In today’s modern day, many of the ideologies of what is good for humans and our planet are very different than in the past. With more knowledge around health, the environment and the need to be sustainable we are all required to reexamine our behavior and think about our future.
In the United States post World War II, the USDA shifted our food pyramid to represent a diet based on milk, meats, fruits & vegetables, and grains. At the same time, food companies began to process much of the food we eat to extend shelf life and reduce cost. We now know that many of these recommendations were not the result of science but rather the result of lobbyists for dairy, wheat, and other interest groups looking to make their products part of everyday life. In addition, most corporations looked to drive profits by reducing the amount of real food in their products with processed substitutes and chemicals; my least favorite being the replacement of cane sugar with high fructose corn syrup. (Again, the government supporting the corn industry over the cane industry)
Over the last 7 years, I’ve been committed to helping America return to high-quality, unprocessed food. One of my favorite companies is www.greensburymarket.com which sells organic and sustainable meat and seafood sourced from family farms and fisheries and delivered right to your door. As we were starting Greensbury, I learned some very interesting facts about the food supply chain in the United States.
A staggering 133 Billion pounds of food worth $162 Billion is wasted each year according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The average American household is throwing away roughly $120 each month through uneaten food. And the waste is even worse from the processing plants to delivery companies to supermarkets and households, where ‘fresh’ food is being dumped at a rate of 222 million tons a year.
That’s why at Greensbury, we realized that processing and flash freezing the product is actually a much more healthy and sustainable way to buy your perishable proteins. When I went on a fishing trip to Alaska in 2004, the local fisherman told me that all fish are processed and flash frozen to not only lock in freshness but to kill bacteria.
If you go to Whole Foods and buy a steak, that meat has already been transported, thawed, moved around the store and touched by multiple butchers before it’s sold to you as the end consumer. Furthermore, the blood and moisture has normally been drained as it sat in the food counter waiting for you to buy it. If you don’t cook the meat within 24 hours, the product will often change color and start to smell within 48 hours. With Greensbury’s sealed products, the blood and moisture is captured within the product so when thawed it returns to the texture and freshness as if it was just slaughtered. And from a sustainable perspective, the food will last at least 6 months if properly stored and if you take a steak out to thaw in your refrigerator but don’t cook it right away, it will last 5-7 days in your fridge if you haven’t broken the vacuum seal. Clearly, a more sustainable way of dealing with perishable items.