school in the new year ready to learn.

What Helps During the Holiday Season?

Did you know that most annual giving takes place in December? That means that donations, including food donations, increase around the holiday season. That can help to offset the increase in needs for food insecure families, especially for organizations like Food Finders. We have hundreds of volunteers who come to our warehouse to help us fill bags and boxes with holiday foods and distribute them to our local nonprofit agencies that share these meals with people who need them.

Our #OneMillionMeals campaign makes donating meals easy–during the Holiday Season and throughout the year. Our Food Rescue Operations collect good food and repurpose it with the help of over 400 nonprofit agencies. Donating to this program helps us to meet our one million meal goal each month, especially during December. Every donation can be made directly to the #OneMillionMeals campaign. It will go straight to our local nonprofit partners, who will help seniors, families, kids, the homeless, and veterans all struggling with food insecurity.

Make An Impact: Share Your Holiday Table

Your donations this Holiday Season help to combat hunger, especially during times of the year when children and their families need it the most.

GIVE A MEAL

#holidaygiving #fighthunger #shareyourtable

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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

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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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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Nutrition

‘General Tso’s’ Cauliflower

#WhyWasteWednesday

General Tso’s Cauliflower is a delicious alternative to classic Chinese takeout General Tso’s Chicken. It’s crispy, super tasty, and might just be better than the chicken version!

CAULIFLOWER: A GREAT VEGETARIAN STAND-IN

Vegan, healthy, and even gluten free, if you use Tamari instead of soy sauce. Here you go for all of you vegans and vegetarians who want to get in on the General Tso action. Enjoy this one!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

Cauliflower

  • 1 small head cauliflower
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 to 3 cups peanut or canola oil (for frying)

Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons ginger (finely minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
  • 5 whole dried red chili peppers (optional)
  • ½ tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1½ tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup water (or chicken stock)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (mixed with 1 tablespoon water)
  • 1 scallion (cut at an angle into half-inch pieces)

Cooking Instructions

  1. Cut the cauliflower into 1- to 2-inch chunks. Mix the cornstarch, baking soda, salt, sesame oil, white pepper, water, and ¾ cup of rice flour in a large bowl until it forms a batter. Toss in the cauliflower and fold together until the cauliflower is well coated. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of rice flour over the cauliflower, and stir until everything is sticking to the cauliflower. There should be no more batter at the bottom of the bowl. If there is, just add a little bit more rice flour. If the batter looks dry or crumbly add a teaspoon or two of water.
  2. Next, sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds evenly over the cauliflower. Heat the oil to 375 degrees in a cast iron pan or small pot. Fry the cauliflower in batches until light golden brown and crunchy (about 3 minutes), and transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in your wok over medium heat. Add the minced ginger, and let fry for 15 seconds. Add the garlic and dried red pepper. Stir for 10 seconds. Add the Shaoxing wine, and immediately add the sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and water (or chicken stock). Turn the heat down to low, letting the entire mixture simmer.
  4. If you fried the cauliflower in advance and want the pieces to be extra crispy, re-fry the cauliflower in batches for about 20 seconds or until golden brown, and drain on paper towels. Add the cornstarch slurry gradually to the sauce while stirring constantly, and let simmer for 20 seconds. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon.
  5. Add the cauliflower and scallions, and toss the entire mixture until everything is well-coated in the sauce. Serve!

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcal (18%) Carbohydrates: 33g (11%) Protein: 4g (8%) Fat: 23g (35%) Saturated Fat: 2g (10%) Sodium: 660mg (28%) Potassium: 316mg (9%) Fiber: 3g (12%) Sugar: 6g (7%) Vitamin A: 20IU Vitamin C: 46.9mg (57%) Calcium: 32mg (3%) Iron: 0.7mg (4%)


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

General Tso’s Cauliflower. The Woks of Life. Retrieved August 9, 2022.

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Nutrition

Vegan Broccoli Soup

#WhyWasteWednesday

You’d never guess that this creamy vegan broccoli soup is totally dairy-free! It’s made of a rich, savory blend of potatoes, veggies, and herbs.

Drumroll, please! This vegan broccoli soup recipe is super creamy, comforting, and brimming with cheesy flavor. This vegan broccoli soup recipe is not to be confused with cream of broccoli soup. It’s made with leeks, coconut milk, broccoli, lemon, and spinach. It’s light, healthy, and tastes perfect for any day.

This recipe – vegan broccoli cheddar soup – is thicker, richer, and more cheese-like. I think you’re going to love it.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ⅓ cup chopped carrots
  • 1 lb. broccoli, stems diced, florets chopped
  • 1 small Yukon gold potato, diced (1 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups cubed bread, for croutons
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 2 small baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, broccoli stems, salt, and pepper and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and garlic and stir, then add the broth and simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Let cool slightly.
  3. Set aside 1 cup of the broccoli florets to roast as a topping for the soup. Place the remaining florets in a steamer basket, and set over a pot with 1-inch of water. Bring the water to a simmer, cover, and let steam 5 minutes, until the broccoli is tender.
  4. Meanwhile, place the reserved broccoli florets and the bread cubes on the baking sheets. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and roast until the bread is crispy and the broccoli is tender and browned around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the soup to the blender and add the cashews, apple cider vinegar, and mustard, and blend until creamy. Work in batches, if necessary. Add the steamed broccoli florets, dill, and lemon juice, and pulse until the broccoli is incorporated but still chunky. The soup should be thick; if it’s too thick, add 1/2 cup water to thin to your desired consistency.
  6. Season to taste and serve the soup in bowls with the roasted broccoli and croutons on top.

Notes

Note: many readers have had enjoyed blending a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast into the soup for an extra “cheese-like” flavor. You can find it at Whole Foods or other health food stores. If you can’t find it, no worries, it’s delicious without it too!

Vegan broccoli soup. Love and Lemons. Retrieved August 9, 2022.

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Fight climate change by preventing food wasteFood Waste

Fight Climate Change by Preventing Food Waste

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!

Strawberry walnut salad in a bowl.

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!

Ingredient List

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!

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. Next you will need to make the dressing for your salad. Whisk all your ingredients together in a small bowl or reusable container.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

What we do is bigger than food rescue blog

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

Or Volunteer

#StopFoodWaste

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Community Marketplace September

The Food Finders Community Marketplace Food Hub at Admiral Kidd Park is a refrigerated container that will offer fresh produce in areas of Long Beach that experience high levels of food insecurity. The hub container can safely store produce, dairy and other persihable food. Weekly food distribution and monthly programs will take place in close collaboration with Food Finders and our network of community nonprofits.

 

#image_title

   We would like to thank our sponsors:

Food Hub Sponsors

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Community Marketplace with JuicePlus+

 

Juice Plus+ Partners with Food Finders to Support Food Insecure Communities with Free Fruit and Vegetables at Community Marketplace

Live Cooking Demonstration by Top Chef Judge Gail Simmons Along with Activations, Entertainment & Produce/Product Giveaways

Download Flyers (ENGLISH< SAMOAN< SPANISH)Community Marketplace Flyer event v9

LOS ANGELES, CA (December 28, 2022) Goodness is our natural state. We all know that fruits and vegetables are key to a healthy family however it’s not always easy to get them in your daily diet. Leading global health and wellness company, Juice Plus+ believes in the value of community, and the importance of growing and sustaining a healthy family through whole food nutrition. In partnership with Food Finders, Juice Plus+ will provide nourishment to families with a free Community Marketplace Food Hub taking place on Saturday, January 28 from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (PST) at Admiral Kidd Park located at 2125 Santa Fe Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90810.

The event will offer education, family-friendly entertainment and giveaways of fresh produce to local families in need. Culinary expert and Top Chef judge Gail Simmons will be on site for a live cooking demonstration, showcasing recipes that incorporate both fresh and canned produce, to show easy ways to eat healthily as a family. Parents and children can explore the Fruits and Veggie Tasting Stand to try a variety of dips that can be paired with popular fruits and vegetables, while the Let’s Get Scrappy station will show attendees how to use their fruit and vegetable scraps to regrow produce at home. Kids will enjoy face painting and a balloon artist as well as a coloring station, recipe matching activity and fruits & veggie painting.

The event is in celebration of the new ad campaign Juice Plus+ is launching in January throughout the

U.S. which is designed to tackle the overly complicated nature of the health and wellness category. Filmed on farms in California and Michigan, the ad showcases the abundance of fresh produce that are used for the Juice Plus+ product range, shown where they grow naturally. The intention is to show the goodness and nutrients that are found in nature, and how these form the basis of everything Juice Plus+ creates. The ad will begin airing on January 10, 2023 on the Discover Network (Cable and Streaming).

“Our latest campaign showcases ways to make healthy eating simple and stress free so that individuals and families can continue their healthy choices at home,” explains Dwana Scantlebury, Senior Director, Marketing Activation & Communication at Juice Plus+. “The CDC recently reported that California consumes a low percentage of fresh fruits and vegetables in the U.S. in comparison to other states, so at Juice Plus+, we wanted to find a way to inspire and promote whole food nutrition in communities that need it.”

In addition, the Juice Plus+ team will be passing out complimentary balanced smoothies made with Complete by Juice Plus+ while sharing the many benefits of the brand’s plant-based products that help bridge the gap between what you should eat, and what you do eat.

“Each day 1 in 5 CA residents will struggle with hunger yet, 30-40% of the food supply will end up in a landfill. This includes the resources and manpower that go into producing it. Food Finders not only mitigates food waste with our food rescue program we provide nearly a million meals a month to our agency partners,” explains Diana Lara, Executive Director of Food Finders Inc. “We are excited about our collaboration with Juice Plus+ and are grateful for their commitment to our mission of eliminating hunger and food waste while improving nutrition in the food insecure communities we serve.”

Every month, Food Finders hosts a “marketplace” to offer a pickup location for their weekly donation to their clientele in need. During this event, approximately 100+ local families will attend to pick up their fresh fruits, vegetables and more. For the entire month of January, Juice Plus+ will be the exclusive supporter feeding around 6,000 families in the area.

 

For more information about Juice Plus+, please visit www.juiceplus.com. For more information about the Community Marketplace Food Hub event, please visit www.foodfinders.org.

About Juice Plus+

The Juice Plus+ Company is a global health and wellness company with a mission

to inspire healthy living around the world. It operates in 26 markets globally and is supported by a mission-driven community of over 200,000 independent sales Partners and over one million customers.

What is Juice Plus+?

Juice Plus+ is committed to making healthy living easier with plant-based nutritional products that are as close to nature as possible and with a supportive, healthy lifestyle community. Juice Plus+ products include Juice Plus+ Fruit, Vegetable, and Berry Blend Capsules and Chewables, made from 30 different fruits, vegetables, and berries along with selected vitamins and other plant ingredients. For more information, visit JuicePlus.com.

 

We will post more details on the week of the event.

   We would like to thank our sponsors:

Food Hub Sponsors

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cauliflower taco headerNutrition

Meatless Monday: Enjoy Cauliflower Tacos!

Spice up your summer with our #MeatlessMonday pick for this week…Cauliflower tacos! This meal is a great way to include a vegetable substitute instead of your usual fish taco. Plus, cauliflower is packed with Vitamin C, making it a healthy alternative!

plated cauliflower tacos
Cauliflower tacos plated, Delish

Ingredient List

For the Slaw:

  • 1 cup of red cabbage (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup of diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeño (minced)
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
  • Dash of salt

For the Cauliflower Taco:

  • 1 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. of chili powder
  • 1 tsp. of cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • Dash of black pepper and salt
  • 1 1/2 cup of almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces (also known as florets)
  • 2-3 corn tortillas

PRO TIP: Using an air fryer is the best way to get your cauliflower to be the right amount of crispy! You can also garnish your tacos with yummy toppings like cilantro, lime, avocado, sriracha, and spicy mayo.

Cooking Directions:

  1. First, combine all the ingredients for your saw in a medium-sized bowl. You will need to let them sit while prepping the other ingredients for your tacos.
  2. You will need to mix the flour and spices next. Use a dash of salt and pepper to add some seasoning. Add in the almond milk and stir to combine. You want the mixture to be thick, but it should also be easy to dip the cauliflower into. (If needed, add more milk to secure texture.)
  3. Then place Panko breadcrumbs in a small bowl. These will be used to add that crisp texture to your cauliflower. Dip the chopped cauliflower (or florets) into the milk mixture and toss it into Panko breadcrumbs. It should be coated nicely so it will fry the entire vegetable.
  4. In batches, place coated cauliflower into an air fryer basket and spray with a cooking spray. Cook at 400° for 15 minutes, and check on them. About halfway through, you should flip and spray once more with cooking spray. (Note: If you use a convection oven, you will need to cook at a higher temperature and for longer. We recommend 425° for 20 minutes.)
  5. Now you can add toppings if you like! For maximum flavor, you can combine mayonnaise and Sriracha (and maybe a hint of maple syrup) into a small bowl.
  6. Time to assemble and enjoy! On a tortilla, place cooked cauliflower, avocado (optional), pickled slaw, and cilantro. You can top it with the Sriracha mayo and serve it with lime wedges for an added touch.

Makinze Gore Food Editor Makinze is currently Food Editor for Delish. (2021, November 1). You would never believe these Air Fryer cauliflower tacos are vegan. Delish. Retrieved August 4, 2022, from https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a35787681/air-fryer-cauliflower-tacos-recipe/

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.

You can also make an impact in reducing food waste and hunger by helping us grow our food rescue operations: Donate.

READ MORE
Food Waste

Great.Com Talks with Executive Director Diana Lara from Food Finders

Feeding Southern California Millions Of Pounds Of Salvaged Food

click image to listen

Danielle Riberio from Great.com interviewed Food Finders as part of their ‘Great.com Talks With…’ podcast. This series is an antidote to negative news stories that aims to shed light on organizations and experts whose work positively impacts the world.

Many think of California as a mecca for the rich, the glamorous, and the famous. But there’s another side to the Golden State. California experiences some of the most significant levels of wealth inequality in the USA. Diana Lara discussed the importance of redistributing food that would otherwise go to waste so that struggling families don’t have to worry about going hungry.

What Is Food Insecurity?

Food insecurity means not knowing where your next meal will come from. By some estimates, up to 15 percent of the people living in Orange County, California, live on or near the poverty line. For many families, paying for food means economizing on other essentials, like basic utilities or school equipment. 

A Food Rescue Organization

Food Finders Executive Director Diana Lara explained that a shocking 30 to 40 percent of manufactured food does not make it to our tables, and an even higher percentage is thrown away directly from our refrigerators. Food Finders’ mission is to provide food to those who need it most. Food Finders works with grocery stores, manufacturers, event centers, hotels, schools, and other organizations to rescue edible food and provide it to a network of 600 food donors (a food bank or food pantry).

Listen to the whole interview to find out about Food Finders’ Food For Kids Program, ensuring families don’t go hungry over the weekend. Food Finders also welcomes donations. 

Great.com is an organization that generates money for climate research. Why climate change? Because they believe that the climate crisis is the biggest threat facing humanity right now. How do they generate money? By moving revenue, they earn directly as an advertiser for the New Jersey online gambling industry. Why online gambling? This is a wealthy industry with endless opportunities for profit. They believe it would be better to take this money and put it towards a great cause — like climate research — instead of going to already wealthy casino owners. Find out more about their unique business model.

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farmer's markets resources and reasonsCommunity

Farmer’s Markets: Reasons & Resources

In support of National Farmer’s Market Week from August 7th to the 14th, Food Finder encourages everyone to get out and support our local farmers, fresh fruit, and vegetable vendors. Many areas of the country are food deserts, and to provide nutritious meals to our families, we must have fruits and vegetables available. Many Food Pantries do not have the ability to store perishable foods, so we must supplement. Wic has a beautiful Farmer’s Market program (details below) because they know that having an array of colorful foods is how we nourish and flourish!

Resources Below

10 Reasons to Support Farmers Markets

From: CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food.

sites/default/files/winter_paredez.jpgFrom savoring produce at the peak of freshness to meeting the people who grow your food, there are countless reasons to support farmers’ markets. Here are just a few!

1. Taste Real Flavors

The fruits and vegetables you buy at the farmer’s market are the freshest and tastiest. Fruits are allowed to ripen fully in the field and are brought directly to you—no long-distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, and no sitting for weeks in storage. This food is as real as it gets—fresh from the farm.

2. Enjoy the Season

The food you buy at the farmer’s market is seasonal. It is fresh and delicious and reflects the truest flavors. Shopping and cooking from the farmer’s market helps you reconnect with our region’s cycles of nature. As you look forward to asparagus in spring, savor sweet corn in summer, or bake pumpkins in autumn, you reconnect with the earth, the weather, and the year’s turning.

3. Support Family Farmers

Family farmers need your support now that large agribusiness dominates food production in the U.S. Small family farms have a hard time competing in the food marketplace. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and gives them a fighting chance in today’s globalized economy.

4. Protect the Environment

Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate. All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources (especially fossil fuels), contributes to pollution, and creates trash with extra packaging. Conventional agriculture also uses many more resources than sustainable agriculture and pollutes water, land, and air with toxic agricultural by-products. Food at the farmer’s market is transported shorter distances and is generally grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth.

5. Nourish Yourself

Much food found in grocery stores is highly processed and grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. Some of it has been irradiated, waxed, or gassed in transit. These practices may have adverse effects on human health. In contrast, most food at the farmer’s market is minimally processed. Many of our farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by using sustainable techniques, picking produce right before the market, and growing heirloom varieties.

6. Discover the Spice of Life: Variety

At the farmers market, you find a fantastic array of produce you don’t see in your average supermarket: red carrots, a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, purple cauliflower, stinging nettles, and green garlic, watermelon radishes, quail eggs, maitake mushrooms, and much, much more. It is an excellent opportunity to savor the biodiversity of our planet.

7. Promote Humane Treatment of Animals

At the farmers market, you can find meats, cheeses, and eggs from animals that have been raised without hormones or antibiotics, who have grazed on green grass and eaten natural diets, and who have been spared the cramped and unnatural living conditions of feedlots and cages that are typical of animal agriculture.

8. Know Where Your Food Comes From

A regular trip to a farmer’s market is one of the best ways to connect with where your food comes from. Meeting and talking to farmers and food artisans is a great opportunity to learn more about how and where food is produced. CUESA’s seller profiles that hang at the booths give you even more opportunities to learn about the people working hard to bring you the most delicious and nutritious food. Profiles, articles about sellers, and a map of farms are also available on this website.

9. Learn Cooking Tips, Recipes, and Meal Ideas

Few grocery store cashiers or produce stockers will give you tips on how to cook the ingredients you buy. Still, farmers, ranchers, and artisans at the farmer’s market are often passionate cooks with plenty of free advice about how to cook the foods they are selling. You can also attend free seasonal cooking demonstrations by leading Bay Area chefs and evening classes on food preservation and other kitchen skills.

10. Connect with Your Community

Wouldn’t you rather stroll amidst outdoor stalls of fresh produce on a sunny day than roll your cart around a grocery store with artificial lights and piped-in music? Coming to the farmer’s market makes shopping a pleasure rather than a chore. The farmers market is a community hub—a place to meet up with your friends, bring your children or just get a taste of small-town life amid our wonderful big city.

Farmer’s Market Resources in Southern California

LB Fresh, in addition to Long Beach Famers Markets, gives pantry location details, as well as volunteer opportunities.

http://lbfresh.org/

State of California Certified Famer’s Markets PDF Listing by County:

https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/docs/CurrentMrktsCounty.pdf

Orange County:

https://www.orangecounty.net/html/farmersmarkets.html

WIC Nutrition Program:

https://www.fns.usda.gov/fmnp/wic-farmers-market-nutrition-program

WIC Authorized Farmer’s Markets:

https://myfamily.wic.ca.gov/Home/WICFarmersMarkets#WICFarmersMarkets

USDA Nutrition Program & Farmer’s Markets

https://www.fns.usda.gov/fmnp/wic-farmers-market-nutrition-program

Seniors Farmers Market

https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/SeniorFarmersMrktNutritionPrgm/

USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program

https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/fmpp

NRPA Farmers Market resource

https://www.nrpa.org/contentassets/dc39f735cdf84adf8a31472f93113cb5/farmers-market-report.pdf

Good Veg Long Beach Farmer’s Markets:

https://www.goodveg.org/

Farmers Market Coalition

We Like LA Lists LA County Famers Markets with History and Facts About Each Location

Ecology Center Farmer’s Market Finder:

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If you have more resources or information on Farmer’s Markets, please message us in the comments section.

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why waste food wednesday blog postFood Waste

Stop Wasting Food: Plan It Out

According to the FDA, an estimated 30% to 40% of the food supply is wasted in the United States. This is a problem for several reasons. First of all, it costs a lot of money—more than $400 billion in 2019, according to ReFed. In addition, all the water, energy, and labor used to produce this wasted food could have been reallocated for consumption instead of lost. That means that we could not only be saving water and the environment, but helping to feed food insecure people as well.

As a full-time Nutrition and Dietetics student and intern at Food Finders, nutrition and reducing hunger and food waste are essential to my life.  In my junior year at California State, Long Beach, I learned how many people in the United States go to bed hungry every night, so many of them are children, and my heart broke.  I knew then that my passion for nutrition and eating for wellness was not all I would devote my time to.

Planning Reduce Food Waste

I have found out that most people are not aware of how throwing away food is changing our planet. Since working with Food Finders, A food rescue organization in Southern California, I have learned that reducing the amount of food that goes into landfills would help address climate change. I know that sounds crazy, but it is true! Food waste that decomposes in landfills releases methane—a greenhouse gas nearly 30 times as potent as carbon dioxide. And since 20% of U.S. methane emissions come from landfills, reducing food waste in landfills would help lessen methane emissions and improve our planet.

How can you help? PLAN.

Low-carb chicken enchiladas, black beans, and Spanish rice

Just by planning out meals each week, in most cases, I can prevent food waste in my home.  Having meals, fresh fruits, and vegetables ready for a busy week is a great feeling.  I know how life is. We get busy and forget what is in the refrigerator. Maybe they order pizza at work and your delicious leftovers go bad. It always made me feel bad to throw away a good meal but now that I know I am hurting planet earth too–well, we can all be better.

One of the ways I reduce my overall waste and save on my grocery bill is to plan out meals, cook them, and package them up for lunches and dinner throughout the week.

I just love the feeling of getting in my home, tired, hungry and opening up the fridge to a choice of delicious meals already prepped and ready to eat.

Avoiding Disaster: FREEZE ‘EM

It is super easy to forget fruits and veggies and when they go bad, it is fast! So I use the freezer to help me reduce food waste. I like to freeze most of my fruits for future use in smoothies, spreads, and salad dressings. I place the fruit in vacuum-sealed bags and label and dated them (you can also use zip lock bags but be sure to remove as much air as possible).

On those weeks when I have prepped and planned my meals and realize that I am not going to be able to eat them all I prefer to reach out to my neighbors. Most of them know I am nutrition student and now a #FoodWasteHero (who is mindful not to throw good food away) so they will usually take the meals off my hand.  Before I started working with Food Finders, I usually didn’t have a backup plan in case they couldn’t use them. Now I am a member of a social media group that is all about giving and receiving for free.  It is where I have witnessed the kindest of strangers cooking hot meals for group members in need and giving away perishables and non-perishable foods.  It makes my heart happy to see my community in action. 

Making A Plan

Start by writing out a grocery list with all the recipes you will cook this week. Not only will this save on your grocery bills, but it makes shopping faster. Next, have a prep day and cook everything you need, dividing portions into containers. Sometimes you can freeze meals, depending on what you are preparing for the week. Households throw away 43% of all the food that ends up in landfills in the United States. That is a horrible statistic and one that is very preventable with planning.

Get the whole family involved in the planning, prepping, and packaging. You might be surprised at how fun and easy it can be to #stopfoodwaste and help save the planet.

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Kelly Alarcon is a full-time student and Intern at Food Finders, Inc.

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make a will month food findrs augustGiving

A Will? Seriously, Why Do I Need One?

August is MAKE A WILL Month

Not that we want to be doom and gloom, but seriously, making a will is a pretty important part of adulthood. A will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children. No matter what you have, or whether or not you have children, maybe you have pets–they count too, right?

Your wishes are paramount. If no one knows your wishes and you haven’t taken some time to outline them–nothing will be carried out if you die without a will. And just think of those left behind: your heirs, family, siblings, and loved ones may spend additional time, unnecessary money, and tremendous emotional energy to settle your affairs after you’re gone.

We know that no single document will resolve every issue after your death, a will—officially known as a last will and testament—can come close. So we went to some experts to begin the month of August-Make A Will Month-to start you off with some reason why it is essential to have a will. Plus, Free Will offers everyone an opportunity to make a will, for free! So the cost of creating a will cannot be one of the reasons why you don’t make a will this month.

The ten most important reasons to have a will

Written by Freewill.com

1. Save time, money, and stress for your loved ones.

Almost all estates have to go to probate court to start the legal process overseeing the distribution of assets. But when you don’t have a will, the court process — known as intestate administration — can get especially complicated. Without a will, the court has to name an administrator to administer your estate. And this can be time-consuming, expensive, and even contentious for your loved ones.

One of the top reasons to have a will is to streamline this court process. When you have a will, you can choose the person you want to handle your estate, making it easier for your loved ones.

2. Determine who will manage your estate.

As mentioned above, deciding who will handle your estate is a great reason to have a will. When you write a will, you become a “testator” and have the opportunity to nominate an “executor.” This is the person who will be in charge of wrapping up all your affairs. 

Being an executor is an important job. Their responsibilities may include everything from closing bank accounts to liquidating assets. So you should choose someone who is capable and who you trust to carry out these activities. If you don’t choose an executor in your will, the court will pick one for you — and it may not be the person you’d want.  

3. Decide who gets your assets and property — and who does not.

Most people know that a will lets them decide who will get their property. As the testator, you can name people as beneficiaries for specific assets. You can also name beneficiaries for any property that you don’t list — the “residuary” of your estate. When your executor handles your will, they’ll be in charge of distributing these assets.

You might not be aware that you can also use a will to help ensure that some people don’t receive anything. For example, you might want to prevent an ex-spouse from receiving an inheritance. Or, if one child received your support through school, you might want to make sure a second child gets their fair share, too.

4. Choose who will take care of your minor children.

If you’re a parent, you can use your will to nominate a guardian for your minor children. The surviving parent will usually get sole legal custody if one parent dies. But if both parents pass, this is one of the most important reasons to have a will. 

A guardian will be responsible for all your children’s daily needs, including food, housing, health care, education, and clothing. And if you don’t nominate a guardian in your will, a court will have to choose one for you. This could mean that someone you would not have chosen will be raising your kids.

5. Provide a home for your pets.

British shorthair and golden retriever friendly

Owning a pet is a great reason to have a will. With a will, you can make sure that someone takes care of your pet after you die. The law considers pets to be property, so you can’t leave any assets to your pet with your will. But you can name a beneficiary for your pet, leaving them to a trusted friend or family member. You can ask that person to act as a caretaker or guardian for your pet, and even leave them funds to provide for your pet’s care. 

6. Leave instructions for your digital assets.

Your digital assets may include online accounts, such as Facebook or email, and digital files or property (photos, videos, domain names, etc). In your will, you can name a digital executor to manage these assets after you pass. You can leave them to specific people, and also include information on how you want them handled (e.g. if you’d like an account closed). 

7. Lower the potential for family disputes.

If you have complicated family dynamics, there’s a good reason to have a will. When you die without a will, your family will have to guess at what your final wishes were. And chances are, they won’t always agree. This ambiguity can create friction, and even fights, which sometimes lasts a lifetime. Creating a will solves the problem by eliminating the guesswork.

8. Support your favorite causes and leave a legacy.

Many people want to leave a positive impact on the world after they pass. And a great way to do this is to support the charities or causes you love most. When you write a will, you can preserve your legacy by leaving a part of your estate to a charitable organization. 

If you use FreeWill to make your will, this is super simple to do. Our tool allows you to select your favorite causes with just a few clicks.

9. Provide funeral instructions.

You may not want to think about your own funeral. But if you do think about it now, and leave instructions with your will, you can lessen the burden on your loved ones after you pass. While these instructions aren’t legally binding, they can give your executors and loved ones some guidance on your wishes. 

When you include instructions, you can name a funeral executor to manage the process, give suggestions for the service and location, make requests for your final resting place, and more. 

10. It’s easy to make a will and gain peace of mind.

Some folks put off creating or updating their will because they assume their loved ones will automatically get an inheritance. But this isn’t always true. Probate can be a long and expensive process for your heirs. Plus, a will only addresses your current circumstances. You should update it over time as your needs and the people in your life change.

When you create or update your will, you can look after your loved ones and give them an easy map to follow after you pass. This gives many people peace of mind, making it one of the most important reasons to have a will.

And it’s easier than ever to make a will. Unless you have a large or particularly complex estate, contentious family dynamics, or feel like you need expert advice from an attorney, you can prepare your will without a lawyer. With FreeWill, for example, you can create your own will for free, using our simple, online self-help tools. 

Get started here.

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Source: https://www.freewill.com/learn/10-reasons-to-have-a-will

To understand your options for legacy giving, please reach out to Lisa Hoffmaster

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NOV 19 & 20 Holiday Pack and Sort: Volunteers Needed

Holiday Pack and Sort

November 19th & 20th, 2022

holiday-packa-and-sort-volunteers 1

 

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED to pack donated holiday food in boxes.

Where:  Mcbride High School, 7025 Parkcrest Street, Long Beach, CA 9080

When: 8AM to 4PM 12 shifts

Groups of Six Volunteers for 10am -12pm

Groups of Six Volunteers for 12pm – 2pm

Groups of Six Volunteers for 2pm – 4pm

Contact Carly Bragg (562) 283-1400 x113

or email cbragg@foodfinders.org

REGISTER:

holiday pack and sort

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Meatless Monday Recipe-Cauliflower Food findersNutrition

Cauliflower is good for you and the planet!

Meatless Monday

Every other Monday, we’ll be spotlighting a #meatlessmonday recipe. Quick and nutritious, these recipes and guides are perfect for on-the-go meals; they are good for you and the planet. 

Tons of food is wasted every year. Good, nutritious food is thrown into the trash because it might not look right, wilted, or even if we just don’t know how to cook it! It’s estimated that approximately 20% of produce gets thrown out for cosmetic reasons–like weird shapes, odd colors, or blemishes on a peel you don’t even eat. That’s 1 in 5 fruits and vegetables getting tossed into landfill even though they’re just as nutritious and delicious to eat. Check out how to store Cauliflower so you don’t waste it (below)

https://savethefood.com/storage

Buffalo Cauliflower Kebabs

For this #meatlessmonday, we’re sharing a tangy, savory recipe for buffalo cauliflower kabobs. Kebobs are the best recipe to clean out the veggie drawer and prepare all your misc items in a delicious, family-pleasing way. Glaze the kebabs in zesty buffalo sauce, grill until the cauliflower is tender, then top with a drizzle of blue cheese and serve!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted 
  • 1/2 c. vinegary hot sauce
  • One head cauliflower, florets only
  • Four stalks celery, cut into 1 ½” pieces
  • One large yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 ½” pieces
  • One large orange bell pepper, cut into 1 ½” pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Blue cheese dressing for serving

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together butter and hot sauce until combined. Add cauliflower, celery, and bell peppers, season with salt and pepper, then toss to coat.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium-high for 3 minutes, and soak skewers in a shallow pan filled with water for 10 minutes to prevent scorching. Thread the cauliflower, celery, and bell peppers onto the soaked skewers. Reserve the hot sauce left in the bowl.
  3. Transfer the kebabs to the grill and cook for 3 minutes, turning halfway. After the first 3 minutes, brush the skewers with the buffalo mixture. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the cauliflower is tender and slightly charred.
  4. Transfer kebabs to a platter, drizzle with blue cheese dressing, and serve.

Yield: 4

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes 

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

Recipe Source:

Justin Sullivan , Assistant Food Editor. Justin Sullivan is the Assistant Food Editor for Delish. (2022, June 1). Grilled buffalo cauliflower kebabs will make your meatless Monday. Delish. Retrieved July 11, 2022.

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