With over 63 million tons of perfectly edible food tossed out each year in the States and over 49 million Americans who struggle to put dinner on the table each night, something doesn’t add up. Restaurants, supermarkets and pretty much every level of the food system toss out food that is still edible, safe and delicious due to damaged packaging, often arbitrary expiration dates or surplus.
Salvaging the perfectly usable food and creating something tasty has been a passion of Michelin-starred chef Dan Barber, who has been at the forefront of the movement to end food waste in NYC. Today in New York’s Union Square, top tastemakers and chefs came together and fed over 5000 people top quality food that would have otherwise been thrown out. Feeding the 5000 is the collaboration of Feedback, an environmental non-profit organization dedicated to ending food waste, City Harvest and the Rockefeller Foundation in partnership with local chefs. Chefs Dan Barber, Jason Weiner, Evan Hanczor all prepared dishes for a massive and eager crowd easing pretenses about wasted food. Dishes included a juice pulp burger, utilizing the fruit and vegetable pulp from local juice bars, smoked bluefish served with yogurt and dill, fried tomatoes with horseradish cream, even banana ice cream and much more.
The festival is an effort to empower the public to make more informed decisions about buying food and to potentially change how the industry utilizes their supplies. London-based Feedback has been hosting guerrilla-style food waste events all over the UK serving more than 170,000 meals. Today’s festival in NYC was one of their first in the US and they will move on to DC to host a similar event on the 18th of May.
For more information regarding the program head to Feedbackglobal.org.