FPP Newsletter: June 17, 2015

Supporting Real Food Can Get Ugly

Wow, did you know that the USDA estimates that food waste in the United States is between 30 to 40 percent of the food supply?* YIKES! Our local organic farmers estimate that they lose approximately 20% of their edible produce (organic tomatoes can be up to 75%) because it’s “ugly”! Perfectly edible crops are just left in the fields to rot due to their failure to meet our expectations of physical appearance even though it contains the same nutritional value and taste the same as the runway model version. It may be misshaped, have some hungry bug bite holes, blemished, or may be too big in size or too small.
Americans’ seemingly harmless discrimination against ugly veggies has really made a mess of some things. By insisting on visual perfection, not only do we cheat ourselves out of taste and variety, but we have less food to feed our nation’s hungry and the increased food waste in our landfills contributes to greenhouse gases in our environmentIn addition, if we understand the basic principle of supply and demand — we know that the less items for sale, the more the items will cost.
 CantaloupeSidexsideWe are pleased that using programs like FPP (versus selling to high end grocery stores) can decrease average losses for our farmers because our customers have a better understanding of “real” food. The picture above is a cantaloupe from one of our organic farmers. This cantaloupe had firm, juicy flesh and tasted amazing when we cut into it. However, it may have been one of the “rejects” from the mainstream grocery store. Go us!
While we are firm believers in supporting our local farms and reducing their losses we sure don’t want to serve anyone rotten or inedible produce. During the summer months growing and toting produce can get tricky in Florida, but we provide you 100% satisfaction, guaranteed. If you receive an item that is inedible, call or email us at fp@frontporchpickings.com within 24 hours of your delivery and we will gladly make it right for you!
The question is… What can we do help keep our food supply sustainable?
  • Reconsider your beauty standards for fruits and veggies: Rotten is rotten, but a bruise or a blemish shouldn’t be a death sentence. Once you chop it up — your dish will taste the same!
  • Use retailers that donate their leftover food instead of putting into the dumpster: Here at FPP, if we have extras our employees take it home and then we donate to organizations that feed less fortunate families.
  • Use a meal planner to reduce your own household waste: In 2010, it was estimated that food was the largest single source of waste in California, making up 15.5 percent it’s waste stream.** We’ve created a planner to help! FPP-MenuPlanner3
  • Customize your delivery: If you’ve tried Okra and decided its just not for you be sure to remove it from your delivery instead of letting it go bad in your refrigerator.
  • Store your produce properly to maximize shelf life: During the summer we find that produce is far more stressed after picking due to the heat and proper storage is even more important. Be sure to hydrate produce as necessary and use your crisper drawers correctly. In addition, check your refrigerator temperatures using an appliance thermometer, setting it at 40 degrees or less.
  • Educate Others: Help to remove the stigma associated with “ugly” produce and teach others what you have learned. Here is a great video for more information on the global issue. Your jaw will drop at minute 6 when you see just how many bananas one farm throws away in a day because the bananas do not have the “right” curvature:
* http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2013/06/0112.xml
** http://californiawatch.org/health-and-welfare/food-waste-remains-persistent-problem-farms-grocery-stores-and-restaurants

Next Week’s Harvest

Our Local Producers: Beli Farms, Blue Sky Farm, Brown’s Farm, Harriett’s Bluff Organic Blueberry Farm, Hoover Organic Farm, The Family Garden Organic Farm, Spells Mangoes


Local Box (Mini):  (Local Organic Cantaloupe, Local Organic Spaghetti Squash, Local Organic Blueberries, Local Okra, Local Organic Fairytale Eggplant), GA Vidalia Onions, Local Organic Bell Peppers, S. Florida Mango

Organic Box, (Mini): (Local Organic Cantaloupe, Local Organic Spaghetti Squash, Local Organic Blueberries, Local Organic Cucumber, Organic Cabbage), Local Organic Italian Frying Peppers, Local Organic Sungold Tomatoes, Organic Nectarines

Grab & Go: Local Organic Blueberries, S. Florida Mangoes, Organic Green Grapes, Organic Bananas, Organic Anjou Pears, Organic Broccoli, Local Tomatoes on the Vine, Local Mini Cucumbers, Local Organic Sweet Baby Lettuce

Salad Box: Organic Broccoli, Local Tomatoes on the Vine, Local Mini Cucumbers, Local Organic Sweet Baby Leytuce, Organic Cabbage, Local Organic Italian Frying Peppers, Georgia Vidalia Onion, Organic Avocado

Fruit (Add-on): (Local Organic Blueberries, Organic Green Grapes, Organic Nectarines, Organic Anjou Pears),  Organic Bananas, Local Organic Cantaloupe, S. Florida Mangoes

Smoothie Box: Organic Bananas, Local Organic Sungold Tomatoes, Organic Baby Kale, Organic Spinach, Local Organic Blueberries, S. Florida Mangoes, Organic Pink Crisp Apples, SC Peaches


Recipes Ideas:

**please note that items may change due to weather or supply issues.

Veggie Unearthed: Spaghetti Squash


Your organic spaghetti squash came to us from Hoover Family Farm in Live Oak, Florida – less than 150 miles from most of our customers’ homes.

While spaghetti squash is a variety of winter squash, one of the perks of eating local in a multi-talented southern state like ours is that we have winter squash in the summer. The flavor of spaghetti squash doesn’t differ too much from other winter squashes like acorn or butternut, but it does have a “surprise inside” – the flesh behaves like spaghetti noodles after it has been cooked! This is a great way to introduce hesitant children to the flavor of squash.

Spaghetti Squash is high in many nutrients like folic acid, potassium, Vitamin A and beta-carotene. It’s a low-calorie food with only about 42 calories per cup.

To store your squash place in a cool, dry place out of sunlight, it will last up to three weeks. We place our hard squashes in a basket and use as a decorative piece until we are ready to cook and serve.

If you’d like to learn more about spaghetti squash, please watch this helpful video:

Spaghetti Squash Recipes

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Returning your produce box clean and undamaged means that we can use it again and again. This keeps costs down, minimizes landfill waste and keeps our carbon footprint smaller. Boxes that aren’t returned will incur a $5.00 replacement fee, so be sure to put it out for pickup!

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