Posts Tagged ‘slo food bank’

According to a report by the NRDC, the United States wastes a staggering 40% of all food produced. That works out to $165 billion of uneaten food each year! Organic matter is the largest solid component of our landfills, and between unsold produce and tossed meals, we glut our dumps and fritter away precious resources. Luckily, some enterprising chefs and bloggers are working towards changing attitudes and practices towards how we treat what we eat.

Culinary Misfits- Hailing from Germany, catering company Culinary Misfits uses fruits and vegetables that the supermarkets and restaurants reject. Misshapen or discolored, the produce is still perfectly good, and suited for such meals as “crooked parsnip” or “twisted cucumber soup”. Founded by Lea Emma Brumsack and Tanja Krakowski, the duo began their careers studying product design. After becoming interested in the urban consumerism and the waste surrounding food production, they opened their business in 2012. Presenting their creations on rescued thrift store dishes, the Culinary Misfits transform unloved vegetables into delicious fare.

Waste Cooking- Usually, you associate reality TV with gross-out antics and poor social behavior. Yet, in Waste Cooking, enterprising dumpster divers and chefs look to Austria’s organic waste bins for materials to make amazing meals. Creator and director David Gross was appalled at the amount of perfectly good food he found chucked into the trash of his native country, and decided that he needed to do something to publicize the nearly 105,000 tons Austrians discarded each year. The episodes, which can be found online through their website, begin with divers roaming the streets by bicycle at night to “shop” for their ingredients. Later, blogger and cook Tobias Judmaier crafts the produce, meats, and cheeses into meals presented in a public place. Upon learning the food’s origins, some are enticed, others are disgusted, but all are more aware of their consumption habits.

GleanSLO- A little closer to home, GleanSLO takes advantage of the bounty of the Central Coast and harvests unwanted fruits and vegetables around the county for the SLO Food Bank. A group of dedicated volunteers gather at farms for a couple of hours throughout the week and donate their time and labor to help feed to hungry. In addition to the feeling of a job well done, participants also get to meet their fellow community members and often take home excess food for themselves. The farmers get a tax credit and cleanup, empty stomachs get healthy and high-quality groceries, and gleaners get a great workout and some treats to take with them.


Moving house is never easy.  Sure, lugging boxes back and forth can be a pain, but the real agony comes from all of the work that needs to be done before the truck is loaded.  Decisions need to be made over what should be kept, thrown away, recycled, sold, or donated.  Where can your stuff go in order to do some social good, remain out of the landfill, and maybe even earn you a buck or two?  Here are a couple of places in SLO county that can help you when it comes time to clean out the closet or hop lily pads.

Donation:  When it comes time to make a charitable donation, there are always the good old national standbys, Goodwill and the Salvation Army.  If you are looking for a more local non-profit, drop off your goods at Old Mission School Thrift, the Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo County, and Alpha Pregnancy and Parenting Support.  Any food that you do not want to carry with you to the new kitchen can be gifted to the SLO Food Bank or the Aids Support Network’s Food Pantry.

Consignment:  San Luis Obispo is lucky to have many fine consignment stores that will be happy to find homes for your old apparel, antiques, and housewares.  Old World Antiques, Antiques on Monterey, and the Antique Center Mall are all conveniently located downtown and are available to showcase your vintage treasures.  Boutique stores like Curio, Revolve, and California Blonde are all great shops that either offer cash up front or an IOU when your piece sells.   If you have some designer duds, you might want to drop by Finders Keepers, a consignment shop that features high end merchandise.

Recycle: Find a safe place for your appliances, electronics, and hardware by e-cycling or donating to organizations that will rehab outdated or broken items.  Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore accepts a variety of electrical and building materials.  Many companies will now take back their old goods, but if you would rather not have to spend the time and money tracking and shipping bits and pieces, you can visit companies such as All Green Electronics Recycling who accept contributions without charge.  The Cleaner Earth Company  and RES Recycling/Achievement House, will also dispose of and recycle used equipment.

Sell:  If a yard sale and Craiglisting are not for you, head over to the Sunset Swap Meet, held every Sunday from 5-10am.  Selling will cost you around $20 for the space, so you may want to bring only what you are sure you can offload.  Used bookstores like Phoenix will pay you for your gently used reads or allow you to open a line of credit.  Depending on condition, retailers such as the Mac Superstore will give you a few dollars for old computers, hardware, and accessories.

Looking for moving boxes? Give us a call. Bambu Batu always has a sizable collection of cardboard boxes on hand, just waiting to be reused!