Didn’t Your Parents Tell You Not To Waste Food?

As you probably know by now I am a foodie. I love everything about food. I love thinking about it, growing it, teaching others about it, preparing it and definitely eating it. food is powerful in every way. We are emotionally and physically connected to food and we all know we can’t live without it. So I write this blog post today with reverence for and passion about food.

I have always known that there is a certain amount of waste that goes along with the food chain from farm to table, but did you know that one third of the food produced globally is wasted. In North America it is closer to half the food we grow that is wasted. In some cases it is to keep the cost of the product at what is considered fair market value. A phenomenal amount of food does not even make it onto grocery store shelves because it doesn’t meet the standards for sale. Up to 90% of food waste is due to expiration dates.



So where does all this wasted food go you might ask? With all the people in our world who have no food, who are literally starving to death, we in North American alone, throw away nearly half of the food we grow. How does that make any sense? 


Now imagine if we all decided that the food that was not initially perfect so would not be purchased could be given to a local food pantry. Imagine that all expired food stuff was quickly offered to people who can’t afford to buy it. Some markets have policies to do just that. At some Trader Joes you can find the expired food stuff at a greatly reduced rate in fact up to 75% off retail price. In addition, the Ex President of Trader Joes has created The Daily Table Project which essentially takes expired food stuff and makes low cost grab and go meals that can compete with fast food chain prices for people living in urban food deserts such as Dorchester, MA. Now that is good use of what would otherwise be wasted.



There are many documentaries about our food supply and the little known secrets about the politics of food, but the one I find most disturbing currently is “Just Eat It A Food Waste Story.”  Catch the trailer @ http://foodwastemovie.com/ or follow the film makers on facebook https://www.facebook.com/Justeatitmovie. The film is making the film festival run so is not yet available for popular viewing. This film reveals just how much food is wasted in North America by following a couple who are vowing to eat only salvaged food stuff. What their experience uncovers will shock and I hope inspire you to do something about the waste!

To learn more about the politics of food I recommend reading one of the many books written by Marion Nestle, the most relevant to this topic being “Food Politics: How The Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health. She is a Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University. You can also follow her blog @ http://www.foodpolitics.com/.
My children just bought me a membership in a new local all organic CSA, https://www.facebook.com/bradleyfarmma for my birthday. It is the best gift I have ever received! I can see where the food is grown and I know the people tending the farm. I will share what I can’t eat with family and friends and should any of it go bad I will compost it to use in my gardens. This is my small contribution to reduce food waste and my carbon footprint on the planet. What will you do to spread the abundance that exists all around us with those who are not a fortunate as we are?


“Change like healing takes time.” Veronica Roth

Blessed Be



Time to Garden

I am inspired with the warming weather and the Flower Moon we had this week. Driving home on Wednesday night that beautiful moon was just beginning to peak over the Green Mountains in Bennington Vermont and it was breathtaking. This is a borrowed photo as my iphone couldn’t do the moon justice. It now truly feels like spring is here and so we can begin to plant our vegetable and flower gardens.

flower moon


To inspire me even more this week I found this beauty growing in the window at the Vermont Arts Exchange http://www.vtartxchange.org/. Being a native Californian, I am accustomed to seeing fresh produce year round in some form. But to find a fully ripe tomato in Vermont in mid May is such a gift. After all we had snow on the ground less than a month ago!


I’m telling you the truth, right in Vermont, right now mid May there are these lovely tomatoes ready to eat! Planted in large buckets along the back wall of the multiuse art room at the Arts Exchange are growing 10 foot high tomato plants like these. I have had the pleasure of watching them grow since February.

tomato plants

So now I have to find my organic seeds and plants at various farmer’s markets and gardening shops. I like High Mowing Seeds http://www.highmowingseeds.com/ they have come through for me in past years and are fairly local in Wolcott, Vermont. So far I’ve planted my first round of snow peas which is my favorite to grow (and eat). I also plan to grow green beans, kale, summer and zucchini squash, lettuce and cherry tomatoes. My garden is small but it manages to produce a good amount of produce each year. This is an example of one of my recent harvests.


So with all the fresh produce to look forward to I am searching for new recipes to add to my website. I made this one last night and it was delightful.

6 cups baby spring greens

½ cup crumbled goat cheese

½ cup dried cranberries

1 cup toasted walnuts

1 shallot minced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

¼ olive oil

Salt/pepper to taste

Well I’m heading outside to see what kind of gardening I can get done before the three days of rain arrive.

“It was such a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the Earth, to feel at one’s fingertips the possibilities of the new season.” Kate Morton author of The Forgotten Garden.

Blessed Be



Peace and the Present Moment

“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.”

Dalai Lama


What do you want to do right now? Will it bring you closer to your authentic self? Will it bring joy to you and others? Have you put off doing it because of the pressure of living each day, lack of money, fear of rejection? If it is good… do it!

I have spent much energy on postponing things for a better time. That no longer serves me or the people I love. Today I make a commitment to follow my heart song and to take the risks I must to accomplish my purpose on this Earth. I invite you to join me. If we all decide to be the best people we can be then there will be no need for conflict, war and acts of terror. We will simply refuse to acknowledge those who would act in harmful ways.


Today I plan to spend time with family and friends to share my heart and welcome their love. I will garden, my garden beckons and even after an afternoon of raking, transplanting and weeding there is much to be done. I will walk my dogs and enjoy their joyful romping, the air and sunshine. I will cook and eat  healthy, delicious food. Live is good!


The recipe du jour”

Pan Fried Polenta with Kuzu Mushroom Gravy – A favorite lunch at Kushi Institute


 1 cup yellow corn grits

3 cups spring or well water

Pinch sea salt

Toasted sesame oil


 Place 3 cups water in pot with a pinch of sea salt, cover and bring to a boil.

 Add corn grits stirring constantly to prevent grits from lumping and bring to boil again.

 Cover and reduce flame to medium low and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.

 Remove from flame and pour polenta into a pyrex baking dish.

 Allow the polenta to cool until it is firm to the touch. Cut into 3 x 3 inch squares.

 Add toasted sesame oil to a skillet add polenta squares and fry them until golden.

 Serve warm with Kuzu mushroom gravy.

 Kuzu Mushroom Gravy

 4 cups spring water

6 tsp. shoyu

1 tsp sesame oil

3 Shiitake mushrooms, rinsed, soaked and thinly sliced

¾ cup leeks, washed and thinly sliced

7 Tblsp parsley, scallion or chives finely chopped

5 tsp kuzu


 Heat oil in skillet and sauté leeks for 2-3 minutes.

 Add shiitake mushrooms and continue to sauté for 3-4 minutes.

 Add the water, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce flame to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes.

 Reduce flame to very low and add diluted kuzu stirring it constantly until the sauce becomes thick. Add shoyu and continue to cook for 2 minutes.

 Turn off flame and add parsley or chives, serve over polenta.


Benefits of Kudzu – Kuzu *

             Kudzu root is a very vigorous plant that was originally grown for its fast growing, soil erosion protective qualities in southern United States. It is seen as an invasive plant in the United States but in other parts of the world it has been highly valued for its medicinal benefits for centuries. Kuzu is a tonifying herb that has been used topically to relieve acute pain, stiff neck and shoulders. It is also taken to aid intestinal and digestive disorders, food allergies, headaches, fever, vertigo, diarrhea and hangovers. Kuzu assists in cleansing the intestinal villi thus aiding in better absorption of nutrients.

            Kuzu contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent daidzein. Daidzein helps to prevent cancer and its genistein helps counter leukemia. Research done recently confirms that regular use of Kuzu suppresses the desire for alcohol.

            Kuzu is used as a thickener in place of arrowroot and cornstarch. To use Kuzu put it into a small amount of water to liquefy then add to recipe as thickener.

 Benefits of Corn *

             Though it has become more difficult to find non GMO corn in the United States it is worth to search. Corn is a chi tonic that strengthens overall energy and supports the stomach, kidneys and large intestine. Corn can also be used to treat heart disease and loss of appetite.  It stimulates bile flow, prevents the formation of urinary stones, lowers blood sugar and is used to treat cases of difficult urination or edema.

            Corn is the only grain to contain vitamin A with yellow corn containing a higher level than white corn. Corn’s natural sweetness satisfies sugar cravings.

 Benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms *

             Shiitake mushrooms support the spleen, stomach and liver functions and are a blood and chi tonic. They are restorative in that they detoxify the digestive system and related organs and help to rid the body of excess phlegm and mucus. Shiitake contain two potent substances with proven pharmacological effects as immune regulators and antiviral and antitumor agents; they also positively affect the cardiovascular system. Shiitake is used in eastern medicine to treat diseases involving depressed immune function inclusive of cancer, AIDS and flu. They are rich in vitamin D, B2 and B12 and are a good source of minerals when grown in a mineral rich medium.


The seed of goodness is found in the soil of appreciation.”

Dalai Lama

 Peace and Brightest Blessings