We know now, more than ever, that our daily choices directly affect the environment, and the health and safety of future generations. We’ve gotten better about recycling, bringing reusable bags to the store, and even using less water.
But there’s one area that needs improvement, and that’s the food we waste.
Did you know that the food you throw away plays a big role in the health of our environment? According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, we waste about 40% of all the food we produce. That equates to throwing away $165 billion dollars each year.
What a shame because cutting our food losses by just 40% would be more than enough food to feed the 50 million Americans that go without enough to eat every year.
Food Waste and Climate Change
If wasting food that hungry people could eat wasn’t sad enough, wasted food is now the largest contributor to landfills, where it produces methane—a gas with 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.
Global methane emissions from landfills make up about 20% of all methane emissions, and are the third largest human source of methane (even greater than animal manure, which is fifth).
Every year that I have had a garden, I have grown basil.
Planted in February, my pretty, little basil babies become these 4-foot tall, woody trees that have to be taken down with a saw by July. (If you’re in a more temperate growing zone, that’s April to September!)
To celebrate the harvest, I usually have a “Pesto Party,” and invite friends over to share in the bounty and make enough pesto for their families to last through the winter.
It’s a B.Y.O.F.P. (Bring Your Own Food Processor) event, of course. And after we’ve processed all the basil and zucchini in the garden, we have a pesto feast with lots of free-flowing red wine, gluten free noodles and “zoodles,” and plenty of laughter.
Italian pesto is traditionally made with lots of parmesan cheese, so if you are allergic to or avoiding dairy products, you’ll need a different recipe.
After a bit of experimenting, this is my new, non-dairy pesto version. It tastes like the Italian pesto I know and love, and it happens to be vegan and Paleo, too!
Other Pesto Recipes You’ll Love
- Basil Walnut Pesto (Vegan, Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)
- Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
- Pistachio Arugula Pesto
- How to Use Stinging Nettles (With Nettle Pesto Recipe)
Vegan Pesto with Zucchini
Italian pesto is traditionally made with lots of parmesan cheese.
Weeds are the bane of every gardener, especially as the days heat up and vacation season starts. But short of hand-digging them every day, it can be a real challenge to stay on top of your weeds before they strangle out your veggies and flowers.
Here are 10 non-toxic ways to handle weeds in your garden…
Skip the Toxic Herbicides
Although hand-digging and hoeing are the most effective methods for removing weeds, it can be tempting to use a little Round-Up or other store-bought herbicide to make quick work of your weeds—especially if they’ve gotten a little out of hand. But there are some very important health and environmental reasons to avoid them.
A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that glyphosate (Round-Up) residue in food may act synergistically with other food-borne chemical residues and environmental toxins to disrupt normal body functions and lead to the development of Parkinson’s disease, infertility or cancer.
Indeed both the state of California and the World Health Organization have deemed glyphosate to be a probable carcinogen.
In 2009, a French study found that a filler ingredient used in Roundup called polyethoxylated tallowamine was more deadly to human cells than the main ingredient, glyphosate.