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Food for Thinkers: Your Complete 16-Course Tasting Menu

Your handy bookmark-able guide to the all-you-can-read extravaganza of ideas, stories, opinions, and proposals that was GOOD's Food for Thinkers week.

Last week, as I hope some of you may have noticed, we hosted a six-day Food for Thinkers blogfest. With the launch of GOOD's new food hub, I wanted to stake out an expanded territory for food writing, and at the same time, start building a community of influences and inspiration.

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TourDeFork's Clever Designs Give Food Scraps a Second Chance

Hold onto your orange peel and coffee grounds: Italian design studio Tour de Fork wants to make your trash bag smaller and your house smell better.


Last week, as part of our Food for Thinkers week, Jonathan Bloom alerted us to the shocking fact that 40 percent of the food we grow is simply thrown away, uneaten. While there are several places along the food chain where major savings can and should be made, researchers estimate that the average American household of four throws away about a quarter of the food it brings into the house, at a cost of something like $1,350 per family, each year.

Better planning and some creativity with leftovers will help cut the amount of edible food we discard, and we could certainly do better than the measly 2.5 percent of household food waste and scraps that currently makes it into the compost bin. But for those of you who want to get crafty with your food waste, check out Second Chance, a set of prototype household gadgets designed to reuse coffee grounds, apple peels, and orange rinds.

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Food for Thinkers: A Crusade Against Waste

When Jonathan Bloom writes about food, he writes about the 40 percent of it we grow and then throw away, uneaten.


When Jonathan Bloom writes about food, he writes about the 40 percent of it we grow and then throw away, uneaten. If, as he argues, the role of a food writers in general is to "celebrate the joy that food brings while raising the right food flags," then his own job within that larger landscape is to force us to think about the environmental damage we do when we each send something like 1,400 calories' worth of perfectly edible food to the landfill, uneaten, every single day:

As I see it, waste is one of the largest threats to our food supply. I’m not alone there, as the recent State of the World 2011 report warned about waste. As hunger persists, reducing waste and improving (re)distribution are vital. And as the global population inches toward 7 billion, we need to be more efficient with what we grow to ensure that all are fed.

Food waste also has a significant environmental impact. Agriculture is a real resource hog. A massive amount of oil goes into growing, harvesting, processing, shipping and cooling our food. At least 2 percent of all U.S. energy consumption goes to produce food that is thrown away. And agriculture represents about 80 percent of all water consumption.

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