Community Corner: Waste Free Lunch


Today as I wrote an article for O's school newsletter, celebrating a formalized classroom recycling program, I planted the seed for waste free lunches. Did you know over 45% of a school's waste is food or food packaging??!??!? The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency estimates that each child could reduce 30 pounds of garbage a year by packing waste free lunches. That amounts to about 10,000 pounds of garbage at O's school!! We continue to use his Laptop Lunchbox, but it got me thinking and searching for new ideas to freshen up his lunch.

If you send hot items in a thermos, here is a tip I read on Epicurious: Pour boiling water in the thermos, let it warm the container for a few minutes, pour out the water and then add the hot food to retain warmth until lunch time.

BurritosPurchase your favorite frozen burrito, heat in the microwave and then place in a thermos

Tomato Soup with a Cheese Sandwich to DipMake cheese quesadillas, grill a sandwich or cold cheese sandwich for lots of options.

Soybutter, Banana, Honey and Date Sandwiches
Spread soy or peanut butter on bread, add banana slices, and pitted dates. Drizzle honey over top and add another slice of bread.

Broiled Tofu with Miso

Rainbow and Butterfly Pasta... add some blueberries on the side for a full rainbow effect

Tortelloni Kebabs
If skewers do not sound like a good idea at school, send individual containers for items and a dipping sauce.

Soba Noodle Vegetable Salad

Greek Salad with Orzo and Black-eyed Peas

Hummus & Vegetable Sandwiches
I plan to use wheat tortillas rather than lahvash when trying these sandwiches and you can buy pre-made hummus if you prefer.

Antipasto Salad

We recently bought an antipasto salad at a local Italian deli. Within minutes it was gone. Here are a few recipes to tweak and add your own spin:

Fruit Salad
Cut up seasonal fruit, then heat 2 T honey in microwave, pour on fruit and stir

Cut Veggies Dipped in Salad Dressing
Send favorite cut veggies sent with a side container of salad dressing for dipping.

Vegan Gluten-Free Banana Muffins

Brown Rice Krispy Treats

Homemade Energy Bars
If I get ambitious, maybe I'll even try these energy bars substituting soybutter for peanut butter and eliminating nuts.

For additional lunch ideas visit:

If you have other favorite lunches, please share!!

Laptop Lunches provides a 10% savings with the use of Coupon Code: Sprout

Mold in the lunchbox!

Don't forget your lunchbox! Check out this fun interactive and predict how long it will take for mold to form on any leftover food if you left it at school.

Here's a no mold option...

Click here for a fabulously scary photostream of a McD's Happy Meal that lasted 6 months with no mold:

Can this be possible?

Just ran across this article on a PBS blog I read. Non-decomposing McDonald hamburgers since 1989...can it be true??? I'll have to look into the credibility of Natural News & the Best Day Ever Site seems interesting, but thought the video tied in with Sally Davies photos and the list of "ingredients" is amazing. If anything, food for thought.

Icky, icky, where's the beef?

Remember the "hamburger" in Food, Inc. coming off the line at the factory into the boxes? Perhaps all that gassing of the meat with chemicals to kill bacteria really works!!

No mold, but no thank you!

It might last forever!!! Even the bugs and dog don't want to eat it-- that says something! Maybe we'll have to do our own experiment...out in the garage.

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