Every year the United States throws out almost half as much food as it grows. Huge quantities of fresh fruit and vegetables are transported directly from the farm to the landfill because they don’t meet cosmetic standards. That means if the shape and color of produce isn’t perfect it will most likely be discarded. The food itself tastes as scrumptious as one would expect, it just doesn’t look very pretty. Unfortunately, eggplants that may appear a bit crooked and apples that may not be as red or green as we expect them to be are often thrown in the garbage.
If this food tastes perfectly fine then why do we discard it and how can we make better efforts to ensure it isn’t thrown away? The creators of Hungry Harvest asked those very questions and came up with a revolutionary solution. They created an organization to rescue fruits and vegetables before they reach the landfill. Once saved they redistribute this produce directly to homes across America. By becoming a member of the Hungry Harvest service you can prevent fruits and veggies from going to waste. Food no longer needs to be discarded due to aesthetic imperfections and logistical inefficiencies.
Summer is the season for fresh fruit, so what better time of year to give Hungry Harvest a try? While every season brings a bountiful harvest none produce as much variety as the warm months between June and September. For as little as $15 a month you can order a mini harvest and save those fruits and vegetables from needlessly rotting away. Plus at just $15 a box you’ll still have enough money leftover to indulge in the best local farms have to offer. Wait to see what gets delivered, (you never know what excess fruits and vegetables Hungry Harvest might send), and then head to your local farmers market to add a few of the summer delicacies mentioned below.
If you’ve never tasted a zucchini flower this may just be the season to give it a try. Zucchini blossoms tend to grow throughout the late summer months. As you pick zucchini from the garden make certain not to leave these beautiful flowers behind. You can serve them in a variety of ways; try them stuffed with ricotta and Parmigiano-Reggiano or topped on pizza and pasta. For a truly mouth-watering recipe try frying stuffed zucchini blossoms. Serve them alongside a spicy, yet delicate tomato sauce and dip until your heart’s content.
Figs are another favorite summer treat harvested in the late summer months. You can eat them fresh or dried. Figs make an excellent appetizer. Serve them stuffed with goat cheese and drizzled with honey or make a pastry tart brushed with ricotta, lemon juice, figs and almonds. Almonds, walnuts and other nuts add the perfect texture for this soft fruit. You can also serve them simply; wrapped in prosciutto and drizzled with a touch of olive oil.
Summer just wouldn’t feel like summer without indulging in at least one triangular shaped piece of watermelon. You can turn bite sized watermelon chunks into a salad with feta and mint, but most of us love this fruit in its natural state; eaten in the backyard right off the rind.
Like watermelon you know you’ve found a ripe peach when you bite into it and feel the juice running right down your chin. Peaches peak between the end of June and the middle of August so now is the time to search for some at your local farmer’s market. You can find the perfect peach by sniffing it before you buy. They should smell sweet, but still feel slightly firm. If you are looking for a new way to serve peaches try grilling them. The warm heat brings out the natural sweetness. Yum!
Some of us wait all year to taste the deliciously sweet flavor of fresh cherries. Most varieties are only in season from June through August, which means you need to scoop them up right now and indulge in as many as you can. When searching for cherries look for plump, firm fruits that are rich in color. These will be the best to snack on. Cherries can also be turned into scrumptious desserts like cherry pie!
This summer save a little money and work hard to reduce food waste while still tasting the best produce the season has to offer. Check out Hungry Harvest to learn more.