Thursday, March 24, 2011

This is kicking the snot of out my gardening urges

At home I'm carefully planting trays of vegetables.  Putting individual lettuce seeds (they are REALLY TINY).  Trays go onto the heating pads, and under the lamps.  I really enjoy gardening -- until this year. 
Every week I'm handling tons of produce.  Nice looking stuff, too.  Nothing wrong with it.  I shop in the same stores I get this from.   Andrea and I were walking through one day, and I looked at a head of lettuce and pointed to it, and said to her:  "We'll see that soon!".  We probably did. 

Here's 500lbs of broccoli.   What kills me about this is that these are perfect in every respect.  They're crisp and green and...  well, I'm not going to plant any broccoli this year.  It's a little overwhelming. 

The tropical fruits are a little easier to deal with.  I can't grow pineapples, so I feel better about tossing a thousand pounds of it to the pigs.  Oranges, same, but the pigs don't like oranges.   The pigs love pineapples.   
Kiwi fruits...  small peppers.  Industrial quantities of every common fruit and vegetable. 

Blueberries are high in antioxidants.  Here's a mixed load of 500lbs.  A few lemons, some watermelons, grapes.   Click on that picture.  Can you see anything wrong with any of it? 
I chided another blog for raising fears of a food shortage.  I'm moving piles of surplus food every day.  Tons.   If you get hungry, come on by.   
I am feeding my pigs better produce than you'll find in most markets.   
I do find some small solace that using food as food is better than making compost out of it directly, or having it be completely wasted in a landfill somewhere, but I'm a little amazed at what we as a society discard, all to have the perfect display at your local market. 

How many hundreds of pints of jam were those blueberries?  Orange marmalade, anyone?  Lemon meringue pie...  that's what we used to do with produce that was a little past its prime. 


Mel said...

Wow. What is the stated reason for getting rid of that amount of food? Just blemishes?

(I'll be honest, I'd probably eat some of that broccoli. And I'd kill for blueberries about now.)

Bruce King said...

The only thing I can figure is that they have a timeframe that it must be sold by, and when it passes that time, out it goes, no matter what shape its in.

Sort of like "sell by" dates with dairy. Nothing wrong with this produce.

Ron said...

It is truly staggering what our industrial processes produce, and waste. Given my luck with growing broccoli here, I'd be washing and freezing a bunch of that. :)


Karen said...

I find it really sickening, all that waste, or what would have been waste if you hadn't come along.
Some of the produce places I shop at sell that slightly overripe produce at reduced prices. We always check out the reduced rack and bring home fruit to make a cheap, delicious fruit salad.
I'm drooling over all those pineapples..... said...

Bruce you're going to have people fighting with the pigs out in your pile. Better be careful with your offer! I am thinking about a plane ticket right now for those pineapples. Prices for that stuff is through the roof up here in the great white north. I'll say it again, you have the luckiest pigs in n. america!

Anonymous said...

Really. That's insane. You should be given a medal for re-purposing it... And whoever their buyer should be shot.

It must be some kind of pull date thing... That's ridiculous too, I am sure the truck drives past families who could really use that stuff, instead of feeding their kids cheep soda and other crap cause that's all they can afford. 'the late great united states'...

Anonymous said...

you are LUCKY. Around here, our grocery stores refuse to give away their unusable produce/dairy. I have free-feed envy.

Anonymous said...

The U.S. Wastes 40 Percent of All Food Produced Per Year. How About We Stop Doing That?

Stoney Creek Homestead said...

It is not only produce that gets whipped into the garbage. Our local IGA here, throws out all sorts of dairy products, bakery goods and of course produce. But they won't let me take it home for my chickens. They told me it is against the law. I say what a waste.

Team Fun said...

We are going to be moving to the family farm outside of Portland and I'd like to raise 2-3 pigs/year just for our family and friend or two. I balk at the pig feed prices though (not to mention the content) and wonder how much ecological sense it makes. I love the idea of th lefotver veggies, esp since this ought to produce much leaner meat? Do you get yours from grocery stores? How did you convince them to give/sell to you? Can you share? I would be so appreciative.