Over 3 years ago I joined Lovin’ Spoonfuls with the goal of helping to reduce our global impact on the environment due to food waste. I have always been interested in sustainability and the idea of leaving the world in the best possible condition for the next generation, even though children were never in my plans…That was until one day in May when my wife came into the kitchen with scary, shocking, life-altering, amazing news: she was pregnant! A couple of days of disbelief and, to be honest, a little bit of depression and doubt, and I came around to the idea, went to the bookstore, and started reading up on pregnancy and figuring out the best way I could help my wife through the next 9 months and onwards. In the best way I know how, I focused on food and which foods were good and bad for her and the baby.
Throughout the first trimester I realized how different meal planning could become and how much harder it would be to keep our food waste at bay during this time. For starters, I would just be focusing a lot more on the quality of food I was feeding our growing family. A lot of times if some veggies in our fridge had a spot of mold I’d cut it off and use the rest. Being extra cautious, my wife and I no longer have that luxury and have to plan accordingly. On top of this, my wife has had some morning sickness, as well as specific cravings for foods, which makes a weekly meal plan much more difficult to stick too.
So far what has worked pretty well for us is planning one or two days at a time. Prior to this life change I would go to the grocery store on Saturday or Sunday and shop for a week’s worth of meals and snacks. Now I plan to go a couple times a week, and get items that are much blander and easier to use in a number of different meals and snacks. Gone (for now) are the days of jalapenos, fatty foods, endless amounts of cheeses, and the like. Healthy snack prep has become my life alongside a number of small meals spread out throughout the day. A typical day will have me making a small batch of hummus with carrots and celery, a side of snap peas with garlic and onions, hard boiled eggs (lots of hard boiled eggs), fruit smoothies, you name it. Constantly I am asking my wife if she is allowed to eat this or that while pregnant, trying my best to keep all her dietary restrictions in order.
All these changes are minuscule compared to what my wife has gone through, and will continue to go through, but they have helped to make me feel more a part of the process. Food has always been a big part of my life, whether it’s trying new cuisines while traveling, or cooking for friends and family, or bringing food donations to the wonderful agencies we work with every day, it’s only fitting that food was one of the first aspects I looked into when finding out such amazing news. Now that the “next generation” is becoming a more personal connection to my wife and me, there is an added level of pride and meaning added to the work we do every day at Lovin’ Spoonfuls. I am so happy to be able to tell Baby Summa that in the time since (s)he was conceived our organization was able to rescue X number of pounds of food from going to waste, keeping a vast amount of greenhouse gas emissions from being released. I am so proud to tell our child that we were able to provide X number of meals in that same time. I cannot wait to be able to tell our child about all of the great people I work with both within Lovin’ Spoonfuls and at the amazing agencies we partner with. The work we do at Lovin’ Spoonfuls is for the future, and for my wife and I, that future’s name is ______. Just kidding, you’ll learn that part in January.
By Anthony Summa, MetroWest Food Rescue Coordinator