By Lisa Day, Food Rescue Coordinator
How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls and how did you become interested in food rescue?
Back home in Seattle, I studied environmental science and resource management. Under this major, I learned a lot about climate change, sustainability, and environmental health. One of the available electives I took was a ‘Geography of Food’ course. In it, I learned just how unsustainable and damaging the current American food system is in regards to environmental, social, and animal rights. My educational background, and perhaps this course in particular, deepened my desire to decrease food waste and increase food access and security. And the way I wanted to do that was through food rescue!
What passions do you bring to the job?
From an environmental science standpoint, I’m definitely passionate about decreasing food waste and working towards a more sustainable food system. From a more social standpoint, I believe access to real, affordable food should be a basic human right. Our current food system is really not designed to alleviate the problems of food waste and food insecurity, so it’s been really wonderful to work for an organization that actively tackles both of these issues.
Have there been any surprises for you in the food you rescue?
It is surprising that stores pull items off the shelves well before their sell-by dates. As a consumer, I used to think these close-dated items were actually in stores, available for purchase until the dates arrived. However, since joining Lovin’ Spoonfuls, I’ve learned that’s definitely not the case–consumers demand otherwise. The silver lining is that this gives our beneficiaries that much more time to use and enjoy this donated food.
Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
I would have to say ‘no.’ But I’m pretty good at swapping ingredients and messing up recipes to make fun, weird creations! Most of my “dishes” come from a lack of ingredients and a willingness to experiment.
What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Right now I have a lot of veggies, fruit, cheese, and peanut butter.
What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
Growing up, we had a big plum tree in the back yard. One of my favorite childhood memories was when summertime would roll around and we would all go out and harvest the plums. Even the ones that had fallen or been bruised. I’m grateful for having learned at a young age that produce doesn’t have to be squeaky clean or “perfect” to be delicious and have value.
Who are your heroes?
My parents. I think much of my resourcefulness and no-waste lifestyle comes from them. My brother and I were very lucky to grow up watching them use what they had to build and create things, grow and cook food, and take care of their family.