Food Waste Prevention

Southern Oregon Food Solutions

Flavia Franco


Our mission is to minimize food waste in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We do this by working in community to educate and inspire action for food production, usage, and disposal. By closing the gaps in our food cycle, we’ll be able to adapt and stay strong, and be a supportive, more self sufficient, sustainable community.

Rogue Valley Farm to School

Rebecca Slosberg, Co-Executive Director of Programs & Staff


Rogue Valley Farm to School educates children about our food system through hands-on farm and garden programs, and by increasing local foods in school meals. We inspire an appreciation of local agriculture that improves the economy and environment of our community and the health of its members.
Video: What’s Up With Composting? In the 2021-22 school year Rogue Valley Farm to School launched a school- based composting program at Talent and Phoenix Elementary Schools in southern Oregon. The program tied into the Digging Deeper School Partnership that connects students to local farms and garden education. Students learn about reducing food waste while turning their lunch leftovers into nutrient-rich compost that can be used on the farm and back in their school garden beds.

If your goal is: Happy Planet – Happy People, then take action that helps both.

Take the pledge

One of the objectives of Food Waste Prevention week is to get as many people as possible to “Take the Pledge”, The pledge is to build habits for preventing food waste, hold yourself accountable for food waste, pass on knowledge about food waste (and it would be good to also include sustainability) to others – family & friends, and then also post about the pledge to Social Media.

A Great Food Storage Guide

compliments of No Food Left Behind Corvallis 

Earth Day Activities

Each year, Earth Day is recognized, but each year, negligible progress is made to avoid worst case scenarios by 2030 and 2050. Find ways to make Earth Day build and grow and integrate into our decision making about how make institutional functions become sustainable.


“meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” from the 1987 United Nations Brundtland Commission

Buy local

There are three ways to support local farms, which is in our best interest. Because in a disaster, local farms will be our heroes. And in the short terms, strong local farms are good for our economy.

  • Ask the grocery stores where you shop to designate and label an area or areas in the store that are from local farms.
  • Be a patron of the local Growers Markets. Per the Executive Director of RV Growers Markets: “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy local, and that’s almost the same thing.”
  • Go in with neighbors or friends on a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) agreement.

Eat less meat

Choosing a plant based diet instead of meat even one day a week would decrease meat consumption by 14%. Globally, there are over one billion head of cattle every year, and subtracting 14% of cattle from that burden for the planet to produce would help. If all of us held ourselves accountable, we would find a way to make our consumption habits consistent with sustainable goals.

Choose organic

Cheaper food is a big reason people choose conventionally grown products. However, choosing cheaper food is disguising the cost of 

  • pollinator death from pesticides, herbicides,
  • deplorable conditions that forced upon farm workers,
  • soil depletion from artificial fertilizers, and
  • pollution from agrichemical runoff,   

Rogue Valley Farm Tour

Sunday July 16, 2023 This is a great opportunity to establish or build your connection to our surrounding farming community. When we understand things from the Farmers’ perspective, we’re reconnecting to Nature, and the the food system that we all depend on for our existence. This is one way to grow gratitude for food. 

Importance of Composting

Even though preventing food waste is six times better for the environment than simply composting unused food, composting food waste is still essential to regenerating soil health to keep farming sustainable.

Compost at Your Home

It pays to do compost correctly and render your process critter proof by investing in a compost drum. Here is a description of how one Ashland resident does it successfully.

Participate in a Food Scrap collection program – For those who are not into composting in their own yard, or for those who don’t have a space in which to compost, there is a service that will pick up food scraps weekly, and take scraps to local farms for composting.

Grow your own

Food was not always as plentiful in this country as it is now. During the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s, which was also man-made environmental disaster, nothing was growing. This happened during the depression, so people were struggling to feed themselves. Imagine how much more secure a family would feel if they were successfully growing their own fruits and vegetables. During the world wars, families were encouraged to create Victory Gardens as a way to support their country. And growing your own also increases appreciation for the work that goes into producing food. The wisdom of how to grow food needs to be valued and shared how it used to be. Our dependence on others to feed us is counterproductive to resilience.

Build community

In order to make significant progress to shrink the impact and magnitude of climate change, we have to understand that we have to tap into our superpower in order to do it. And that superpower is building community. And with strong community, we can build resiliency, which is the capacity to withstand or to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. We are social creatures and to quote Dan Wahpepah – who is featured on KSKQ’s First Nations Radio, “when we are without community, we are handicapped.” What is counterproductive to community is isolation.

And we also have to understand that everything is connected. We need a strong democracy that allows deliberation, and a government that reflects what the whole community needs, not what the richest donors think is best. Then, when we speak with solidarity, the government is more responsive. We want to build an empowered community. What ever organizations you affiliate with, it should serve you to be part of something bigger than yourself, and something that will be a benefit for the future. 

Support farm workers

Unite Oregon is focused on six issues that impact all Oregonians, but especially our communities. We work to ensure that our community voice is heard at the tables where decisions are made. One of the issues they focus on is Climate Justice.  They are currently conducting a Climate Justice Listening tour.

The Rogue Valley Food System Network 

This non-profit is the hub for food related issues and activities in the Rogue Valley reaching Jackson and Josephine counties covering farms, retailers, vintners, etc. Their newsletter and annual flavor guide are great places to connect with the Rogue Valley Food Community.


There is important legislation in process this year. At the federal level, there is the 2023 Farm Bill, which covers SNAP benefits, conservation programs and how subsidies are doled out for certain crops and to what kinds of farms and it only gets updated once every five years. At the state level, there is the Soil Health Initiative HR2998 among others. Work with an advocacy organization such as the SOCAN Federal and State Team or the Regional & Local Teams to advocate for legislation to increase sustainability and equity.

Organizations that work to get surplus food to people who need it

Rogue Valley Food Unites

Food Angels


Ashland Food Project

Ashland Emergency Food Bank

Monday Meals

OLLI Class  “How Farming Has Shaped Us And Is Shaping Us Still”

Four Sessions in April looks at how farming has been impacted by the long shadow of injustice and inequity linking back to our country’s origins, and how farming practices today are affecting our environment and our culture.