A Commitment to Minimize Food Waste.
What is CrossEat?
CrossEat is a commitment to minimize food waste. RiceMonkee’s food philosophy, how we perceive food and the effects on our pocketbook and sustainability, have been heavily influenced by our experiences in the restaurant industry. In the restaurant industry, every penny counts. Minimizing waste creates more profit. It is probably the hardest industry to be successful with the amount of work you put in. How RiceMonkee cooks at home mirrors how we cook in a restaurant. In many of our blogs, we talk about how to prevent food waste and tips on how to cross-utilize excess ingredients or parts of produce in other applications. We developed the term CrossEat to share our food philosophy, techniques and practices with our audience.
In order to understand and practice CrossEat, we had to take a look at each individual ingredient and all the possible ways to use them. We’ve provided food journal blogs to better understand certain ingredients that have multiple uses. Look for CrossEat tips on other uses for ingredients in our recipe blogs.
METHODS & TECHNIQUES
With the vast amount of recipes flooding the internet daily, adapting certain methods and techniques to minimize resources, time and energy are also a part of CrossEat. Look for CrossEat tips on how to be more efficient in our recipe blogs.
STORAGE & ORGANIZATION
Air and water are not food-friendly. How we store and organize our products and ingredients will prolong the life and ensure we are using products at their optimum potential. Look for CrossEat tips on storage and organization in our blogs.
By adapting CrossEat techniques, we will not only reduce our carbon footprint, but also save money and provide delicious meals for our friends and families.
SUPPORT CLEANTECH COMPANIES
Check out what Symbrosia, a CleanTech company on the Big Island of Hawaii is pioneering to help save our planet.
FOOD WASTE FLOW CHART
In order to see where Food Waste begins, you have to start from the source. How is food waste happening at the source? Improper handling or storage of raw and perishable foods, mistakes made at the processing levels and transportation of the food to consumer outlets. The next step of Food Waste can be seen at the retail level. This would include restaurants and grocery stores. Once again improper handling, over-ordering, mistakes made in production for ready-to-eat foods, food losses due to imperfect products, all add to the amount of Food Waste created. After we bring the food into our homes, we are guilty of the same food waste. Improper storage of product, over-purchasing, cooking mistakes, and misunderstanding the shelf-life and storage of products.
United States is ranked #1 in FOOD WASTE globally.
As a country, we waste over 200 pounds of food per person annually or roughly $161 billion a year. Where does this waste end up? In our LANDFILLS, where the decaying food is adding more to the toxic gases polluting our environment. To get a better idea, the food waste in the United States equates to greenhouse gas emissions of 37 million gas-powered vehicles. One of the biggest Global Problems we face is the negative environmental impact we’ve created on our planet.
Food waste is something we as individuals and consumers can control.
FOOD WASTE STATISTICS
- 40% or 40 million tons of food supply is wasted annually.
- FOOD WASTE is the top component of our landfills.
- Average American family of 4 wastes $1500/yr in food.
- There are 54 million hungry Americans despite our food waste.
- Almost 1 pound of food is wasted per person per day.
REDUCE RE-USE RECYCLE
Reduce, re-use, recycle is a common practice of our restaurant community and is a non-food related Cross Eat Tip. As restaurant professionals, the RiceMonkee community often share ideas from across the nation on how to utilize the three Rs to create less waste and more profit. One of the main topics of conversation is always the best ordering practices. Just-in-time ordering was one of the ways to reduce loss of product in turn reducing your food cost. This practice was to order just enough before the next order date. This can be applied for home use as well. Don’t over-purchase!
Re-use/Re-purpose containers for storage. In restaurants, some purchased ingredients come in large plastic containers, such as mayonnaise. These are re-used to store prepped salad dressings, sauces, and marinades. Containers in grocery stores are developed to attract the buyer so they have aesthetic value. Finding creative ways to re-use the containers at home instead of tossing them can save on resources used in recycling processes. Have an empty jar of jam? Reuse it to store home-made dressings or pickles.
In restaurants, we can recycle grease to be re-used for other products such as candles, biodiesel, etc. Restaurants can receive a rebate from these recycling companies that provide the service. On the home front, recycling paper & plastic goods (labeled #1 or #2), metal products, such as aluminum foil/cans, and canned products, and glass bottles will ensure we are doing our part in minimizing our landfills.
Produce is #1 in food waste in the US. Try our recipes below to use up those over-ripe fruits!