By Mike Pomranz
June 22, 2017
© Elm Ink

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And if those lemons happen to be going bad, just add some vodka: Not only will the alcohol kills the germs, it’ll get you drunk. That, in a dad-joke kind of nutshell, is the plan at 412 Food Rescue, a Pittsburgh-based organization focused on rescuing unsellable food that’s recently announced two simultaneous initiatives to turn food items that would otherwise go to waste into perfectly drinkable booze. Yes, the best kind of drunk feeling is that self-righteous kind of drunk feeling.

According to CBS Pittsburgh, 412 Food Rescue has come up with a boozy two-prong approach to battling food waste this holiday season called “Loaf and Forage.” The “Loaf” part off the project took 200 leftover loaves of bread from the local Five Points Artisan Bakeshop and gave it to nearby East End Brewing to turn into beer. The resulting limited release brew, also called Loaf, is being sold CSA-style, with each four growler share available for pickup starting on November 18.

For the gluten-free crowd (or if beer just isn’t your jam), the “Forage” side of the project takes “apples ‘foraged’ from the Pittsburgh urban wild” and hands them over to Pittsburgh’s Wigle Whiskey so they can be made into a Pommeau – a mix of apple cider and apple brandy. Volunteers reportedly spent more than two months grabbing unharvested fruit in the Pittsburgh area, collecting 2,500 pounds of apples in all. (Who knew Pittsburgh had so many apples?) The edible apples were donated to charity and the rest will be released in spirit form as Forage, billed as the city’s first Pommeau, on November 11.

It’s a reminder that food that’s gone bad can still make you feel good – especially if you drink enough of it.