Everyone’s got a social ill that gets ‘em. Mine is waste, whether it’s thrown out food from catered events or mounds of disposable goods. The good news: In recent years, awareness around waste has grown immensely.
Some of you may recall a BBC series called “Eat Well For Less.” While the show’s main focus is getting families to eat healthier and save money, most episodes include a vignette where one of the hosts investigates an aspect of food consumption or production. Two recent ones focused on waste.
One visited a charity that gathers tons (literally) of perfectly good food that grocery stores are unable to sell. Think bruised fruit or dented cans. These packages go out to food banks. Despite the UK having the sixth largest economy in the world, there are many who cannot afford food. That’s also true about the US — even though the US economy is the world’s largest!
Another visit was to a zero-waste grocery store in Birmingham (England, not Alabama), where everything is sold loose and patrons either bring reusable containers or purchase them there. For the UK this is revolutionary because its high end groceries sell a majority of their goods, including produce, pre-packaged. In the US it’s also often trendy stores that overdose on packaging. And all those convenience foods? Oy!
This zero-waste ethos, according to an article in Sunday’s Denver Post, is making its way to restaurants, which reminded me of another cooking show I watch, “Masterchef Australia.” In one challenge contestants are encouraged to use as much of the product as possible. Sometimes they’re penalized depending on the amount of waste generated.
Once the show challenged them to create a dish solely from the scraps. It’s fascinating to see how little waste we can generate when we make the effort.
Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now.
Shana Goldberg may be reached at email@example.com
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