Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Freezing corn and more...

Too good to waste
Yesterday, I asked if anyone could offer me some guidance about freezing corn and no one, not a single one of you, responded. What's that about? Maybe you're as clueless as I am. So I did some research and here's what I discovered:

After cutting the corn off of the cob, I need to blanch it by boiling it in a little bit of water for about 4 minutes. Then I immediately dunk it into ice water (with lots of ice), drain the water, and put the corn in freezer containers. 

Sounds easy enough. I can't wait to try it this coming weekend. If you have any other suggestions, let me know. Or if you want to learn more about freezing veggies, click on this link from ecoCENTRIC.

In the meantime, I had some grass-fed ground meat in the fridge and decided I better get it in the freezer since the expiration date was just a few days away. We'd had red meat within the past couple of days and didn't want to have it again right now. Sometimes it's hard to know whether or not to freeze what we have or keep it in the refrigerator so it's ready to be cooked. But the important thing is to not waste it, so this time around, freezing was the best option. 

But really, other than saving money by not wasting food, why does this matter? Food waste comes with an environmental cost as well as a cost to your grocery budget. It is estimated that nearly one-third (1.3 billion tons) of the global food supply is wasted annually. Average families of 4 generally toss out about $175 worth of food monthly! Ouch.

Wasted food accounts for more than 25% of all freshwater consumption and uses 300 million barrels of oil per year. With the current water crisis, this is a disturbing figure. Unless composted, the food rots in landfills, releasing methane, a greenhouse gas that traps 23 times more heat than CO2. Keep in mind, there is a cost to disposing the waste as well, close to $1 billion in the U.S. alone!

The more food wasted, the more food needed. That means more fertilizer, pesticide use (unless you're buying only organic foods), more processing, more transportation fuel, and, unless we all learn our lessons, more food wasting away in the landfill. Yikes.

That's why learning proper freezing methods is important, folks. It's about more than our pocketbooks. It, too, is about caring for this amazing planet of ours.

So, are you part of the problem, or part of the solution? What are you doing to prevent food waste?

Are you interested in 'eco-eating'? NBC's Green is Universal is hosting an "Eco Eats" sweepstakes from September 29 - October 17. To join, visit their free green-living tool, One Small Act, and join the "Eco Eats" challenge. Everyone who signs up and tackles at least one action by October 17th will be entered to win one of five 6-month subscriptions to NatureBox. No Purchase Necessary. Must be US resident and 18+. Read official rules here.

Disclosure: In exchange for participating in the challenge and writing this post, I was given a gift package from Green is Universal. All opinions here are still my own.

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