Are you familiar with Food Rescue? Leket Israel, started 13 years ago by a Riverdale native, is an Amuta that sends volunteers out to the fields to comb and collect usable produce and distribute the produce thru a vast network of volunteers. The idea is revolutionary.
(Jerusalem Post) Legislation meant to encourage restaurants to donate leftover food passed a preliminary Knesset vote Wednesday. Several similar bills, which were brought to a vote, stated that if someone donates food in good faith to a legal charity that distributes food, that person will not be responsible for damages caused by the food donations. Food banks and food rescue organizations will be responsible for insuring its workers in order to cover possible damages caused by the food or in the act of distribution.
In addition, the Health and Welfare Ministers will be responsible for setting rules as to how such organizations must store, move and distribute donated food to ensure safety and quality. The bills were proposed by MKs Uri Maklev (UTJ), Moshe Gafni (UTJ), Hilik Bar (Zionist Union), Orly Levy-Abecasis (Yisrael Beytenu) and Motti Yogev (Bayit Yehudi).
“About 25 percent of food prepared in restaurants, event halls, factories’ cafeterias, army basis, chain restaurants and hotels is thrown away,” the bills’ explanatory portion reads. “The main reason that these institutions do not want to donate food instead of throwing it in the garbage is that they are worried about lawsuits…This is a heavy burden that leads the owners of these institutions to prefer not to take a risk in donated extra food.” Maklev said the bill will cause a “revolution” and bring food to thousands of needy people each day.
“These aren’t leftovers, this is food that never left the kitchen and is still on trays, hundreds of kilograms of fresh, nutritious meat,” he said.
According to Maklev, “destroying food…will, in the end, destroy our souls.”
I feel that we all can do our part in food rescue. One reason I love Shabat is that I examine the produce contents of my refrigerator. That’s how I start to prepare. But not on Thursday. Early in the week I check on the status of produce and prepared food and try to use everything by Wednesday. I check on cucumbers that have been placed on paper bags towels in a box. They will last at most a few weeks.
You may have noticed that I have been making larger that usual quantities of fruit compote, and soup, that don’t “Jive” together. As a recipient of a harvest of ripe produce I don’t know what gift will arrive. For example, lots of tomatoes=tomato soup, gaspacho, sauce or even oven dried tomatoes, tomato butter and matbucha. Lots of parsley leaves attached to a parsley root= dried parsley, soup with the stems or pesto, for use in salads, or on pizza. Abundant cucumbers, and peppers offer many uses.
Members of your household can help sift thru your supply and try to examine and will like the idea in various degrees, depending upon your creativity. Teach your grandchildren to be creative with these colorful choices. After all, seasonal crops determine menu choices. The following recent articles indicate that Israelis are abusing our abundant crops by discarding usable produce. In America, 1/5 of produce is rejected by supermarkets as imperfect. That number winds up in landfills. I’d like to think tat some go into jarred or frozen food. Sorrowfully, Israel is following a poor example.
Why Do Israelis Throw Away Half the Food They Buy? Imagine all the slightly green topped lettuce that gets tossed. The contents of the bags can be rinsed and added to a stir fry or soup!
While one billion people worldwide are suffering from hunger, up to half of the food produced − in rich and poor countries alike − is thrown out before it reaches anyone’s plate.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/why-do-israelis-throw-away-half-the-food-they-buy.premium-1.502075#%20
(jerusalem Post) Israel wastes some 2.45 million tons of food annually, constituting 35 percent of overall domestic food production, according to a report released Wednesday by Leket Israel – The National Food Bank. By LIDAR GRAVÉ-LAZI 01/06/2016
The report that launched the above Knesset bill included a detailed study of food waste in Israel – the first comprehensive study of its kind.
Leket Israel CEO Gidi Kroch reported at a press conference about a year ago at the Dan Panorama hotel in Tel Aviv. He announced the findings of the inaugural report.
The annual report, “Food waste and rescue in Israel: The Economic, Social and Environmental Impact,” was presented by Chen Herzog of BDO Ziv Haft Consulting Group, which collaborated on the report, and Leket Israel CEO Gidi Kroch.
The report included a detailed study of food waste in Israel – the first comprehensive study of its kind.
“We have taken this initiative on as a national undertaking,” said Kroch during the press event. “To date, there has been no aggregated report with data regarding food waste and food rescue in Israel.”
According to the inaugural report, in 2015 food waste resulted in a NIS 18 billion loss, constituting 1.6% of domestic food production.
When studying the total food waste across all stages of food production and consumption, the report found that it translated to a loss of 84 kg. of food per household per month, estimated at a loss of NIS 616 per household per month.
The report further found that 75% of food wasted is fruit and vegetables.
The study addressed food rescue as an alternative to food production and found that roughly half of this food, some 1.3 million tons, is rescuable, meaning that it is worthy of human consumption. The value of this rescuable food is estimated at NIS 8b. annually.
“Food rescue is not primarily philanthropic or charitable, but an alternative economic means for food production, one that is clearly beneficial to the national economy and contributes to reducing inequality,” the report stated.
As such, the report explained that each shekel invested in food rescue by nonprofit organizations provides NIS 3.6 worth of food for the needy. Adding in factors such as environmental and societal benefits, this figure increases to NIS 7.2 for every shekel invested in food rescue.
The report found that some NIS 3b. worth of food needs to be rescued in order to bridge the food consumption gap between those suffering from food insecurity in Israel and the normative expenditure of the general population.
In other words, rescuing 600,000 tons of food, or 25% of the food wasted each year in Israel, valued at NIS 3b., should address the problem of food waste.
“Food rescue is clearly preferable compared to the alternative of attempting to bridge this food insecurity gap by means of allocations, donations, subsidies or support for the needy,” the report stated. “Without food rescue, it would require an annual cost of NIS 3b. to fully finance this gap.”
Rescuing this food instead, the study indicated, would cost only NIS 840m. – resulting in a surplus of some NIS 2.1b.
Unfortunately, the report showed that only 20,000 tons of food, accounting for only 1% of food wasted each year, is rescued in Israel.
“Take Leket Israel as a pilot that for the past 13 years has proven that food rescue is an economically successful model that can and should be adopted by the government as a national project. We must grow and raise public awareness, which in turn will put pressure on the government to act,” said Kroch.
In September 2015 the UN established a 50% food waste reduction goal by the year 2030. The US, a world leader in food rescue, and other countries have adopted a similar goal.
The report found, however, that “Israel is lagging behind most Western countries in awareness of the food waste problem and the importance of food rescue.”
In an international comparison, the findings indicated that Israel ranked 11th on the Global Food Security index out of 34 OECD countries – and below the OECD average.
“There is no reason that we should lag behind the US and the OECD,” said Kroch. (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has 32 member countries.)
The report even cited the 2015 State Comptroller’s Report on the issue, which stated that “in Israel, food wasted is an issue that has yet to receive government address.”
For Israel to bridge this gap, the report offered three recommendations to increase the level of food rescue.
Primarily, the report called to determine a national goal to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030, in accordance with the UN objective.
In addition, the report called for finalizing legislation to encourage food surplus rescue.
It cited the US Good Samaritan Food Donation Act that absolves nonprofit organizations and food donors from civil or criminal liability.
Finally, the report called to require all state and state-financed institutions with kitchens catering to 1,000 people or more to rescue food.
“I hope this report will serve as a tool for other organizations and for the government to take action and improve the situation,” said Kroch. “Our goal is to wake up the public discourse on this issue.”.
Take the survey on your attitude about using less than perfect looking produce:
In California, families are ordering from Imperfect Produce, a new start-up, less than perfect produce that didn’t even reach the store. I would hope that our moshavim have found outlets for the produce that doesn’t get to the store, reaching the poorest of our nation. Leket’s study doesn’t touch on the amount of produce that is left in the fields to rot.
When I lived in New York City, I frequented the “wholesale market. I always thought that the produce was fresher that the piles in the supermarket. In any case, the purveyors were very happy to sell half a box. the box had 40-50 apples. Some boxes had less larger apples. Each purveyor specialized in one or two kinds of fruit. They were set up to sell to the small bodega. It was park and cart.
Machana Yehuda market is not a wholesale market. The boxes are removed off of rather small trucks.
There doesn’t appear to be any uniformity. There is a lot of variety. I’m just guessing. I don’t think that the trucks distributing fruits in Shuk Machan Yehuda, are also distributing to the larger chains. It’s my understanding that there is “price fixing so that the range of let’s say apples varies slightly by a sheckel or two.
My feeling is that there is very little waste at the market because at the end of the day, the ripe produce is put out for a sheckel a kilo. The owners of the stall don’t encourage it, but my guess is if you buy 5 kilos, they would give you a good discount, especially late in the day. Also, I’ve noticed popping up, stalls that sell the “reject” produce, boxed and ready to go at 10 sh a box. Those boxes weigh 2-3 kilos. That’s practically giving the stuff away.
A few posts back a recipe for simple Orange Marmalade was offered: In Post 278 the marmalade was started in the pressure cooker.
Just take a look at the following: I read it and used a kilo of oranges (my harvest) and much less sugar and the result was acceptable: (see Post 278). My point is, never accept the recipe’s insistence on sugar.
Orange Marmalade-Perfect choice for rescue.
You need only 2 ingredients – oranges and honey, or any other sweetener of your choice. The recipe makes a small portion of orange marmalade and peel, so use 4 organic oranges and 450g of organic honey. (Wow, that’s a lot).
Weight of orange flesh and orange skin below are based on medium size oranges.
400 g whole oranges, cut in chunks
260 g orange flesh, diced
350-400 g honey, depends on orange sweetness
thoroughly wash and dry 4 oranges
cut 2 whole oranges with skin on in 2-3cm pieces
peel 2 remaining oranges, put the peel aside, cut orange flesh in the same size pieces
collect any juices from cut oranges
place whole orange chunks, orange flesh pieces and orange juice in either stainless steel or non-stick ceramic sauce pan
How to Use Celery Leaves; Celery Pesto-from The Vegetable Butcher
My favorite way to prepare celery leaves is to puree them into a flavorful and bright pesto with toasted nuts and Parmesan cheese.
This spread can be served the spread on toasted Italian bread with thick slices of tomatoes, a drizzle of good olive oil, and flaked sea salt. Can be layered into a hearty sandwich with avocado, thinly sliced cucumber, goat cheese, and baby lettuce. You can also fold the pesto (or leaves) into a risotto, potato frittata, or a Tuscan-style white bean stew.
How to Pick Out the Best Celery Leaves
You will score the most leaves by looking for full bunches with dark green outer stalks (not just a trimmed bunch of light green hearts). Pick the leaves off the thin stems at the top of the stalk. To store the leaves, wrap them in a slightly damp kitchen towel and place the bundle in an open plastic bag in your vegetable drawer. (Alternatively, line a zip-top bag with a paper towel and fill the bag with leaves.) While leaves are tender and useful, those outer, dark green stalks can sometimes be a little tough for raw preparations — reserve
How to Make Celery Leaf Pesto
In a food processor, fitted with a standard blade, chop 2 small garlic cloves until they won’t break down any further. Add 1/2 cup walnuts or almonds, and 2 to 3 cups celery leaves; blend until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Blend again, streaming in 3/4 cup to 1 cup olive oil through the top feed tube until smooth. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan or Pecorino cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I didn’t add the cheese because I plan to serve the pesto on Friday night (our meat meal)
6 Smart Ways to Redeem Celery Leaves
Use celery leaves as a fresh herb. Mince them finely or coarsely chop them to garnish any dish with bright, celery flavor.
Make celery leaf pesto. Spread the bright pesto over toast or into a sandwich.
Make a celery leaf and chickpea salad. Combine celery leaves, chopped celery, and chickpeas with shaved red onion and sherry vinaigrette.
Add celery leaves to vegetable stocks, soups, stews, and pasta sauce.
Add celery leaves to a stir-fry at the very end of cooking. Reserve a pinch of leaves to garnish the top.
Swap parsley for celery leaves in a classic tabbouleh with bulgur, tomato, and cucumber.
Dry celery leaves at about 150 C. I was shocked at how delicious they are. Just had some with Cole Slaw and raw Tuna.