Rescuing a loved one with rescued produce
- Will McCabe, Hungry Harvest
Fighting hunger. Reducing food waste. Saving money. Eating healthy. Trying new things. Convenience. These are all reasons why people subscribe to Hungry Harvest. They are deemed “Harvest Heroes” for saving produce from ending up in landfills and redirecting perfectly good food to hungry individuals and families. As an employee, Hungry Harvest has been a huge part of my life for the past three years. I’ve seen the impact Hungry Harvest has had in our Heroes’ lives, in the communities we serve, and in the millions of pounds of produce rescued. It wasn’t until recently, however, that I noticed the direct impact Hungry Harvest has had on me personally through how it has helped one of the three people I love most in this world on his road to recovery: my dad.
Hungry Harvest is quite literally saving his life.
My dad has survived two heart attacks, prostate cancer, and most recently a cryoablation heart procedure. Doctors have sounded like a broken record over the years saying that he needs to lose weight through “diet and exercise, diet and exercise, diet and exercise.” It sounds pretty easy, right? Just work out more and eat healthier.
But it’s not that easy.
What if you’re over 60 with back and foot problems? Exercise becomes difficult. What if you’ve lived your entire life eating certain things and then all of a sudden you’re told that you have to cut back on or completely cut more than 90% of those things out of your diet? Habits can be tough to break.
Ever since my dad underwent cryo, he was told by his doctor to go on a no carb diet. That means no bread, rice, crackers, potatoes, pasta, cereal, oatmeal, and even beans! This was a big blow to a man who was already told to avoid red meat, fast food, potato chips, cookies, pizza, alcohol . . . Not an easy adjustment to make.
Dad is and always has been the cook and grocery shopper in our home, so figuring out what to buy at the store and what meals to make became very challenging very fast. That’s how Hungry Harvest saved the day.
It saves him time, it keeps him on budget and it inspires his creativity in the kitchen as he navigates finding replacements for some of his old favorites. Simply put, it allows him to stick to this new diet.
My dad’s road to recovery hasn’t been easy, but we like to look at the glass half full. My dad, mom, sister, and I are constantly bringing new ideas to the table (literally) and spending more time together as a family. No noodles? No problem. We’re a little late to the “zoodling” game but how awesome is it that you can spiralize vegetables into noodles!? We prefer zucchini and yellow squash but if the Harvest brings carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, or cucumbers, we’ll utilize those too! Dad loves shrimp, so we tried this awesome zucchini noodle recipe with avocado and shrimp. He also has always hated eggplant but I convinced him to take it off his “never list” so we could make eggplant pizza. The pizza options are endless. Cauliflower had also always been a bit of a mystery and was frequently showing up in the Harvests. Perfect timing for having rice and potatoes cut out of his diet because we can make cauliflower rice and cauliflower mashed potatoes! Plus, dad and I have always bonded over the Ravens so we can’t wait to try cauliflower buffalo bites during football season.
I consider my dad a Hero not just because he is helping reduce food waste and fight hunger, but also because of the sacrifice he is making to lose weight and improve his overall well-being. I couldn’t be prouder of him. I also couldn’t be happier working for a company that’s making a difference in people’s lives similar to the difference it is making in my dad’s life.
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