My Kettle Chip Conundrum: A Food-waste Puzzle!

Kettle Chips


By Jean Blish Siers *

I begin 2015 with a big problem: A third of a bag of kettle chips lurks in my pantry, left over from holiday celebrations with friends and family. First, please note that there are some left over, which is impressive because they are truly my guilty pleasure! Second, I should confess that it’s not an ordinary bag, but a Costco-sized bag, enormous and filled with oily, salty delight.

Like many of you, I start the New Year hoping to eat better (at least better than I’ve been eating the last few weeks!). But what do I do with those kettle chips which don’t fit my renewed commitment to clean living? I spend my days working hard to keep food from going to waste. Sure, Society of St. Andrew focuses on fresh produce, those fruits and vegetables that many folks simply don’t have access to. Since starting this job more than two years ago, though, I have become pretty fanatical about not throwing out anything edible and that includes kettle chips.

Apparently, many in America haven’t gotten the memo that food waste is a problem, both from a moral standpoint (How can we waste tons of food each year when a fifth of North Carolina’s population is food insecure?) and an environmental one (For instance, landfills with decomposing food emit methane, which scientists believe is an even more dangerous greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.)

Here are two interesting images from data compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency. It seems that not only do Americans waste a lot of food, we also become more wasteful with each passing decade:

Food Waste Chart

And what do we waste the most? According to the EPA, more than half of fruits and vegetables go to waste, the largest category.

Food We Waste Most

Society of St. Andrew and other gleaning organizations around the country save what we can, but the loss of those most nutritious products is heartbreaking.

In 2015, Society of St. Andrew will continue to work hard to save nutritious food and get it those who need it most. I am blessed to work with a most dedicated group of farmers and volunteers. We receive vital financial support from individuals and congregations; every dollar enables us to put 42 servings of produce on tables in our communities. Join us as you are able!

Now, can someone tell me the solution to my kettle chip crisis?

* Jean Blish Siers is SoSA’s Charlotte Area Gleaning Coordinator, and a current contributor to this News & Events blog.


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In the event I, or a registered family member, suffers any illness or accident requiring emergency hospitalization, medication, or other medical assistance while participating in a gleaning event, permission is given for any medical treatment which is deemed necessary and reasonable under the circumstances. I fully understand and comprehend that reasonable care will be exercised by the adult staff for this gleaning event to protect the safety of those involved. I understand that the field supervisor’s instructions must be followed at all times, and that I am responsible for any damages caused to fields, farms, or equipment by me/my family members not following these instructions.

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I do not hold the board, members, or employees of the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA,) or any volunteers liable for injury, bodily harm, accidents, or death of myself/my child during events sponsored by the Society of St. Andrew. Neither will I hold the person(s) who owns and/or operates the property from which we glean, salvage, or to which we deliver food, liable for accidents, injury, or death during the gleanings or other SoSA events.

For a PDF print version of this waiver, click here.

How the Story of the 12 Baskets is Connected to SoSA’s Name

Matthew 14:16-21

But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” They said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” And He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds, and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets. There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.

2 Kings 4:42-44

[…]the man of God […] said, “Give them to the people that they may eat.” His attendant said, “What, will I set this before a hundred men?” But he said, “Give them to the people that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’” So he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.

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