I’m excited about this and wanted to share—I just discovered a great app-based food rescue service in Pittsburgh, “412 Food Rescue”. It basically works like a rideshare app, but you volunteer to go pick up food that would otherwise go to waste, and then drop it off at a service site that can use it. I tried it this morning—picked up what felt like 20 lbs of day old bagels at Bruegger’s and dropped them off at a residential addiction recovery treatment center. It took like 15-20 minutes extra when I was out running errands anyway, super easy! Whoever set it up is a genius.
When I was training at the monastery, almost every meal we ate included produce from a local grocer that was past prime and couldn’t be sold. Their name was Maruko-san. After every meal the tenzo announced each vegetable they had given that was used in that meal.
There’s also the traditional story (though I can’t remember the names) about a monk that was going to visit a master at a training temple. Alongside the road was a stream that flowed away from the temple. He noticed perfectly good whole spinach leaves floating down the stream away from the temple. He turned around and went away, not wanting to visit a place that wasted food.
And there are many many more stories and examples about the inherent value to our training in being intentional and deliberate about the use of food. And I’d add, another aspect I personally find motivating is that the scientists at Project Drawdown have identified reducing food waste as one of the top actions individuals can take to impact Climate Change.
So please check them out if it sounds interesting!