Living Off America’s Waste


Kudos to Wal-Mart for their company wide policy of donating, “short-dated or mildly damaged foods,” to foodbanks.

Thumbs down and big, loud BOOS to both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s for throwing away, “perfectly edible foods,” in their dumpsters.

According to both Jill Ettinger of Organic Authority and filmmaker Jeremy Seifert that is exactly what is happening.

According to Organic Authority:

After realizing his own local area grocery stores, mainly Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, were regularly pitching perfectly edible food in their dumpsters, he set out to see if he could feed his family with this reclaimed food and document it for a film project. What he found was not only could he feed his family, but there was enough food to feed the millions of hungry people in Los Angeles county, and millions more around the country.

In DIVE! Seifert makes repeated attempts to help Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods adopt a policy that prevents food from ending up in their dumpsters and instead allocated to area food banks, homeless shelters and soup kitchens. To date, neither organization has made any commitment and both continue to throw away millions of pounds of food; a costly expense for taxpayers and the environment, all while homeless, veterans, children and millions of unemployed go hungry.

So now Jeremy is waging a Plan B campaign, DIVE! Living Off America’s Waste to raise $10,000 to get the word out. 

Every year in America we throw away 96 BILLION pounds of food.

That’s 263 MILLION pounds a day.

11 MILLION pounds an hour.

3,000 pounds a second.

DIVE! is about saving this good food and getting it to hungry people.

We want to craft a special, limited edition of DIVE! to send to every Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods in the country. We’re looking for finishing funds to get the job done, specifically to cover the new artwork, manufacturing, and shipping costs.

We hope to raise 10K in 20 days. We want people to take an active role in this project, to find that their voices are being heard and amplified, and connect with one another by becoming advocates of ending food waste.

 You can pledge as little as $1 all the way to $2000.

During this recession one in 7 Americans do not have enough money to pay for food at least once during every month. The number of Americans who rely on Food Stamps is at historic levels.

And most of those people on food stamps now are (were) middle class!!
I just pledged $100.

If we do this and Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, as well as other grocery stores,  start donating their edible throw aways this 96 billion pounds of food can start feeding Americans right away.

I encourage all of my readers who can, to pledge at least $1 to DIVE! Living Off America’s Waste to help end food waste at Trader Joes and Whole Foods. The pledge campaign ends December 23, 2010.

And get the word out. Share this information with all the people, church groups, and civic organizations that you can think of.

As of now only $1650 has been pledged.

Please help. Don’t they know it’s Christmas!!!!

Featured Recipe        Gnocchi with Lemon Thyme Sauce

This is a great recipe for any time you have more to do than time to do it. Like right about now what with buying last minute Christmas gifts, wrapping them, getting holiday cards addressed and mailed, plus hauling the kids to basketball, glee club, and keeping the house clean. WOW. I am exhausted just typing the list out.

You could always just order a pizza. That is often a great idea. But I don’t know about you. Much as I love great pizza, I don’t always want it.

This is a quick little delicious meal you can whip together in a jiff. The longest part of this recipe is waiting for the water to boil.

I found it in Cooking Light magazine. That is all my notes say. I made minor modifications to make the recipe even faster to finish, mostly by using store bought gnocchi.

Gnocchi is not hard to make. I’ve seen chefs do it on TV all the time. But it can be time consuming. And the whole purpose of this recipe for me is to be quick and simple when I have lots and lots and lots to do and want a home made meal and not just pizza.

Plus when I see chefs make it on TV I know they have people. I don’t have people.

TV chefs have people to get everything together, people to clean everything up. When I want or need a quick meal, I don’t have people. Therefore, I buy packaged gnocchi.

I also like less thyme. First time I made it the flavor was just too strong for me. I like it a little more subtle; kind of a background note.

This recipe is for three, but is easily double or tripled.

This is what you will need for 3 people:

1~ 16 ounce package gnocchi

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small shallot minced

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese shaved – optional

Put the water on to boil. You will need the biggest pot you have so the little gnocchi have plenty of room to move around in.

Mince the shallot. Zest the lemon to get about 1 teaspoon. Juice the lemon to get about 1 teaspoon.  Remove thyme leaves from stem by using  your pointing finger or middle finger (which ever works best for you) and your thumb and just sliding them down the stem taking the leaves off as you go.

Using a potato peeler, slice some thin pieces off one edge of the cheese.

Slowly heat butter and EVOO in skillet over medium heat.

Add shallots, zest, juice, and thyme leaves, mix and sauté over medium low heat.

Only when all of this is done and the butter – lemon mixture is done should you put the gnocchi in the water. Lower the heat under the butter mixture so it does not burn.

Gnocchi REALLY only take a minute or two to cook. And you will know exactly when they are done. The sweet morsels start rising to the top of the water when they want out of the hot water.

I remove them with a slotted spoon………………

………….and place them in a colander set in a bowl so they drain a bit.

Then I place them into a serving bowl, throw the butter lemon mixture over them, add some salt and pepper and gently toss.


Serve with a salad. Italian wedding soup would also be good with this.

Bon Appetit!!!!!!!!!!!


1~16 ounce pck gnocchi        $2.69

2 tablespoons butter              $0.30

2 tablespoons olive oil           $0.24

1 small shallot minced           $0.25

1 teaspoon lemon zest           $0.17

1 teaspoon lemon juice          included above

1 teaspoon fresh thyme         $0.14

Parmesan cheese                 $0.12

Total cost for 3 people = $3.91
Cost per person = $1.30
Quote of the Day
Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.
Mother Teresa
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