Preventing Food Waste


Today I had the pleasure of speaking to “The Healthy Beauty Show” on 1380 The Woman about ways to prevent food waste. This is a subject I’m not proud to say I have experience with, but years of overenthusiastic farmers’ market and foraging trips have taught me a thing or two about being more conscientious. Preventing food waste shouldn’t be about feeling guilty, but rather working towards more mindful eating practices. We can all take steps every day and continually work towards getting better.

If you’re looking for tips, I’ve written about food waste quite a bit over at The Kitchn:
6 Habits to Prevent Food Waste
Conscientious Cook: Mindfulness about Waste
Tip: Save Vegetable Scraps for Stock
5 Ways to Use Dried Citrus Peels
American Wasteland by Jonathan Bloom (fantastic book!)

Also, here are some of my favorite resources on the topic:
Wasted Food
Love Food Hate Waste
Still Tasty

I’d love it if you shared your own tips in the comments here, too!

Conifer Syrup & the Best Conference Ever


Most conferences I’ve attended have gone something like this: show up to some hotel ballroom, get a name badge, sit through endless panels and PowerPoint presentations, and then muster up the energy to attend a reception where I attempt to make small talk while holding a cup of so-so wine.

CAMP isn’t your average conference.

The brainchild of UNIQUE‘s Sonja Rasula, the very first CAMP drew together an inspiring group of entrepreneurs and creatives for an immersive experience unlike any I’ve had before. Up in the mountains two hours outside of LA, we had our comfort zones challenged, bonded with our peers, and attended workshops that stimulated both mind and body. No name tags, no cell phones, no stuffy hotel rooms, and no subpar booze (on the contrary, Proprietors LLC were on hand for evening cocktails and mixology lessons!). It was a four-day experience that I’ll remember for a lifetime.


As the leader of a CAMP workshop called Wildcrafting with Conifers, I had the great joy of teaching participants about some of the wild foods in the woods around our camp. We focused on my favorite citrusy white fir (Abies concolor) and vanilla-scented Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi), both of which can be used to make fragrant syrups for cocktails, sodas, and more. I like mixing conifer syrup with fizzy water and a squeeze of lemon — splash of homemade gin optional. White fir can be especially aromatic and lemony and I love the syrup with fresh strawberries, drizzled over cake, and used to sweeten hot tea and lemonade. The possibilities are limitless.


Depending on where you live, you could make conifer syrup with fir (Abies), Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), pine (Pinus), spruce (Picea), or hemlock (Tsuga; not to be confused with Poison Hemlock, Conium maculatum, which is a completely different plant). Flavors vary between seasons and even individual plants, so nibble as you forage and pick what tastes and smells good to you. Never cut the top of a tree, which can open it up to decay and disease — just pinch or cut off the tips of the branches with pruning shears. As always when foraging, be mindful of the health of the plants, their ecosystem, and your role in it.

Because we did not have refrigeration in our cabins at CAMP, I had us make a shelf-stable rich syrup (2:1 sugar to water ratio), which has a lower water content and a splash of vodka to prevent spoilage. One could also make a 1:1 simple syrup and store it in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

Conifer Syrup

Makes about 1 3/4 cup (14 ounces)

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1/2 to 1 cup conifer tips and/or needles
1 ounce 100-proof vodka

Lightly bruise the conifer needles with a knife.

Combine the conifer needes, sugar, and water in a saucepan over low-moderate heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 5-7 minutes until the solution is clear.

Let cool completely and strain. Stir in the vodka.

Bottle in a very clean, airtight bottle.

conifer syrup

p.s. We also made buttery shortbread cookies scented with white fir and orange zest! For that recipe, see my post at The Kitchn → Evergreen Shortbread Cookies

Kumquat Krazy! An Urban Preservation Workshop

I’m very pleased to be partnering with Hannah Crum of Kombucha Kamp for this hands-on workshop. Join us for an afternoon of kumquat picking and preservation!


Kumquats may be small, but they pack a big punch! Learn how to preserve these sweet-tart fruits for enjoyment and health benefits year-round.

Join Hannah Crum and Emily Ho, who will teach you three delicious ways to preserve kumquats. In this hands-on workshop we will guide you through the entire process of preservation from picking the kumquats off the tree to making your own kumquat marmalade, salt preserved kumquats, and kumquat- and herb-flavored Kombucha. Samples will be provided and each participant will go home with a jar or bottle of each and a handout with recipes.

Sunday, June 23, 1-4 pm
Private home in Mar Vista

Address will be provided to registered participants.

Registration is $65, all supplies included, but we ask you to bring a small cutting board and your favorite knife.

Use this PayPal link to secure your spot —> Sorry, registration is CLOSED.

Class is limited to 15 participants.


About the instructors:

Hannah Crum is the Kombucha Mamma. What started as a humble class in 2004, Kombucha Kamp has evolved into the #1 Kombucha site in the world, providing free information, tips, guides and advice to brewers of all experience levels all over the globe via an authoritative website, high quality video instruction, commercial & personal consulting, extensive support resources and dozens of in-person classes & live appearances each year. Through Kombucha, Hannah discovered the diverse and dynamic world of fermentation, microbes and traditional foods. The Kombucha Kamp philosophy of ‘Trust Your Gut’ encourages each of us to listen more closely to our instincts and our bodies and then follow those signals to the right choices for ourselves.

Emily Ho is a food writer, educator, and consultant. She teaches classes on food preservation, foraging, and wildcrafting; writes for Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn; and works at Spice Station Silver Lake. Emily is also a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and Food Swap Network. She has been featured in the New York Times, Sunset, LA Weekly, HGTV, and BBC.

Cancellation policy: Hannah Crum and Emily Ho reserve the right to cancel a class if necessary due to circumstances beyond our control or when enrollment is deemed insufficient. In this case, all payments will be refunded. Participant cancellations made up to one week prior to an event are eligible for a full refund less PayPal transaction fees incurred from both purchase and refund. Cancellations outside of this time frame are non-refundable. Class registration is transferable to another person if you are unable to attend. You must contact us to transfer your registration.