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Urban Gleaners + Farm to Fit = Less Waste

For most, Thanksgiving week centers around food. Heaps of potatoes, gravy, pie, turkey, rolls and . . . . more leftovers than we could ever finish.

Excess has become part of our holidays. Except for those who live with food insecurity.

A few years ago, we were shocked to learn the average middle-class, American family of four throws $1,500 in the garbage from their plate, annually.

Which makes us proud of our relationship with a local food-waste reduction program. For the past two years – once a week – a crew from Portland’s Urban Gleaners (a local non-profit) picks up Farm to Fit’s edible, surplus food and redistributes it to agencies feeding the hungry across Portland.

Yet, everyone can do something in their own home. In fact, the USDA and EPA just announced an initiative to reduce U.S. food waste by 50 percent in 15 years! This wave of change and awareness is just beginning; we’re hopeful for the future of better food management across America.  And, we’re excited to be a part of this movement.
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Waste-Less Food Tips

  • Many fruits give off natural gases as they ripen, making other nearby produce spoil faster. Store bananas, apples, and tomatoes by themselves, and store fruits and vegetables in different bins.
  • Befriend your freezer and visit it often. For example, freeze food such as bread, sliced fruit, or meat that you know you won’t be able to eat in time.
  • Buy boxed milk or milk alternatives that can be shelf-stable until you need to use them.
  • Wait to wash berries until you want to eat them to prevent mold.
  • If you can’t reduce waste. Divert it from landfills. Donate to food banks and learn about composting.
  • Learn the difference between “sell-by,” “use-by,” “best-by,” and expiration dates.

– Tips courtesy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

*Photos courtesy of Urban Gleaners