daily links::a food waste cookbook!, news on teen hunger, and more

2016-09-24

There’s a cookbook called Amazing Waste with recipes entirely devoted to cooking with scraps,leftovers,etc. I haven’t had a chance to look through the entire thing yet but this looks like the kind of cookbook I would write. Am writing. These kinds of recipes are great for food pantry users (at least my food pantry) where you might end up with produce that is not the prettiest or freshest.

The entire cookbook is available for free RIGHT HERE.

Thanks to my local food waste reduction -anti hunger group Friendship Donations Network for passing along that info.


·:   Five Questions with JoAnne Berkenkamp, Food Waste Expert and Advocate  – there’s a lot of food waste going on but it’s getting better thanks to mainstream recognition and initiatives to reduce waste


:· some new research reveals some sad information about teenagers living in homes with food insecurity  . Even if teenagers do have access to programs that give them food,they’re too worried about what their peers will think to use them openly but also they are underserved by programs like The Backpack Program, which focuses on elementary aged kids. This is something touched on before here when one of our readers was trying to develop a program for older kids.

As a result, in households where hunger was most acute, teens reported engaging in all kinds of risky behavior to obtain food, including: shoplifting food directly, selling drugs for cash and/or engaging in “transactional dating,” i.e., engaging in sexual relationships with older adults in exchange for food and money. In a few communities, some teens even viewed going to jail as a viable option to ensure regular meals. The report also revealed the degree to which hungry teens look out for each other and for their younger siblings, often forgoing meals or sharing their food with those also in need.

Here’s a summary of the full report: Impossible Choices

My teenager’s high school made school lunch available for free to ALL students, regardless of income. If high schools did that widely, this would eliminate so much of these issues. Her school also has Free Food Friday where food donations picked up from a local rescue agency is available in the school lobby for anyone to take home. My daughter very rarely gets anything because it’s completely gone by the time she has a chance to check it out. Even when she is there on time, it’s difficult to get anything. No one is shy about taking food home. Now I have to wonder why these students have no reluctance to take free food. The school is a small charter school that focuses on sustainability and social justice (nope, don’t go off on me about how awful charter schools are) . Is it just that the culture of the school is centered on taking care or others and being stewards of the earth? A lot for me to think about there. I asked my daughter what she thinks and she says it’s because the school works hard to be a safe space for everyone and “no one judges people for things like that”.


Meanwhile in my community, the school district just expanded their Fresh Snack Program to include another school so that it now serves 1,200 elementary students. The Youth Farm Project (which one of my older kids worked at and let em tell you…that’s an AMAZING program) and other local farms provide a weekly snack to be served with the intention of expanding food horizons and food accessibility. It’s awesome.

My 6 year old was very critical of the yellow watermelon mentioned in the article linked above. He spent his summer growing his own watermelon, so he’s an expert now.
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He’s a super proud watermelon farmer.  I think we actually have a couple left to harvest. I plan on making this watermelon pie. YESSSSSSSSS.

How to cook seasonal winter vegetables (INFOGRAPHIC)

 

via here: How to cook seasonal winter vegetables (INFOGRAPHIC).

More than any other time of the year, winter is when people send me pictures of Mystery Food that was in their CSA or food bank box asking, “What even is this and what do I do with it?”  Parsnips & rutabagas are big ones.  If you luck out with a good produce sale or freegan score, this infographic is a good rough guide to how to cook these winter veggies.

 

See also: What to do with mystery produce

 

ICYMI: Lots of low income & food stamp budget friendly recipe links

A round up of the stuff you may have missed this past week.

 

Food & Recipes

How to get kids to eat vegetables | No Ordinary Homestead -I used to be a pre-school teacher. One of the things I found thru my own experience teaching as well as raising my own children is that if kids participate in cooking & growing the food, they are much more likely to eat it.
And not surprisingly, tons of research confirms

Social Supermarkets -“In a nutshell, Social Supermarkets are markets that take surplus from other stores {items that are about to expire, are dented, mislabeled, etc.} and sell them at significant discounts to patrons who need some sort of economic assistance, instead of tossing them into the trash.”

Real Food Recipes to Replace Your Favorite Junk Foods – how to transform your fave “junky” recipes to real food ones. My tip: Don’t be intimidated by recipes that call for ingredients you’ve never heard or can’t find in your area. I’m an experienced cook and I had to google what an ingredient was yesterday lol
Totally use goggle when you are trying to find a substitute for an ingredient that is too expensive or hard to find.
(For example: Peanut butter or Sun Butter is a pretty decent sub for tahini)

25 Easy Crock Pot Dessert Recipes – Mmmmm, desserts.

100+ 30 Minute (or less) Meal Ideas for the Busy Cook | Love Bakes Good Cakes -Quick,easy…and a lot of them look pretty frugal,too.

Freezer Friendly | Well Rounded NY -budget friendly.

Frugality Gal: $1 Dinner: Super Cheap Meal to Make for a Lazy Night – It’s a group turkey-macaroni dish. Total cost $1.15 (her onions & peps were free,though)

90 Meals For $1.25 Per Serving (or Less!) – Daily Deals Blog – I was so confused because I scrolled down to the bottom and only saw 30. There’s 30 recipes for each meal.

1 Organic Chicken, 22 Healthy Meals, $49 Bucks  – There were skeptics when I posted this on my social media. I’ll have to experiment with it myself, maybe after the hollerdaze.

Secret Freegan scored all this food to donate to a teen shelter. Otherwise, it would be slated for trash.

 

 

Thrifty Living & DIY

A Thrifted and Thrifty Gifts Discussion: You Giving Thrifted Gifts? + Gift Wrap Ideas -I’m a big fan of thrifted giving. It’s about the only kind I do. Well, besides handmade.

5 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season –           I like this list for several reasons. Mindful donations, caring for people and the planet, and practical things nearly everyone can do.
I was happy to see Treecycling. I collect them from the neighborhood & drag them into the woods. #goofypaganlady

 Literacy Launchpad: 20 Places to Find Free Children’s Books Online – A good resource for families w/ Internet connection at home but can’t make it to the library when they’re open to take out actual books.

25 Ways to Naturally Clean with Salt ~ * THE COUNTRY CHIC COTTAGE  – Non-toxic. Cheap. And you can use food stamps to buy it. It works,too. I had coffee stains on my counter and salt totally worked.

Articles & Thoughts

Iowa wants its poor to give up smoking and drinking to qualify for Medicaid – “A single person at 50 percent of the poverty line makes less than $500 per month. That’s obviously not someone who can afford even a nickel in extra expenses. But that was the income level in Iowa’s initial application, which means that for all practical purposes the original goal of this program was to (a) deny government benefits to poor people who are smokers, drinkers, drug users, or overweight, but (b) provide the benefits if these poor people agree to fairly intrusive government monitoring that ensures they improve these behaviors.”

Study: Over 21 Million U.S. Households Can’t Afford Their Rent – yeah.

 

Activism & Awareness

Campaign Aims to Get Cell Phones to Survivors: Donations Wanted – If you have an old cell phone laying around, consider donating it to this program. They help domestic violence victims have a lifeline to help when they need it.

 

Transgender workers are nearly four times more likely than the population as a whole to have a household income of less than $10,000. It’s absolutely important to address how poverty and trans issues intersect. Check out http://transequality.org/ for more info.

When Drones Guard the Pipeline – Militarizing Fossil Fuels in the East By Winona LaDuke with Frank Molley.http://bit.ly/16cjzqz

Staff from the Chicago Bulls are spending the afternoon volunteering at the Food Depository! Thank you! They’re also fighting hunger with the Social Donation Plate. Check it out at www.thedonationplate.org.

 

Free Food:Abandoned CSA Shares

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I’ve talked a little bit here  on other social media about CSAs being a great source for local and inexpensive produce. Unfortunately, the input from many readers is that they either do not have any CSA programs in their area or it’s still not affordable or not accessible because of transportation.

Let me back up for the people who are sitting there scratching their head, trying to figure out what “CSA” stands for and what it even is.

CSA = Community Supported Agriculture. 

A farm or a community garden sells “shares” to members. Each week, members will get a box of produce for their membership fee.
The membership and share fees are typically affordable but unfortunately, most CSAs aren’t set up to accept EBT (food stamps), which makes it impractical for people on SNAP. BUT because CSAs are usually run by very community minded & socially conscientious people, many CSAs will offer sliding scale fees for low income families or will allow people to work for shares. Sometimes if the farm is especially rural, they will arrange a pick-up point within the nearest town or city to make it easier for members to get their shares.

There are CSAs for other things besides produce. Some farms will offer meat ,egg, and dairy shares. Beyond the economically benefits, the food offered is generally non-GMO, local ,and organic.

If you aren’t sure if there’s a CSA in your area, there’s a CSA finder here: CSA Finder

 

There’s one thing that happens sometimes with CSA shares that can be especially beneficial to low income families.  It happens that people don’t pick up their share. They were busy, forgot, couldn’t make it that week…. whatever. Stuff happens. Sometimes people will pick thru their boxes at pick-up and leave behind things they don’t like or won’t use. The CSA managers then have fresh produce they need to figure out what to do with so that it doesn’t go to waste. In some areas, food pantries are not set up to accept and distribute fresh produce, so that’s not an option. Giving it directly to a family who needs it would be the preferable thing to do.

It is definitely worth contacting your local CSA owners to ask if they allow abandoned shares to be claimed by non-members. I would personally at least offer to volunteer to work on the farm or garden in exchange for the privilege of getting first pick at leftovers. That just feels like the right thing to do.

So, want to see what one CSA’s abandonment looks like?

In these pictures are:

  • swiss chard
  • red onions
  • edamame beans
  • hot peppers
  • bell peppers
  • turnips
  • various squash
  • bags of various greens -arugula, spinach,romaine,kale
  • potatoes
  • beets
  • carrots
  • tomatoes
  • garlic
  • yellow onions
  • broccoli
  • parsley
  • cilantro

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I managed to get some great meals from these veggies. Lighting is horrible in my kitchen, awful for food photography but some things I made…

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Quick White Bean Stew with Swiss Chard and Tomatoes

 

White Bean & Swiss Chard Stew

Garlic Edamame   A Healthy and Flavorful Snack // wishfulchef.com

Garlic Edamame

…and a bunch of other stuff.

Recent Freegan & Garden Scores

Freegan = food that has come our way at no cost.

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NOT the prettiest apples ever but my daughter made a small batch of applesauce with a few of them over the weekend and they taste like apples do. These were picked from someone’s apple tree and passed on to us. Apple cider vinegar and applesauce making posts are forthcoming!

DSC_0318-001 This was about to be expired. We have a small,local grocery who would rather it go in someone’s belly than get tossed,so score for us. I LOVE tofu-kan and it’s the only kind of tofu a couple of my kids will eat. I think it’s because it has a firm, meatier texture to it. It’s great stuff for noodle and pasta dishes , salads,stir fry ,or just snacking.

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Yes, more zucchini. I’m telling ya, make friends with gardeners and you will never have a zucchini deficit in your life .

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I grew these beautiful habaneros. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them yet. My dearest hubby has habanero hot wing induced PTSD from his fantasy football league’s draft night. I need to give it some time before he’s willing to participate in the eating of anything made with these.