Vegetable Vocabulary: The Landscape

By Lynette Johnson *

My grandmother began homemaking in the early years of the Great Depression, and had six growing children during the patriotic rationing years of World War II. Grandma made sure her family was well fed by growing a garden each summer and by canning and preserving the garden’s bounty for healthy food throughout the year.

Grandma grew, and her family ate, just about everything: beets, melons of all sorts, turnips, rutabagas, chard, kale, rhubarb, and on and on. Until ...

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Behind the Abandoned Hospital

By Lynette Johnson *

When my career with the Society of St. Andrew began, it sent me to Nashville, where I oversaw produce recovery and distribution throughout Tennessee and Alabama. While I was there, it appeared that I engaged in a rather frequent clandestine activity:

Every other Thursday afternoon, I headed to a parking lot behind an abandoned hospital in East Nashville. I met a man in a truck, who handed me a crate. We talked for a few minutes, I thanked ...

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Going for Gleaning Gold!

By Jean Blish Siers *

As athletes from around the world compete, some people in Rio de Janeiro will be eating at a restaurant run by Italian chef Massimo Bottura. His restaurant, Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, was recently named the top restaurant in the world. But those dining at Refettorio Ambrosiano won’t be the rich and famous. Instead, Bottura and a host of 30 other guest chefs will serve dinners created from surplus Olympic Village ...

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Parking Lot Potato

By Lynette Johnson *

Wandering into a local discount store last weekend, I found a lone red potato in the parking lot. Probably it fell out of a shopper’s bag, but why did it stay on the asphalt?

Was it too much trouble to pick up?
Was it simply overlooked?
Did the buyer think it was “bad” because it hit the ground?
According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 25% of the food we purchase, we end up throwing away. Whether ...

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That’s Not “Waste” … That’s “Awesome”

By Lynette Johnson *

Reduce and Recover LogoA couple of weeks ago, I participated in the Reduce and Recover: Save Food for People conference at Harvard Law School, sponsored by the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic. While there, I met and talked a bit with Doug Rauch, former head of the Trader Joe’s grocery store chain.

Doug still thinks about food all day, every day. But now he’s thinking about food he couldn’t sell when ...

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Zucchini: Deserving of a Little Respect!

By Jean Blish Siers *

Zucchini … the Rodney Dangerfield of the vegetable world (although it is technically a fruit,) it gets no respect. There’s even a “National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day,” when it’s fair game to give away the prolific produce without permission. (Mark your calendars for August 8, and feel free to leave some for me!)

I’m going on record as one of the people who loves zucchini. It’s a chameleon in the kitchen, a vegetable that ...

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