Learn about strategic and sustainable solutions!
August 2018
Strategy: Ugly is the New Beautiful
Beauty and taste are more than skin deep! Check out the beautiful "ugly" produce featured in National Geographic (right).

According to Hungry Harvest , 40% of food goes to waste every year in the United States. Twenty billion pounds of that is produce that's lost before it ever leaves the farm . Imperfect Produce says that one in five fruits and veggies grown in the U.S. don't meet cosmetic standards. That translates to crooked carrots, curvy cucumbers, and undersized apples often going to waste in landfills (contributing to food waste, which, in turn, is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions). This food can be used to feed hungry people!

What is one way you can reduce unnecessary waste produce? Buy ugly produce -- in the store, at the farmers market, or consider joining a program where you can get ugly produce delivered to you. Imperfect Produce delivers to your doorstep in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Orange County, California; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Chicago, Illinois; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Hungry Harvest delivers to Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia, Greater Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey, Northern Delaware, South Florida, The Triangle Area in North Carolina & the Detroit Metro Area.
Do you currently buy, use, and/or eat "ugly" produce?
Yes, and it is so delicious!
No, although I will consider it next time I am out!
Integration: Dine Out With Deliberation
Strategies for reducing food waste include purchasing strategies, cooking ideas, and dining out actions as well. Check out the movie: Wasted! The Story of Food Waste. Through the eyes of chef-heroes like Anthony Bourdain and Dan Barber, you can learn how the world’s most influential chefs make the most of every kind of food, transforming what most people consider scraps into incredible dishes; learn about the industry that creates eco feed in Japan for nourishing pigs; and see how South Korea reduced food waste by 300 tons per day.

Useful consumer tips include: shop more , using a menu planner and shopping list to be more deliberate in choices; buy with a conscience -- select ugly produce as well as local and seasonal foods; cook more at home, experimenting with scraps; freeze leftovers ; and compost food waste. For dining out with deliberation, consider these tactics:
  1. Don’t over order
  2. Share meals
  3. Delivered a mistaken meal? Eat it anyway
  4. Give leftovers to someone in need
  5. Take left overs home (AND bring a reusable container to avoid packaging waste!)
  6. Ask for smaller portions
  7. Order a la carte
  8. Support restaurants with good sustainability practices
  9. Buffet bound? Grab a small plate and watch your portions
  10. Hold the extras you don’t want.
Results: What the Fork?
While using reusable cutlery is the most sustainable practice for food service providers, sometimes customers/guests want to go options which requires the food service provider to include disposable cutlery for the customer/guest to use while enjoying the delicious and nutritious take-away food.

Pearlstone Center's Green Wellness Team is studying its own operations to determine which type of disposable cutlery best aligns with its mission, vision, and budget. The Green Wellness Team developed criteria for comparing cutlery options and then gave a test run to the top candidate over lunch. Criteria were divided into three categories:
  1. Cost, including the purchase cost, labor costs involved in the diversion or disposal of the items, and the disposal cost.
  2. Guest experience, including functionality, safety, and modeling sustainable behaviors for guests and staff.
  3. Compostability, including the ability to compost materials on-site.

Below, members of the Green Wellness Team are eating lunch and evaluating the 100% compostable birch fork. Way to go, team!
Perri DeJarnette, Psachyah Lichtenstien, and Rachel Moses
About Plisko Sustainable Solutions
Joan Plisko, PhD, President
Marc Plisko, CIH, Vice President
The mission of Plisko Sustainable Solutions, LLC is to catalyze positive health, environmental, and social change through improved customer performance, economic savings, and enhanced social awareness.