Sustaining the global food supply is a serious matter. Booming populations, climate change and growing hunger all present major challenges. And yet, 40% of food in the U.S.—worth $165 billion—is thrown out every year. All of this uneaten food could feed 25 million Americans and help combat hunger for the 1 in 6 citizens who are “food insecure.”*
With an eye towards sustainability and innovation, many culinary masters are finding unique and delicious ways to turn “food waste” into exciting new dishes.
Chef Dan Barber is a highly respected culinary sustainability advocate. Some would even say he is the father of the farm-to-table movement. Chef Barber is also pioneering the food upcycle movement.
Chef Barber set out to prove that an entire meal could be made up of what most restaurants would toss in the trash. Menu items served at his wastED pop-up dinner series—held at his NYC restaurant Blue Hill—included a burger made of discarded vegetable pulp sourced from popular cold-press juice chain, Liquiteria. The burger eventually made its way to the Madison Square Park location of Shake Shack as the LTO menu item “wastED Juice Pulp Cheeseburger.”
And this is just the beginning. Spent beer grains can become bread. Used almond pulp can gain new purpose as almond flour. Vegetable scraps for stock. Sour milk in muffins. So many possibilities. Time to test out what you can do with “used” food in your own kitchen. We have an idea to get you started!
*Source: Coleman-Jensen, Alisha et al. “Household Food Security in the United States in 2011.” U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 2012.
Nose-to-Tail: The Total Meat Takeover
Chefs are finding it anything but a burden to use the entire beast. Not only does nose-to-tail butchering help improve sustainability and reduce waste, it also challenges chefs to get creative and open their patrons’ eyes—and palates—to new culinary possibilities. Not to mention reawakening old cooking traditions. And considering the amount of energy spent to produce meat, by using the entire animal, chefs are bringing value to more exotic cuts in an affordable way. While this trend may be hard for some to stomach, there are ways to incorporate it into your menu.