From The Nutritionist

Kate Williams
Nutrition Contributor:
Kate Williams, RD

Going Greener - Doing MORE to Waste LESS


I recently had two experiences that made me realize that I can and should be doing more to go greener AND reduce food waste. Professionally, I attended a webinar on reducing food waste that was educational, eye-opening and truly caught my attention. I also chaperoned a second grade field trip to a landfill and local garden/art center that featured recycled products as art forms and interactive exercises in composting and more. We go to the dump with our trash and recycle paper, cans and glass containers, but when I really took a deeper look, I saw that we throw away A LOT of food and miss the bar on recycling more than we should. I realized we can do MORE to create LESS waste. The benefits are numerous – it helps the environment, reduces my grocery bill and allows me to give to others.



Reduce food waste at home - my three strategies

  1. Serve a little less at meals - As we age we need to focus more on the calories we eat versus the calories we burn through exercise. I try to make sure I am serving portions that are not too large at meals. My husband and I don’t want to overeat and my children tend to leave too much on their plates. My goal – match what is served with what should and will be consumed.

  2. Composting

    Leftovers take many forms - Assess the leftovers. Are there enough to make another meal for our entire family, just a lunch for my husband OR just a little chicken left to toss into a salad? Consider composting as a way to make use of certain food scraps. Check out these resources to help you get started! My goal – stop throwing away so much food.

  3. Buy frozen, canned and imperfect produce - When you browse the produce aisle, don’t shy away from imperfect or “ugly” produce. It is just as nutritious as its pretty counterpart. In addition to giving “ugly” produce a chance, be mindful to not buy more fresh produce than you will likely eat in a given timeframe. I often find myself throwing away spoiled fruits and veggies; buying frozen and canned goods allows me to get fruit and veggie nutrition paired with a much longer shelf life! My goal – don’t be so picky about produce appearance and stock up on more canned veggies/fruits.



Minimizing my waste, maximize my donation

  1. Reduce use of plastic bags - According to the Earth Policy Institute, “100 billion plastic bags pass through the hands of U.S. consumers every year—almost one bag per person each day”.1 Most plastic bags are recyclable, but aren’t reaching the correct avenues for this to happen, and end up in the landfill, roadside or waterways. Switching to reusable bags is a great way to reduce waste. Remember to return them to the trunk after unloading from the store for next time. What about smaller plastic baggies? When I pack lunches I send the kids with reusable lunch boxes and plastic sandwich boxes, but then drop the ball when it comes to snacks and sides. I plan to use snack containers more often and purchase some waste-free lunch containers with compartments.

  2. Recycle

    Think before you trash it - On the field trip, we got to see first-hand just how much paper scraps, cans, glass and more were headed to the landfill. This reminded me of how often I have dumped recyclable goods into the trash. Post a list of recyclable goods in your house or garage (usually available on your location government/sanitation website) so that nothing gets trashed that can be recycled. Recycling duty at home is a great task for kids.

  3. Increase donation to Feeding America - Figure out my savings from decreasing use of paper plates/plastic baggies and food and make a donation to those with food insecurities.



Campbell's Commitment


Campbell believes in the importance of following a sustainable business model. We have set numerous goals related to how we sustainably grow, source and produce food. For more details visit Campbell's Corporate Responsibility Commitments.

Do more to waste less!

Kate



Kate's Bio


Kate received her bachelor's degree in dietetics from the University of Delaware and completed her dietetic internship at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She has over ten years of experience in a variety of nutrition-related practice areas including clinical nutrition, weight management counseling, health and wellness and nutrition education. Kate has worked as a nutrition consultant to the Campbell Soup Company since 2005.


References

  1. New Bans on Plastic Bags May Help Protect Marine Life
  2. U.S. Food Waste Challenge FAQs
  3. Feeding America


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En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

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Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.