In the United States alone, 40 PERCENT of food gets tossed every year—and that amounts to $162 BILLION in waste annually, according to the NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL. Before you interject and say landfills are the same as COMPOSTING- it is not, and we’ll cover that topic soon! Food that enters a landfill is EMBALMED (preserved from decay) for decades at a time, and they’ll release harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Since most food is an ORGANIC (large source of carbon compounds) material, it requires a specific environment to break down naturally and efficiently.
What percentage of food gets tossed every year in the United States? 40
That amounts to ______ in waste annually. $162 BILLION
These statistics are according to what organization? NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL
Food that enters a landfill is _____ for decades at a time. EMBALMED
Or- What did I say was the definition of embalming? PRESERVED FROM DECAY
What will food that is placed into a landfill release into the atmosphere? HARMFUL GREENHOUSE GASES
What kind of material is most food? ORGANIC
Sun, water, and air are three of the many things that uneaten food needs in order to become a RENEWABLE source of energy. If you threw away a head of unused LETTUCE tonight, it would take until the year 2045 for the lettuce to fully break down in a landfill. Whereas, if you composted this lettuce, it could break down between 3 to 6 MONTHS, and then it can be used in your garden as nutrient-rich soil. Healthy soil means healthy plants and healthy plants lead to healthy humans.
Name one of the things that are required for uneaten foods to become renewable sources of energy. SUN, WATER, AIR
Or- Uneaten foods need sun, water, and air to become a ____ source of energy. RENEWABLE
Can you name a type of renewable energy source?
If you placed a head of unused lettuce in the trash, how many years would it take for it to break down completely? 2045-2021= 24 YEARS
How long would it take to break down the same head of lettuce in a compost bin? 3 TO 6 MONTHS
Healthy soil means what? HEALTHY PLANTS
Healthy plants mean what? HEALTHY HUMANS
When food is thrown away and covered in other trash, there is no way it can get in contact with elements that will help it break down into a rich FERTILIZER. But there’s good news- you can take some simple steps to reduce your CARBON footprint and decrease food waste by regrowing your own food scraps.
When food is thrown away, it cannot break down into a rich _____. FERTILIZER
You can reduce your _____ footprint. CARBON
You can decrease food waste by doing what? REGROWING YOUR OWN FOOD SCRAPS
What food are you interested in regrowing?
How do you think we should handle the increase in food waste?
The first technique that we will explore is regrowing foods from PARTIAL plants. This is what most people do when they are trying to regrow their own produce, and it works very well for certain products! If you are looking to grow POTATOES, they will either need to have full EYES (an axillary bud, growing point) or have started to sprout from the eyes. Sweet potatoes will also need to produce growth from the eyes, but the sprouts are called SLIPS for this species. To grow a slip, you will need to provide MOISTURE to your sweet potato so that it can develop a 3-inch slip. You can then cut around that eye/slip and plant it in the soil.
Name one type of vegetable I mentioned in this section. POTATO, SWEET POTATO
A potato will need to have full _____ in order to regrow. EYES
What is the eye of a potato? AN AXILLARY BUD, GROWING POINT
What do you call the eyes of a sweet potato? SLIPS
How do you grow a slip of a sweet potato? PROVIDE MOISTURE
How long should the slip of a sweet potato be? 3 INCHES
If you are looking to grow CELERY, romaine lettuce, or NAPA CABBAGE, they can be regrown from their BASES. Place their base in a little bowl of water and give it time to develop roots. Once you can see roots, you can replant the whole thing into the GROUND.
Name one of the vegetables mentioned in this section. CELERY, ROMAINE LETTUCE, NAPA CABBAGE
These vegetables can be regrown from their _____. BASES
Once you see roots, you can replant the whole thing. Where? INTO THE GROUND
Where do you think you should plant these if you do not live somewhere with a yard?
The outside of STRAWBERRIES is covered in tiny seeds! If you plant scraps of strawberry SKINS, you can usually get them to grow whole new plants. Other berries, such as RASPBERRIES, can grow this way as well. You can even regrow a PINEAPPLE by utilizing the top of it! Take the top of the pineapple, where that big stem is, and stick a few TOOTHPICKS into it so that it stands above the water in the bowl underneath it. Keep this container in DIRECT sunlight. Roots should grow within a week or two, and once they form, you can transfer the whole plant into potting soil.
The outside of _____ is covered in tiny seeds. STRAWBERRIES
You can plant scraps of strawberry _____ and get them to grow a whole new plant. SKINS
What other berry grows this way? RASPBERRIES
You can regrow a ____ by utilizing the top of it. PINEAPPLE
What material should the toothpicks be in order to be more eco-friendly? WOODEN
You should keep the container with the pineapple top in _______. DIRECT SUNLIGHT
Now let’s talk about regrowing plants from CUTTINGS (a piece of the vegetable that is cut off). If you have herbs such as BASIL, rosemary, or MINT, you can treat them as if they were a fresh plants! You can place these HERBS into a glass of water, and the roots will regrow from the bottom. Once those form, you can plant them into small pots where they will put out new growth.
In this section, we are talking about regrowing plants from _____. CUTTINGS
What are cuttings? A PIECE OF VEGETABLE THAT IS CUT OFF
Name one of the herbs mentioned in this section. BASIL, ROSEMARY, MINT
Where should you place these herbs to grow roots? A GLASS OF WATER
Once the roots grow, you can plant these herbs. Where? INTO SMALL POTS
You can also regrow food from SPROUTED vegetables. Onions, SHALLOTS, and garlic will typically sprout on their own if they are left for too long or stored IMPROPERLY. You can take advantage of this little mishap and regrow them! You can take the sprouted garlic and shallot cloves and plant them as is. For the onions, you will have to peel off the OUTER layers and separate the sprouts. Take those sprouts and place them in a glass of water to allow their roots to develop prior to planting.
Lastly, you can regrow food from _____ vegetables. SPROUTED
Name one of the vegetables from this section. ONIONS, SHALLOTS, GARLIC
Name one of the ways these vegetables can sprout on their own. LEFT TOO LONG, STORED IMPROPERLY
For onions, you will have to peel off what? THE OUTER LAYERS
What should you let develop before planting? THEIR ROOTS
Here are some facts about food waste in America.
- On average, about 1,160 pounds of food is lost to the garage each year by an American family of 4.
- Produce makes up 52% of the unconsumed food in the garbage, followed by seafood and grains.
- In the US alone, there are 49.1 million FOOD INSECURE individuals. This equates to about 1 in 7 people going hungry.
Hunger looks different for everyone. Some people in your life may even be food insecure, and you might not even know it! That is all the more reason to do your best to reduce your own food waste.
Watch this video-
https://youtu.be/i8xwLWb0lLY 17 minutes long
What did you think of this video?
What did you think of this video?
Now we will be regrowing some produce from these food scraps. We have celery, pineapple, and pumpkin seeds.
Celery is one of the easiest plants to regrow from scraps.
You simply have to cut off the bottom of the celery and place it in a shallow container with a little warm water in the bottom. The bowl should be kept in a sunny and relatively warm place.
After a week or so, leaves will begin to grow, and you can wait and harvest these as required or replant the celery in your garden and allow it to grow into another full-sized plant.
Don’t live in the tropics? That need not necessarily be a problem because you can bring the tropics to you.
Cut the top off of the pineapple and insert a few toothpicks to hold it above a container filled with water. Keep the container in direct sunlight. If it is warm outside, sit it on the porch or deck during the day and bring it in at night.
Note to self: change the water every other day or so and keep the container filled so that it reaches just above the base of the pineapple.
You will then notice roots in about a week or two, and once they are formed, you can transfer the plant into some potting soil. If you live in a cooler area (aka not-the-tropics), it is best to grow your pineapple indoors.
Seeds should never be discarded. Some you can eat along with the main edible yield from the plants in question.
For example, the seeds from your pumpkins and squash are delicious roasted and can be used, for example, as a stand-alone snack or to top dishes that are made with the flesh of the fruits.
Most non-hybrid melons, cucumbers, pumpkins, and other squashes are also great for saving seeds. Wash the seeds off, allow them to dry, and plant them later.