Soil is the digestive system of the earth.  Think about it: organisms in the soil consume, digest, and recycle organic matter—just like your stomach digests the food you eat.  Like your gut, the soil is a living organ, teeming with microorganisms that are tasked with exchanging nutrients and keeping plants and ecosystems healthy.  And like your diet, improper “food”—what we add to the soil—can make it very sick or very healthy.

 

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A powerful solution to the climate crisis can be found right beneath our feet—in the soil. By harnessing the immense power of photosynthesis, we can convert atmospheric carbon, a problem, into soil carbon, a solution. Emerging science proves that shifting to regenerative forms of agriculture such as agroecology, agroforestry, cover-cropping, holistic grazing and permaculture will allow us to store excess carbon safely in the ground.

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Using the power of photosynthesis, we can take excess carbon out of the atmosphere--where it\'s become a problem--and store it in the ground, where it contributes to soil and climate health.

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An excess of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere is warming the planet and increasing the severity and intensity of extreme weather events. While this is a grim state of affairs, there is hope, and it is right under our feet in the soil.

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Citrus season is winding down, but there’s still time to get the most out of your winter fruit. Citrus peels are a woefully underused part of the fruit that are completely edible and delicious. Usually the peels end up in the compost bin, but here at CFS we try to waste as little food as possible and eat the peels instead!

Here are 5 tasty ways to get the most out of citrus season; be sure to use organic, unwaxed citrus in all of these recipes for healthy and delicious eating.

Candied Citrus Peels
Candied peels are a sweet treat that make a great holiday or party gift. You can use them in baking, as a cocktail garnish or just eat them straight from the container.

Ingredients


Directions
With a paring knife, make 6 slits along the curve of each citrus fruit from top to bottom, cutting through the peel but not into the fruit. Gently remove the peel with his fingers. Slice each piece of peel lengthwise into quarter-inch-wide strips. Remove excess pith from each strip with the knife and discard.

Place strips in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, drain, and repeat twice.

Bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring occasionally only until the sugar dissolves. Add strips to the boiling syrup, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer gently until strips are translucent, about 1 hour. Remove from heat and let the strips cool in the syrup.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer strips to a wire rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet. Wipe off excess syrup with paper towels, and then roll strips in sugar. Arrange in a single layer on a wire rack and let dry for at least 30 minutes.

Sugared peels will keep, covered at room temperature, for up to 2 weeks.

Citrus Finishing Salt
This seasoned salt is a delicious addition to cookies, caramels, and any other food you would finish with salt. Try it on vegetables such as tomatoes and fava beans, as well as in curries and stews- the possibilities are endless.

Ingredients


Directions
Preheat your oven to 225° F. Combine the salt and zest in a medium bowl and mix well. Work the zest into the salt with your hands, making sure there aren\'t any clumps of zest. Spread across a parchment lined baking sheet. If you\'re making more than one flavor of salt, repeat this as many times as necessary.

Bake the salt for 70 minutes, or until the citrus is completely dried out. Flecks of zest should crumble when pinched between your fingers. Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit. For finer salt you can pulse each salt a few times in a food processor, or keep it as is if you want it flaky.

Salts keep in an airtight jar for a couple of months.   

Citrus Sugar
Use this flavored sugar instead of granulated sugar in baking, or sprinkle it on top of scones or cookies for a delightful citrusy treat. Citrus sugar is also great for making drinks- try it in teas, lemonade or cocktails.

Ingredients


Directions
Using a citrus zester, remove the zest. If you do not have a zester, use a paring knife or a vegetable peeler to remove the zest, and then scrape as much of the bitter white pith off as possible.

Roughly chop zest, transfer to a food processor, and add 1 cup sugar. Pulse until zest has been finely ground, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the ground mixture to a medium bowl. Add remaining cup sugar, and toss until evenly mixed.

Spread the citrus sugar on a baking pan and let sit at room temperature until dry, about 1 hour. The sugar will keep for several months in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Citrus Olive Oil
This simple olive oil infusion can transform any dish. Use it in salad dressings, baked goods and pasta sauces for a subtle kick. We like Meyer lemons for their delicate sweet scent, but feel free to use any citrus peels you have on hand.

Ingredients

Directions
Warm the olive oil and peels in a small pot over very low heat for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for half an hour, then strain and pour into a bottle.

Keep the oil in your pantry, away from light and heat.

Citrus Infused Tea
Dried organic citrus peels make a great addition to your basic cup of tea. Use any peels you have on hand; we like to use orange and lemon but any will work.

Directions
Scrape away as much of the pith as you can and put the peels on a baking sheet in a single layer to dry for a few days. You can also speed up the process by toasting them in a 200° F oven until completely dry.

Store dried peels in an airtight jar in your pantry to add to your favorite teas.

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2015 has been declared the International Year of Soils by the United Nations, making it the perfect time to start composting your food scraps to help rebuild soil health. Healthy soil stores carbon in the ground where it provides multiple benefits for climate stability, food security, and fresh water availability. Food scraps are a valuable resource that can be used to make healthy soil instead of being thrown in the garbage. Food is, in fact, the single largest component of municipal solid waste reaching America’s landfills and incinerators.

Healthy homes can’t exist without a healthy environment, and composting your leftovers can do more for the environment than you might realize. The difference between what happens to food in a landfill and food in a compost pile is massive. In a compost pile, food scraps decompose with the help of air, heat and microorganisms, eventually becoming healthy soil. Food in landfills, on the other hand, is compacted so tightly that it decomposes without oxygen, creating methane- a greenhouse gas with 23 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. In the United States, landfills account for almost 25% of all methane emissions. From a climate perspective, food waste is a big deal. Diverting your food scraps from the landfill to the compost pile is a low-cost, easy and effective way to help the climate.

Here are 4 ways you can compost to build healthy soil at home and in your community!

1. At Home

Of course, if your city has a compost program all you need to do is get a compost bucket to throw your scraps in and the city will come pick it up. Be sure to check what kinds of food your city will accept in your compost. There are also private local services that will collect your scraps for a small fee. If you want to make your own compost it’s going to take a bit more work, but it can be really rewarding, especially if you have a garden. Check out this website for great resources on getting started with compost in your own backyard. If you’re a city dweller with limited outside access, this book for composting in small spaces is an excellent read.

2. At School

Start a compost program in your local school if there isn’t one already in place. Composting at a school is a great way to teach children about the benefits of healthy soil. Here’s a detailed guide to starting a school compost program. If there’s already a compost program, ask if you can bring your food scraps from home to contribute to the rebuilding of healthy soil on campus.

3. In Your Community

Another good place to build healthy soil is in community gardens. Many gardens will gladly accept your food scraps to increase their compost piles. Use this guide to find a garden near you, and be sure to ask about what foods are accepted. Make landscape, not landfill!

4. At the Farmer’s Market

Some farmer’s markets accept food scraps that will then be turned into compost. Check with your local market to see if they have a drop-off program. Store the scraps in your refrigerator or freezer to reduce the odor at home, and be sure to follow the guidelines for what foods are accepted. 

Sending your food scraps to the compost pile instead of the landfill is a simple way you can have an impact and help heal our planet. Every bit counts – let’s make this is the year of composting for the climate!

For more compost inspiration, check out the Composting is Cool Pinterest board.

To learn more about the connection between soil health and the climate, click here.

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Climate Change is such an enormous and unprecedented problem that it may seem like  our individual efforts can’t possibly make a difference. But, they do, especially on the food front. Think about it: if we are fortunate, most of us eat three times a da.', ), ), ), 'bid_3678' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Related Page 2', 'block_type' => 'Relation', 'block_alias' => '', 'post_id' => '33564', 'content' => array ( 0 => array ( 'custom_title' => '', 'page_id' => '3183', 'name1' => 'Soil', 'section_name1' => 'Issues', 'page_link' => '/issues/3183/soil', 'lead_img' => 'soil-hand-shot-300dpi_45425.jpg', 'rich_snippet' => ' Soil is the digestive system of the earth. Think about it: organisms in the soil consume, digest, and recycle organic matter—just like your stomach digests the food you eat. Like your gut, the soil is a living organ, teeming with microorg.', ), ), ), 'bid_3681' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Related Page 3', 'block_type' => 'Relation', 'block_alias' => '', 'post_id' => '33565', 'content' => array ( 0 => array ( 'custom_title' => '', 'page_id' => '3842', 'name1' => '5 Ways to Eat Citrus Peels', 'section_name1' => 'Tips for a Healthy Home', 'page_link' => '/healthy-home/3274/cfs-healthy-home/tips-for-a-healthy-home/3842/5-ways-to-eat-citrus-peels', 'lead_img' => 'hh_5usesforcitrus_488x2721_47509.jpg', 'rich_snippet' => ' Citrus season is winding down, but there’s still time to get the most out of your winter fruit. Citrus peels are a woefully underused part of the fruit that are completely edible and delicious. Usually the peels end up in the compost bin, but here at CFS we tr.', ), ), ), ), 'alias' => array ( 'page_link' => '/healthy-home/3274/cfs-healthy-home/tips-for-a-healthy-home/3852/4-ways-to-compost-for-the-climate', 'bitly' => '', 'root_url' => 'tips-for-a-healthy-home', 'root' => 'Tips for a Healthy Home', 'lead_img' => 'healthy-home-compost_488x272_45051.jpg', 'rich_snippet' => ' 2015 has been declared the International Year of Soils by the United Nations, making it the perfect time to start composting your food scraps to help rebuild soil health. Healthy soil stores carbon in the ground where it provides multiple benefits for climate .', 'page' => array ( 'id' => '3852', 'SECTION_ID' => '410', 'PARENT_ID' => '0', 'BLOCK_ID' => '0', 'order' => '7', 'visible' => '1', 'feature' => '0', 'hide' => '0', 'name1' => '4 Ways to Compost for the Climate', 'url' => '4-ways-to-compost-for-the-climate', 'bitly' => '', 'lead_img' => 'healthy-home-compost_488x272_45051.jpg', 'meta_title' => 'Center for Food Safety | Tips for a Healthy Home | | 4 Ways to Compost for the Climate', 'meta_desc' => '2015 has been declared the International Year of Soils by the United Nations, making it the perfect time to start composting your food scraps to...', 'meta_img' => 'healthy-home-compost_488x272_45051.jpg', 'meta_json' => '', 'update_meta_title' => '1', 'update_meta_desc' => '0', 'update_meta_img' => '0', 'update_meta_json' => '0', 'start_time' => '0', 'end_time' => '0', ), 'section' => array ( 'id' => '410', 'PARENT_ID' => '0', 'PAGE_ID' => '3274', 'name1' => 'Tips for a Healthy Home', 'url' => 'tips-for-a-healthy-home', 'hide' => '0', 'order' => '157', ), 'bid_3655' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Accordion Text', 'block_type' => 'Children', 'block_alias' => '', 'post_id' => '33559', 'content' => array ( ), ), 'alias' => array ( '' => array ( 'custom_title' => '', 'page_id' => '3842', 'name1' => '5 Ways to Eat Citrus Peels', 'section_name1' => 'Tips for a Healthy Home', 'page_link' => '/healthy-home/3274/cfs-healthy-home/tips-for-a-healthy-home/3842/5-ways-to-eat-citrus-peels', 'lead_img' => 'hh_5usesforcitrus_488x2721_47509.jpg', 'rich_snippet' => ' Citrus season is winding down, but there’s still time to get the most out of your winter fruit. Citrus peels are a woefully underused part of the fruit that are completely edible and delicious. Usually the peels end up in the compost bin, but here at CFS we tr.', ), ), ), ), ), ) --> Center for Food Safety | Tips for a Healthy Home | | 4 Ways to Compost for the Climate

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4 Ways to Compost for the Climate

April 20th, 2015
Center for Food Safety

2015 has been declared the International Year of Soils by the United Nations, making it the perfect time to start composting your food scraps to help rebuild soil health. Healthy soil stores carbon in the ground where it provides multiple benefits for climate stability, food security, and fresh water availability. Food scraps are a valuable resource that can be used to make healthy soil instead of being thrown in the garbage. Food is, in fact, the single largest component of municipal solid waste reaching America’s landfills and incinerators.

Healthy homes can’t exist without a healthy environment, and composting your leftovers can do more for the environment than you might realize. The difference between what happens to food in a landfill and food in a compost pile is massive. In a compost pile, food scraps decompose with the help of air, heat and microorganisms, eventually becoming healthy soil. Food in landfills, on the other hand, is compacted so tightly that it decomposes without oxygen, creating methane- a greenhouse gas with 23 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. In the United States, landfills account for almost 25% of all methane emissions. From a climate perspective, food waste is a big deal. Diverting your food scraps from the landfill to the compost pile is a low-cost, easy and effective way to help the climate.

Here are 4 ways you can compost to build healthy soil at home and in your community!

1. At Home

Of course, if your city has a compost program all you need to do is get a compost bucket to throw your scraps in and the city will come pick it up. Be sure to check what kinds of food your city will accept in your compost. There are also private local services that will collect your scraps for a small fee. If you want to make your own compost it’s going to take a bit more work, but it can be really rewarding, especially if you have a garden. Check out this website for great resources on getting started with compost in your own backyard. If you’re a city dweller with limited outside access, this book for composting in small spaces is an excellent read.

2. At School

Start a compost program in your local school if there isn’t one already in place. Composting at a school is a great way to teach children about the benefits of healthy soil. Here’s a detailed guide to starting a school compost program. If there’s already a compost program, ask if you can bring your food scraps from home to contribute to the rebuilding of healthy soil on campus.

3. In Your Community

Another good place to build healthy soil is in community gardens. Many gardens will gladly accept your food scraps to increase their compost piles. Use this guide to find a garden near you, and be sure to ask about what foods are accepted. Make landscape, not landfill!

4. At the Farmer’s Market

Some farmer’s markets accept food scraps that will then be turned into compost. Check with your local market to see if they have a drop-off program. Store the scraps in your refrigerator or freezer to reduce the odor at home, and be sure to follow the guidelines for what foods are accepted. 

Sending your food scraps to the compost pile instead of the landfill is a simple way you can have an impact and help heal our planet. Every bit counts – let’s make this is the year of composting for the climate!

For more compost inspiration, check out the Composting is Cool Pinterest board.

To learn more about the connection between soil health and the climate, click here.