Did you know that in Canada over $31 billion worth of food goes to waste each year? This of course, while thousands of men, women and children go hungry. YES, you read that right…BILLION. I was completely stunned when I learned this fact. Over the last year and a half (since I joined Second Harvest , Canada’s largest food rescue organization – first as a volunteer and now in Corporate Partnerships), I have been learning more and more about the issue of food waste.
On March 1st, Brock Shepherd of Kensington Brewing Co. brought together local chefs, brewers, distillers, artists and innovators for Trashed & Wasted – a unique, one-night culinary and art event to shed light on the issue of food waste and to offer a new way to look at those things we often throw away without a second thought.
Held at Artscape Wychwood Barns in Toronto, and with all proceeds in support of Second Harvest, it was truly an inspiring evening. What a treat to meet and chat with so many awesome people who were genuinely interested in learning more about the impact of food waste on society and the environment, and who are looking for ways to get involved and make a difference. Interesting fact: last year alone, Second Harvest was able to rescue 9.5 million lbs. of perfectly good, fresh food that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill! Instead, this food was delivered to thousands of people in need across the city! Pretty amazing, right?
Have look at some of the treats that were served at Trashed & Wasted. SO many creative dishes made from ingredients that would normally be thrown away…and SO delicious!
CRISPY PROSCIUTTO ON BANNOCK CRACKERS WITH MUSHROOMS AND PARMESAN RIND ESPUMA
Probably my favorite dish of the night…these little tasty parcels from Oliver & Bonacini, were made with cheese foam made from shaved parmesan rinds, fried hand-shaved prosciutto (the pieces that could not be sliced) and stems from various types of mushrooms. The magic touch was truffle oil to give it an earthy flavour. SO. GOOD!
BROWN BUTTER CAULIFLOWER ON BANNOCK CRACKERS WITH TOASTED HAZELNUT CRUMBS
Cauliflower stalks, toasted crumbly bits of hazelnuts from the bottom of a bag, tiny leftover pieces of bannock and voila! (Also from O&B)
IMPROVED VESPER WITH MILKY WHEY VODKA, LILLET BLANC AND CHARRED ORANGE PITH BITTER
A play on the “Vesper” from the James Bond books and movie Casino Royale, this perfect cocktail from Yongehurst Distillery Co. was created using vodka entirely made from otherwise wasted whey, in collaboration with Monforte Dairy and Escarpment Labs.
SPENT-GRAIN PICKLED KOHLRABI SEASONED WITH “OUR LAND AND CULTURE”
“The kohlrabi was pickled in a nuka bed—a Japanese method, and one of our preservation techniques at the restaurant—with spent grains from Burdock brewery,” says Actinolite Restaurant chef-owner Justin Cournoyer. “We smoked and dried beef hearts, then mixed the beef purge liquid that came from it with egg white to create beef miso—when you press that, you get tamari. Our currant farmer Gerrard was going to burn blackcurrant wood, but I saved it to get blackcurrant wood oil. I also collected the excess cherry juice from a bakery to get cherry vinegar, which I used to preserve various pickles: wild fennel seeds, pineapple weed, grand elder stems and parsley seeds.” (via Toronto Life).
SANAGAN’S MEAT LOCKER – SOAP
This moisturizing soap is made from rendered lamb kidney fat, spent coffee grinds and essential oils.
HUGE shout-outs and high-fives to these creative culinary experts for their out-of-the-box thinking and for helping us rethink food waste!
If you would like to learn more about food waste and food rescue in Toronto be sure to visit Second Harvest and follow Trashed & Wasted here.
Thanks for stopping by, and as you enjoy your lunch today or prepare your dinner, take a moment to rethink those often wasted little bits and pieces of food that are still perfectly good and can perhaps be repurposed into a delicious snack or treat. Let me know if you come up with any ideas!
Wishing you a lovely week! xo
Photo credits: Giordano Campini (Toronto Life)