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Waste Not, Want Not

Posted by Emma Baron on

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The Lift & Co Cannabis Business Conference was a flurry of activity on industry day, but quietened right down by Sunday’s consumer showcase - making us wonder if cannabis is more accessible when integrated into other consumer shows, like The Green Living Show or the Yoga Show.

Have you been to a cannabis show? Which one? Would you go again? We’d love to hear your thoughts, drop us a line here.

While in Vancouver we were lucky enough to experience the first federally recognized legal dispensaries opening their doors for the first time. And in a city famous for its grey market stores the shopping experience wasn't as sterile as we thought it might be!

City Cannabis Co. (formerly Vancity Weed) offered a pleasant shopping experience, and it seems like producers may even have saved their best bud for BC - we found a Pink Kush from San Rafael 71' at 23% THC - the highest we've seen in the (legal) recreational product offerings. We really wanted to try something from Tantalus Labs, but they only had their CBD strains on offer (at $60 - 68 per 3.5grams!). Next time.

Recycling in a cardboard box


Do you ever think about what happens to those parts of the cannabis plant that don't go up in smoke?

Canada could be creating some 6,000 tonnes of discarded leaves, stems, stalks and roots by 2020, by some estimates
Of course, that is a drop in the ocean compared to the impact on our planet from food waste, which the United Nations estimates contributes about 8 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions.

Some 30 percent of all food grown around the world is lost somewhere along that global supply chain, from falling in the field to getting lost at the back of the fridge.

With that in mind, I've been working on reducing the waste - and particularly food waste - that leaves my home for longer than a year now.

I've been inspired in this journey by the cookbook An Everlasting Meal, by Tamar Adler. It's not the recipes that get me, it's the writing and the ideas behind them: buy less, use what you have, use it twice, think.

I've reduced my monthly shopping bill and waste output meaningfully, but there is still lots of work to do, and not all of it can be done on the individual level.

Single use plastic is incredibly difficult to avoid in the grocery store, where everything comes wrapped or packaged. Why the apples need to be kept in their own plastic bag away from the oranges is beyond me.

So mention it to the store manager next time, or write a letter to head office (and ask what steps will be taking to reduce waste, then follow up a month later!) and perhaps let them know you'll be shopping at the bulk food store while you wait.

There's a reason the slogan runs ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ -- recycling is the last line of defence. We should be reducing our need in the first place, then reusing what we already have, and only then recycling what should hopefully be a much small pile.

And in the world of legal cannabis, single grams of pot are delivered in hard plastic tubs (are they even recyclable?), so it's not like consuming the green makes you green. (Is the answer to buy in bulk?)

Anyway, back to Tamar Adler. She talks a lot about soups that are essentially "recipes" to use odds and ends and old bread. For one, ribollita, you literally cannot go out and buy the ingredients - they must by definition be left over from something else.

Great meals rarely start at points that all look like beginnings. They usually pick up where something else leaves off. This is how most of the best things are made - imagine if the world had to begin from scratch each dawn: a tree would never grow, nor would we ever get to see the etchings of gentle rings on a clamshell.

Meals' ingredients must be allowed to topple into one another like dominoes. Broccoli stems, their florets perfectly boiled in salty water, must be simmered with olive oil and eaten with shaved Parmesan on toast; their leftover cooking liquid kept for the base for soup, studded with other vegetables, drizzled with good olive oil, with the rind of the Parmesan added for heartiness. This continuity is the heart and soul of cooking.

It's thinking like this that inspired us to create Milkweed, a place where lost objects can be rediscovered and where artisans create and sell quality products designed not to be discarded with the next season but to be handed down to the next generation.

In that spirit, why don't you pass this newsletter along to someone you think may enjoy it.

Until next time,

Carolina and Emma

Milkweed website

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