Author: Debra Castellano

Wanna See Something Pretty?

IMG_3422For a few years now, my roommate and I have been stashing our compostable food scraps in the freezer, and taking them to the GrowNYC guy at the farmer’s market on Saturdays.

I can compost pretty much everything, since I’m plant-based; if you see eggshells, they’re hers. We reuse four of those clear plastic containers that baby spinach comes in (you know the ones?), and dump our scraps into these bins throughout the week.

Often when I add things to the containers, or get ready to take the scraps to the farmer’s market, they have become gorgeous compositions. NOTE: I do not arrange them at all. Except to make room for more scraps in the containers.

What follows are ten of the photos I’ve taken as part of an ongoing project. I envision a gallery show at some point, to raise funds (and awareness) for preventing food waste.

Meanwhile, enjoy! Feel free to share this post, but please ask before using the photos for anything. (And see if you can identify the foods before reading the ingredients . . . 🙂 )

“From a Small Seed”


(Brussels sprouts, banana peels, succulent trimming, oatmeal, teabags)

“Spring Awakening (w/coffee)”


(ground coffee, banana peel, flowers, strawberry collar)



(onion, lemon, grapefruit, orange, carrot, garlic, roommate’s eggshells)

“Moondrops (and Other Planets)”


(moondrop grapes, avocado pit, moldy limes, spinach stems, teabag)



(bread heels, chickpea skins, lemon, house plant, Tostitos)



(corn husks, celery, red onion, spinach stems, carrot peel, eggshell)

“Coffee & Oatmeal”


(coffee & espresso grounds [w/filter], gladiolas, summer fruit, kale stems, oat)

“Brown (and pink)”


(banana, popcorn, mini tortillas, sesame crackers, pink mold)

“Banana Flowers (something of the marvelous)”


(carnations, bananas, popcorn, teabag, Italian parsley or cilantro)

“Des radis”


(radishes, greens, leeks)

Let me know what you think. I’ll post more later on. And follow me on Instagram @PlanetDeb, if you want to see them as I go . . .


© Debra Castellano. All reproductions are prohibited, except for non-commercial purposes, which should also give credit to Debra Castellano and/or link to this site.

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I’ve watched the U.N. General Assembly, so you don’t have to

The 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in NYC just ended. There was something for everyone:

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This guy’s hat. So awesome.

Justin Trudeau fan-girls.
Fashionistas. (See President Buhari of Nigeria, left.)

Yesterday at 3:30 in the morning, there was even a “UN Experts Workshop on Witchcraft and Human Rights.” By candlelight, I assume.

But the UNGA kicked off last Tuesday. First, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered a lovely opening speech (in three different languages, no less), addressing seven global challenges. Ready?

Nuclear peril; terrorism; humanitarian no-no’s; climate change; rising inequality; something he called “the dark side of innovation” (like botching other countries’ presidential elections?); and the refugee crisis.

If Guterres was trying to get Trump’s attention when he said the following about climate change . . . Read More…

The State of the World (and my parents)


Read on to find how this can of Comet ties in with all of the above . . .

There’s been a lot going on.

White supremacists.
Nuclear threats.
And more news on my dad.

The most recent of the above happenings are the massive amounts of water that hit Texas and Louisiana — apparently it’s the biggest national disaster in American history. (Which I understand was not caused by climate change, but was made a lot worse by it; more on that later.) And which is why I’m writing this from LAX — my flight back to NYC was supposed to go through Houston. D’oh!

But at least I got to spend another day with my parents. Because the news on my Dad is that his bladder cancer metastasized into his lung. (I know.) So I was here in California hanging out with my parents (and my adorbs nephew) before my Dad starts chemo, doing what we do best: eating and drinking. (And those of you who pooh-pooh California wine have definitely not tasted what my Dad pours.) Read More…