222 million tons in LA Times

Yesterday this URL got more than its usual amount of exercise thanks to an article in the LA Times: New app builds on efforts to reduce food waste. Most food waste articles focus on the magnitude of the problem, so it was particularly nice to be featured in a piece that was looking at what people are doing to make things better, including some who are already making a huge difference like EcoScraps and Food Cowboy.

It was my first interview, so I didn’t quite say everything I wanted to say the way I wanted to say it, but hopefully I’ll get other opportunities to bring attention to the food waste issue and things we can all do to make a difference.

A pig with a problem

The video below is the tale of a wee, sad pig with a nasty addiction, along with some of his reflections on life and food waste … the product of me spending way too much time on long flights and alone in hotel rooms, I suspect.

Warning: in addition to being a gripping yarn, the video is plug for the 222 million tons blog & our iPad meal planning app … though, after this entry, we’ll return to our regular programming: things to do with stone soup broth & veg that is on it’s way out, vermicompost updates, etc.

222 million tons: the App

The idea behind 222 million tons has always been to spark conversation and change – and to do that by sharing tips, tools, and resources that help people waste less food and eat well. So far, that’s only been through this blog, but as of last week, we have an iPad App in iTunes.

The App is a publishing platform for weekly menus and shopping lists. The recipes all work for a single person (though through the miracle of technology, they can be scaled), and use up all the fresh ingredients on the shopping lists.

The idea was Bonnie Lee’s, and emerged out of her frustration over the amount of food she was wasting when she first moved from Tokyo to Los Angeles. She was overwhelmed by the quantities that food was sold in, and had no idea how a single person could use it all before it spoiled. In Japan, there are home economics magazines that help people save money by providing weekly shopping lists and recipes, but she couldn’t find anything like that in L.A. – and all the recipes she could find served 6 to 12 people. Bonnie Lee doesn’t like leftovers … so she issued me a challenge, which led to this App, built by our friends & partners at bluejava: Glenn & Makiko.

The first collection of recipes is called Bright & Bold, and was written by me (more on that another day), but my hope is that the 222 millions tons App will become a platform on which a large community of home cooks shares recipes – and if anyone reading this is interested in becoming part of that community, let me know via the comments below, or through any of the community platforms listed on my Gravatar profile.

The key to reducing food waste at home is planning – and as I wrote Bright & Bold, I came to appreciate the challenge of planning whole weeks for a single person with both variety and zero waste. So, if you don’t have time to plan meals, but hate waste and like to eat well … well, now there’s an App that can help.