I attended a program geared towards creating local systems to divert food waste to food pantries. Terrific speakers addressed the extent of food waste in our country, ranging from our waste at home to large scale grocery store, restaurant and catering waste. According to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council,
Getting food from the farm to our fork eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S. land, and swallows 80 percent of all freshwater consumed in the U.S.. Yet, 40 percent of food in the US today goes uneaten. This not only means that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, but also that the uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills as the single largest component of U.S. municipal solid waste where it accounts for a large portion of U.S. methane emission.
The economic and environmental impacts are clear, plus the fact that 1 in 6 Americans is food insecure, this meeting looked to build on systems to redirect perfectly good food to hungry people rather than the landfill.
The highlight of the program was a demostration by Executive Chef, Devon Waite, of Oceanside’s renowned Wrench & Rodent Seabasstropub. While filleting a yellow tail, he shared his insights on our perceptions of food and how a sustainable food system may require us to be adventurous with our palet.
Devon really knows what he’s talking about and he persuaded me to be adventurous. A couple of us stuck around and tasted raw fish bone marrow. It had the consistency of hair gel. It tasted good, mild, salty. After hearing from Devon, I don’t think I’ll ever look at fish the same.
Hear his insights in this recording: