From the Earth to Your Table and Back Again

        For some, growing up in a household where your mother was waiting with an after school snack was the norm. By five o'clock your family gathered around the table to a well balanced, homecooked meal with meat, fresh vegetables, dessert and usually milk to drink. But with the changing times and the advent of pre-packaged meals and fast food take-out, that nutritious dinner around the family table has almost become a thing of the past.

        According to researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, "increased work-week hours and a doubling of the number of U.S. fast food restaurants to about 250,000 in the past 25 years have influenced the amount of time people spend on food shopping and meal preparation, adding that planning weekly meals and related grocery shopping could help resist the fast meal decisions that lead to grabbing a quick bite." These quick bites at mealtime are also taking a chunk out of one's wallet not to mention the increased risk of health problems. To add to the cycle, the continued consumption of ready to eat meals adds to the amount of solid waste being placed in our landfills. 

        On our next Community Conversation, Kathleen Cook talks with Ellen DeSay, manager of Nutrition Programming, and Michelle Constable, a Nutrition and Food Safety Educator from the Broome County Cooperative Extension's Eat Smart NY Program; and Master Composter Adam Michaelides from the Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County. They’ll discuss how to save money this winter through smart food purchasing and food preparation. This includes reducing waste by buying items with less packaging (i.e. buying in bulk), and also by recycling and composting everything possible, which leaves less trash to pay for, and provides ‘home-grown compost’ to use in the garden instead of buying compost from a store.


You can join in the conversation with your calls and emails during the live 7 p.m. broadcast on Tuesday, December 9, 2008. Call 1-888-359-9754 or email your questions to