Sustainable recipe of the week: Pumpkin Pie

 
This delicious pie recipe is not only plant-based, but it also helps to fight food waste! Globally, around one quarter of the food we produce is wasted and in the United States that number is closer to 30-40%. What does this mean? It says that a large portion of the emissions, land use, and water use related to agriculture are from food that doesn't even make it to the dinner table. 
Food waste represents approximately 6% of global emissions, which is more than any country in the world with the exception of the United States and China. Reducing food waste is one of the easiest and most impactful ways to make your diet more sustainable.
 
You may wonder how this pie reduces food waste and food associated waste? While it may seem counter intuitive to use a canned food product to reduce waste, there are actually some real sustainability wins in doing so! Pumpkin packing operations want to maximize the use of their product, so all quality pumpkin flesh make it into the cans. They also utilize other pumpkin byproducts such as stems, rinds, and seeds, which are burned for energy or used for compost in fields. What you end up with is an in-season crop perfectly preserved in non-perishable pie-perfect proportions (say that three times fast) within an infinitely recyclable package! Plus, when was the last time you saw pie go to waste?
 
Around this time of year, it is also important to remember that while we may have a food waste problem in our community, we also have a food access problem. No diet is sustainable if it doesn't provide enough calories and nutrients to those who need them. Want to help in your community? Look to your local food banks and kitchens. Boca Helping Hands is providing Thanksgiving dinner to over 2,700 Boca area families in 2020. Want to help? Go to https://www.bocahelpinghands.org/Thanksgiving [bocahelpinghands.org] to find out how.
 
1-15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. maple syrup
3/4 c. hazelnut milk (or any non-dairy milk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1 unbaked vegan pie crust (store bought or coconut oil pie crust is also great!)
(*½ tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ginger, ¼ tsp allspice, pinch of clove, pinch of nutmeg, and pinch of cardamom (optional) - for those who prefer to blend their own spices!)
Sources:
Food waste statistics: United Nations: https://www.unenvironment.org/thinkeatsave/get-informed/worldwide-food-waste 
Global emissions from food waste: Poore & Nemecek 2018: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6392/987 
Libby's Sustainability efforts: https://www.verybestbaking.com/libbys/sustainability/  

Category Tag(s): Nature Blog