A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Food is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Saturday, April 22. Earth Day 2017. We woke to snow falling in Colorado this morning. Big flakes melting as they hit the ground, nourishing the grass and flowers that have sprung up in recent weeks. It was a beautiful sight but I really need to start getting outside to ride sometime soon. Ride the Rockies is only seven weeks away!

I'm not complaining. If you complain about snow or rain around here people will quickly remind you, "We need the moisture," especially the farmers and I ranchers I work for who need it to grow our food. Precipitation is a pretty common topic of conversation in the agriculture community. 

Water availability is also one of the key issues in sustainable food production. No water, no food! From the time my great great grandfather Americus Vespucious Angell settled in western Kansas in 1886 farmers have been hard at work finding ways to produce food with less water and returning it cleanly to the environment. My great-grandfather Charlie John Angell invented the one-way disc plow in the early 1920s to preserve precious moisture and reduce soil erosion.
My great-grandfather C.J. Angell even has his own Kansas Historical Society Trading Card!
Farmers and ranchers today continue to reduce water usage with improvements in irrigation techniques, no-till, and, yes, even GMO crops (gasp!). To learn more about what cattle farmers and ranchers today are doing to reduce beef's water footprint, check out FactsAboutBeef.com.

One thing that is often overlooked in the discussion about water and sustainable food production is food waste. Food waste has a huge impact on on water use. Think about it. If food is wasted, all of the water that was required to produce it is also wasted. With beef, if we could cut waste in half it would improve the sustainability of beef production 10 percent
Plannedover beef roast and broccoli, tomato and egg scramble.
I have personally been working to reduce food waste by making sure we eat the leftovers from dinner before they go bad. Throwing food away is like throwing cash in the trash! The average American family tosses $2,500 in food in the garbage, which then ends up in a landfill, the third largest source of methane emissions.

Plannedover Flatiron steak, broccoli, squash, red pepper and egg scramble with avocado.
This morning after my 22-mile workout on my indoor trainer I enjoyed a #plannedover power breakfast scramble with two eggs, steak, broccoli, squash, red pepper, and avocado. Not only was it delicious but it was all food sitting in the fridge waiting to go bad -- all but the eggs and avocado leftover from our evening meals this past week.
To join the fight in reducing food waste, sign up for the 30-day Food Waste Challenge to get lots of great ideas for simple changes that will make a big impact!

Ride on...


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