Quickie Post – 5 Things I Learned at Edible Institute 2012

I was speaking to Krysti yesterday via instant messanger, and was telling her how difficult I found writing up Edible Institute. It’s been tough. Last year, I took some notes and got a solid, single post out of it. This year, I found I took no notes, but probably have at least two posts to put up.

Of course, the Keynote Speaker, Nikki Henderson, gets a single post all by herself. That’s part of the issue.

That said, I didn’t want to leave you all (especially those of you not on Twitter) with the feeling that I just went to California and sat on the beach drinking beach cocktails all weekend. So I figured I do a quick (maybe) post on 5 random tidbits I learned while at Edible Institute.

# It’s possible for a non-profit to find a way to be more successful, but less flashy, at their mission, and see their funding go down. I’ll touch on this more tomorrow, as it was part of Henderson’s speech, but it was surprising enough that I wanted to share it.
# Roughly 40% of the food produced in the US is not consumed, but rather wasted/discarded. This captures the waste from all the points in the production stream from, as they say, farm to table (and beyond). Jonathon Bloom, who shared this statistic with us (and is the author of “American Wasteland”), says this is enough food to fill the Rose Bowl Stadium every day.

# There are places where it’s illegal to “throw away” organic matter (meaning send it to a landfill). These places also, it seems, have area-wide composting facilities and pick up. I did know places were moving toward requiring composting – I learned about that in San Francisco after Edible2011. However, when I was in San Fran, it was clear the requirements were only regarding certain kinds of organic matter. Bones, for example, were still perfectly acceptable to landfill. Bloom indicated that this is not the case in other places.

# As much as I appreciate a nice cocktail, there are times of day when the thought actually turns my stomach. I discovered this with wine about a year ago as well1.

# I like lamb. Probably. I’d been avoiding it because I really can’t stand mutton, but I had a chance to have a nice, medium-rare lamb chop during the “party”, and it was delicious.

fn1. In case you’re wondering about when it’s too early for wine, click here and look under the “cooking and consumption notes”.