Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pretty Messed Up... Until Recently


There are days I dread looking at the contents of my well-stocked fridge, feeling put out as I ask myself, “Ugh! What should I make for dinner?” And until recently, unaware there are many, many people without this luxury. Until recently, I was oblivious there are kids looking forward to going to school just so they can get a hot meal, because they can’t get one at home. Until recently, ignorant to the fact that one out of seven people go to bed hungry.

Oxfam’s GROW Campaign
It was recently that I was invited to join Oxfam America’s GROW campaign. The GROW campaign is Oxfam’s initiative to end hunger by raising awareness on small changes families can make everyday to fix a broken food system. How broken is it?  One billion (!) people go hungry every day. 50% of the population in more than half of industrialized countries is overweight. On top of that, we see volatile food prices, a system dominated by powerful corporations, and a system contributing to climate change. Yeah, it’s pretty messed up.

So what can you and I do about it? A lot actually. And you’re probably doing some if it already (go you!). The Oxfam GROW Method revolves around these five principles:


I will be writing a blog post about each principle everyday for the next five days, starting with Save Food.
“Around a third of the food produced for people's plates ends up lost or wasted between farm and fork. The amount of food thrown away in rich countries is almost the same as that produced in sub-saharan Africa each year.”

1. Meal Plan
I’m a big fan of meal planning as I wrote about here and here. I’ve found that not only is this a big time saver, but there is less waste. For instance, I’m not buying anything that I may already have stocked in the cupboard, and I often plan for leftovers. Try it. Your hidden Type-A persona and the planet will thank you.

Menu planning saves time and food
2. Use Leftovers
Not only are leftovers great for the day-after lunches, but give it new life with some creative recipes here. I’m also a fan of giving about-to-be-tossed food new life in soups like Stone Soup or old bread for We Are Not Martha’s amazing Panzenella with Sausage.

Use back of crisper veggies for soup

3. Freeze
I get flack from my husband when I freeze whatever is left from that dinner’s prep or untouched meal by my picky eater. "You are never going to eat this" he will say. There are some hectic nights that I’m thankful for the 1-2 servings of frozen leftovers I can reheat in minutes. Soups are a no-brainer to freeze (love this trick for freezing soups by the way).

Best Way to Freeze Soup (Image Credit: Southern Living)

Check out some other tips for Saving Food here. And stay tuned as I blog about other small changes you can make that will have a big impact in parts of the world where food is less abundant.

This post (and my sharing on social media) was inspired by my participation in a compensated program initiated by Women Online/The Mission List to raise awareness about Oxfam America's GROW Method. All commentary and opinions are, of course, my own.

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