Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Canned versus fresh

One of the things that I am most proud of is that the food pantry I work in always offers fresh fruit and vegetables. Some comes from our own gardens, some from the Oregon Food Bank's garden, and most comes from gleaning projects and supermarkets. On delivery days from OFB, our big fridge has been filled to the brim with produce, to the point where I'm often scrambling to find room for everything. But because of all of that, we're able to offer people lettuce, tomatoes, carrots (oh lord, so many carrots), apples, berries, and so much more.

There is only one issue with the fresh food: There aren't many times after we close the pantry in which we can keep a lot of the produce for the next day we're open. So often times what happens is that at the end of the day, we bring the extra bread and produce to the low income buildings in the area. This definitely has some great qualities to it but one of the issues is always that we never know what might come in each day we're open. Some days we have huge quantities of all types of produce but other days, we might be low on many items but have massive amounts of carrots and nectarines. What we get for produce fluctuates every day.

That is the nice thing that canned food: it takes much longer for canned goods to go bad (weeks versus days). With cans, we're able to make sure that there's a bit more of a consistent stock of food.

The downside is that there's a reason canned food can take so long to go bad: preservatives. Often times, canned food is filled with things that aren't good for anyone but that's often times why they can last on shelves much longer.

1 comment:

  1. This is a bit late but i enjoy hearing about this experience and the good work you are doing