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  November 2, 2016
  Wasted Food Dude
  Food News Digest
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Jonathan Bloom: thought leader, speaker and consultant on food waste. He is the author of American Wasteland and creator of Send Jonathan any food waste related questions — from the sublime to the ridiculous to the rotten.  

Dear Wasted Food Dude,
It seems that we can't get through more than half a bottle of salad dressing without getting tired of the flavor. I hate to throw it out or let it expire, but it's getting gross. For example, I have half a bottle of an Italian that was too tart and half a bottle of raspberry dressing that is too sweet. Besides as a marinade or taking to a party, any suggestions on how to use these up?
-—Danielle C., Northern California

Howdy Danielle,
I thought your tale would end like an old Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ad, and you'd be praising Raspberry Italian dressing. But no.

How best to use up those bottles? Well, you may be asking the wrong dude, as I'm not a big fan of dressing. I eat my veggies raw and spend most days in pajamas. But it's not about me. It's about me using the internet to help you!

My reflexive advice is always smoothies and soups. The former won't work here, but the latter could. I plugged in Italian dressing on and it spit out 1,488 recipe ideas! To be fair, plenty of recipes use dressing as a marinade or as…salad dressing.

Still, there were heaps of useful ideas, like using dressing to make pasta salad, cole slaw, and "Texas caviar." The possibilities, like a black hole and the internet, are endless.


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Also, I was kidding about the raspberry/Italian dressing mashup, but it may be worth trying. The blend may mellow both the tart and sweet, and it can't be too different from your average raspberry vinaigrette.

The best way to avoid this situation in the future, other than dressing abstinence, is to buy smaller containers. And that is decent universal advice for food purchases. Any savings realized from buying the larger size evaporate when that item isn't finished.

If you're already buying small-ish containers of dressing and can't seem to use them up — a problem for many people who live alone — I'd recommend whipping up your own small batches. And by small, I mean making enough for one or two bowls. I find that experimentation is rewarded with salad dressings, so just follow your heart!

Making your own salad dressing (or most anything), will save money, avoid waste, and allow you to experiment with minimal stakes! Just keep in mind that you have some time to ponder what to do with your dressings, as most kinds contain vinegar, a curing agent that makes bottles last, approximately, forever.

You're berry welcome,
Wasted Food Dude

Food NEWS Digest

New Jersey Senate Committee Moves Food Waste Bill Forward. The New Jersey Senate Environment and Energy Committee approved SB 771, which would require generators of more than 104 tons/year of food waste to source separate it and divert it to a recycling facility — if that facility is within 25 miles of the generator. Allowed facilities include composting, anaerobic digestion and animal feed operations. After several years, generators of 52 tons/year or more of food waste would be included as well.


Keeping Food Waste Out of Landfills. The Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic released a toolkit with comprehensive information on eight different policy areas that states and localities can consider as they ramp up efforts to reduce food waste. Each section of "Keeping Food Out of the Landfill: Policy Ideas for States and Localities" describes the relevant federal laws, provides state examples, and offers the Clinic's policy recommendations, which can be utilized by legislators, advocates, food donors, and food recovery organizations to call for policy changes.

Food Rescue Models Webinar. The Northeast Recycling Council's (NERC) Nov. 16 webinar (1:00-2:30 pm (EST), free of charge), Food Recovery = Food Rescue: Innovative Strategies, presents two models for collecting and redistributing usable, healthy food to neighbors in need:

• Food Rescue Alliance, a project of Boulder Food Rescue, is a peer-learning network between food recovery organizations to share information, technology, and resources to develop innovative models of food recovery.
• Friendship Donations Network (FDN) in Ithaca, New York, rescues fresh, nutritious food that would otherwise be thrown away from stores and farms and redistributes it to food insecure neighbors via its Neighborhood Food Hubs. image

EatBy App. Developers of the EatBy App have incorporated artificial intelligence into their kitchen management and grocery list app to reduce domestic food waste. Its newest feature automatically suggests how long fruit, vegetables and frozen items will stay fresh and then reminds you to use them up before they become inedible. But the clever bit, write the developers in a recent press release, is that the app learns the storage habits of individual users. "Not everyone's kitchen is the same, and different food storage environments affect shelf life. EatBy App addresses this problem by learning as it's used over time."

Ugly Produce Directories. Jordan Figueiredo of shared these links to online ugly produce directories: Home Delivery, Retail outlets

Compost Use In Prison Orchard. BioCycle featured the Philadelphia Prison System's food scraps composting project in 2015, which uses finished compost in an orchard on the prison's grounds. A recent update in Civil Eats discusses PPS's 10-week organic agriculture training for minimum security inmates, which includes working at the composting site and the orchard. PPS partnered with Temple University to offer a vocational certificate to any inmates who completed the program. Fruits and vegetables were planted between the rows of apple, paw paws, figs, jujube, and peach trees that are too young to bear fruit.

Trending in biocycle

imageGrowing Community Collection And Composting. Small-scale operations in Philadelphia, City Sprouts and Bennett Compost, service households and businesses.

Calculating A Community Meal Gap. In October BioCycle, Tom O’Donnell (U.S. EPA Region 3 and Cabrini College) and Sol Katz (Univ. of Pennsylvania and World Food Forum) explain how to calculate a meal gap in a community to identify food shortfall in pounds and assist with planning for healthier surplus food donations. The calculation is based on Feed America’s Map the Meal Gap methodology. The BioCycle article, which includes steps to calculate the gap in your community, focuses on identifying people who are not using the government safety nets within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or other asset-based state programs.

Food For Soil & Soul. Brazilian clinic uses composting program as therapy for its patients … finding metaphoric comparison between the transformation of organic residuals into rich soil is a very powerful tool in a patient's rehabilitation process.


Baltimore, Maryland
April 3, 4, 5, 6, 2017
Call For Papers Open Now


US Composting Council Conference COMPOST2017: 25 Years and Growing!
Los Angeles, CA
January 23-26, 2017





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