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Preventing Food Waste

Food waste has become a growing issue over time. Because of this, we are constantly trying to find ways to cut back. Not only can we do our part at home, but the foodservice industry is also doing their part.

From reducing the amount of food prepared and served to reusing or repurposing uneaten foods to recycling and composting, there are many ways to take action. Here are a few examples of how we can creatively use food.

Sure, ripe red raspberries are delicious whether eaten fresh or used for cooking. But anyone who has brought home raspberries knows how easily these sensitive berries can bruise and spoil.

Because raspberries are so delicate, much care must be taken when processing. Most fully ripe berries are processed within hours. Processing can take different forms, including puree, concentrate, and individually quick frozen (IQF). The IQF method individually freezes each piece to prevent ice crystals from forming and the pieces from sticking together. The fruit at its peak of nutrition is preserved with cold air only, no chemicals or additives are necessary. There are also two grades of IQF red raspberries – Grade A and Grade B. Grade B has more broken pieces (“crumbles”) and are better suited for foodservice for baked goods and garnishes.

Since research has been showcasing the health benefits and culinary versatility of walnuts, they have become a coveted food. They are sold according to size and color, with the lighter walnuts being more popular. In regards to flavor, light walnuts have a mild flavor and subtle tannins while light amber walnuts have a more robust flavor with a slightly sweet finish and smooth, round tannins.

As far as cooking, light walnuts are great for toasting and adding to baked goods and breads, ideal for dressings, sauces, and walnut milk, or for sprinkling on salads. Light amber walnuts are better suited for grinding and chopping to use as a meat replacement, for soups, gravies, crusting or frying, and make a perfect pair for rich chocolate desserts.

Proper storage is the key to preserving the taste and flavor of walnuts, and thus, preventing food waste. Once you have opened the sealed packaging, transfer any unused walnuts to a sealed, airtight container. If you will be using them right away, store them in the refrigerator. If storing for a month or longer, freeze them. And to maintain flavor, only shell, chop, or grind walnuts as needed.

Fish & Meat
Nose-to-tail cooking is nothing new, but helps to reduce food waste by making use of nearly every part of an animal. The Chefs Collaborative is a non-profit network focused on inspiring, educating, and celebrating chefs and food professionals to build a better food system. They hold workshops and conferences that emphasize sustainability and minimizing food waste. Of their offerings is the Chef Power Hours, which are monthly conferences to discuss critical food issues.

As evidenced, there are ways to access creative ideas and ways to minimize our food waste. Are you employing any techniques or methods to cut down on your food waste? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

N case you haven’t heard, our store hours will be changing next week. Effective Monday, January 9, 2017, we will be open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm. Our new breakfast menu will be available until 10:30am. We hope to see you all bright and early next week!