STEM Tuesday: Waste Not, Want Not

Good Golly! I had no idea we wasted so much food! $165 billion/year; 20 pound/person.

[tweetthis]According to October 2015 Sierra Magazine, 30% of the food in the United States ends up in dumpsters.[/tweetthis]

This video will take about 1o minutes of your time.  Even the first 3 minutes will make and point, and make you laugh.  I bet you’ll enjoy the whole thing.  I did.


I remember when Mom looked watched the grocery store for blackened bananas to go on sale: perfect for banana bread.  She got windfall apples to make applesauce.  Cider came from blemished apples.  We joked that wormy apples made protein-rich cider.

For our part, we try not to waste food.  I can’t remember the last time I had to dump an unrecognizable leftover because of the blue fuzz. We eat leftovers. What we don’t eat fresh, we cook, preserve or freeze. This time of year is a bit stressful with all the veggies ripening at once.  We  use bones for soup stock. We can also donate to the local food pantry.  We also put fruit and veggie scraps in a compost bin for next year’s garden.


Some manufacturers got much more innovative than my mother or I. They put waste to work in innovative ways.

Elizabeth Bennet, founded FRUITCYCLE. She collects discarded apples, dries them, sprinkles on a little cinnamon and sells them as “Apple Chips.”

Colin Spoelman spotted a box of cocoa husks headed for the compost heap when he toured a chocolate factory.  Rather than seeing garbage, he saw opportunity. Now KINGS COUNTRY DISTILLERY now produces “Chocolate Whiskey.”

The REPUBLIC OF TEA birthed Sonoma Chardonnay Iced Tea from grape skins otherwise sent to landfill by local wineries.

Zoe Wong, co-founder of REVIVE FOODS, grew up in China.  When she moved to California, she became dismayed by the mounds of leftover fruit. Now her company preserves otherwise wasted materials to make products like her “Strawberry Jam.”

Dan Kurzock, an avid home beer brewer decided to use the spent grins to make granola bars, like “Honey Almond IPA Bar.” He co-founded REGRAINED.

What innovative ways do you employ to avoid wasting food?