While adults and children (estimated 800 million people) in some parts of the world go to bed on empty stomach, those in other parts of the world have enough to go into ruin. To draw attention to food waste, a group of chefs considered as Detroit’s favorites including James Rigato of Mabel Gray, Phil Jones of City Food Community Concepts / MS. Ruth’s Catering, Andy Hollyday of Selden Standard, and Ederiqu Goudia of Gabriel Hall (soon to open) converged to make a dinner out of waste food.
Part of the organizers includes experts from national and local organizers including Michigan State University, Detroit Food Policy Council, the James Beard Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, Detroit Feeback Loop of Wayne State University, and Detroit Public Schools. The Detroit Food Policy Council also seized the opportunity created by the event to host the annual Food Power Awards.
The chef gathered foods that would have gone to waste and turned them into delicacies in Eastern Market’s Shed 5. Chef Phil Jones of Ruth’s Catering Company played a major role in the organization of the event and donated his time to creating tasty dishes from the waste food.
The community feast which is tagged “Make Food Not Waste” saw the chefs prepare free dinner for about five thousand people. The sole aim of the event which held on the 30th of September was to raise awareness on the amount of food that goes to waste as well as inspire the people of the city to waste less food.
Things That People Less Consider As Food
There are lots of plant parts that are normally discarded which can make a sumptuous meal. A good example of such food that would have good to waste is a box of butternut squash which has its skin covered with spots. Naturally, it wouldn’t have been sold in a grocery store but the chefs squashed it to make a mouthwatering side dish.
Banana peels are not usually considered as food and are mostly discarded by most American homes not realizing that they are culinary staples in the Caribbean and India. However, Jones pointed out that stir-fried banana peels are actually sumptuous.
Besides serving as culinary staples, banana peels also have a lot of nutritional values including having an abundance of fiber and anti-oxidants. While fiber helps in digestion, antioxidants help the body to fight free radicals which can cause cancer.
Lack Of Enlightenment Contributes To Food Waste
During the even chef, Jones mentioned that lack of enlightenment was one of the factors leading to an increase in food waste. According to Jones, there are two types of labels on food packs, ‘use by’ and ‘best by’. If the ‘best by’ date has passed, the food is still usable. However, these foods tend to be discarded once this date has passed.
What Attendees Had To Say About The Event?
One of the attendees at the event was Cecelia Ramirez and she really thought that trying squash soup for the first time was a great adventure. She noted that it was more delicious than she has ever imagined. The chefs were smart to list the recipe for each of the meals and some of the attendees like Ramirez were already considering making them at home.
Impact Of Food Waste On Climate And The Economy
Good foods that go to waste also called wasted foods when decomposed in landfills release methane which is a greenhouse gas. Methane has the ability to absorb the sun’s heat and its accumulation in the atmosphere leads to the warming of the atmosphere. These waste foods also lead to air pollution which is a problem India and Europe are currently fighting.
Kevin Kay, the organizer of Make Food Not Waste also noted that food waste cost an American family of four as much as $2,000 annually. Kay also noted that puts pressure on the land, water, financial resource, and transportation.
The food waste statistics in America is staggering. As much as 40 percent of food is thrown away. This amount of food waste Kay noted would be enough to provide three meals for every day of the entire year for everyone in Detroit. Experts also used the event to educate people on the impact of food waste and how to cut down the nuisance.