'Landfill salad'. 'Cow corn'. A veggie burger made from the 'pulp left over from juicing.' And don't forget to wash it all down with a refreshing glass of chickpea water!
The dishes above almost sound like a food project someone would put on display to heighten awareness of the billions of dollars lost each year to food waste. But that would be too easy.
The menu items above were very real meal options served by the United Nations to a host of world leaders. Prepared by renowned New York chef Dan Barber and Sam Kass - former White House chef -, 100% of the dishes were made entirely of food waste (Global Citizen).
"Food waste or food loss is food that is discarded or lost or uneaten. The causes of food waste or loss are numerous, and occur at the stages of production, processing, retailing and consumption." - Wikipedia
33 - 40% of food in the United States is thrown away
$165 billion is estimated to be the cost of food waste in the US each year
3.3 billion pounds of carbon released yearly; linked as a major contributor to climate change
- Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfil, NRDC, Aug. '12
The reality is that food that is not just edible, but still healthy and delicious, is too often tossed out. The UN dinner served to highlight a tangible - and extremely important - area of change to be made.
And change IS being made already!
- Check out InStock, a dutch restaurant that serves food waste dishes. A good read, especially if you're interested in how they are supplied their food!
- Or look at WeFood, a grocery store in Denmark that sells ONLY food waste.
- How about this Replated event in Vancouver, that took 500 pounds of produce destined for the trash and transformed it into a multi-course meal for 60 people?!
The world is full of global citizens like you, searching for sustainable options. And if the options aren't yet there, they create them.
After hearing that France is paving the way is banning supermarket waste, it's encouraging to find out that Italy is doing the same - with a bit of a twist.
Steps toward reducing your own food waste are simple!
- Search for food waste grocery list suggestions online. These list tips help you shop for ingredients you'll be able to use the entirety of in different ways throughout the week.
- Support local programs that promote food sustainability; farmers markets, community grocers are great places to start!
- TIP: the 'best by' date on many food products is said to be almost USELESS. Do some research on how long certain products keep - you'll be surprised! Don't be scared of those little stickers - more often than not the food is perfectly good.
Do you have experience in changing your food waste habits? Or want to? Let us know on Twitter @pointapp.
To a world "where nothing is too much, and everything is just enough",