The people behind this year’s Feeding the 5000 food waste awareness event are back, and this time they’re getting creative in the kitchen in order to produce an elegant dinner made with food that might otherwise get tossed.
Called Re-plated, the dinner will take place in East Vancouver on November 18, and will also serve as an opportunity for guests to learn more about ways we can waste less.
The dinner will be a five-course “vegetable-forward” meal made using what organizers are calling “upcycled” food that’s been “rescued” from their doom before being tossed (don’t worry, no one is fishing anything out of the compost pile here). Through a partnership with Farm to Food Bank, a non-profit, much of the meal’s ingredients will be “rescued” from area farms.
We checked in with Re-Plated organizer Elaine Cheng of Food Connections to find out a bit more about food waste and what the evening has in store.
Why has food waste become such a core focal point in Vancouver?
Elaine Cheng: Since our Feeding the 5000 event and the launch of Metro Vancouver’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign, there has much so much talk around food waste and the alarming fact that 40% of food produced in Canada goes into the trash. We are excited to see the hype that’s been generated and people taking ownership of this issue and taking action, both on a city level with Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan, and on a consumer level with our sustainability-savvy trend-setting population. (I’ve spoken for the City on Food waste in this 6min video.)
What can Re-plated guests expect to learn about food and food waste from the event?
Through an elegant evening of storytelling and gourmet creative dining, we will “re-plate” and “re-purpose” what we normally consider as trash. Guests will discover new ways to use parts of ingredients they never thought could be used, uncover new recipe ideas, and learn insider tips on how to store their groceries to keep them lasting longer. We are partnering with the film makers of Just Eat It – A Food Waste Story this event and they will be present to show their trailer and answer questions during the hor d’oeuvres wine reception.
What are the challenges of cooking with food that is often considered “waste” or “garbage”?
People often have the misconception that food waste refers to rotten food. Don’t worry, that is definitely NOT what we are promoting or serving here! It just takes some creativity in the kitchen to use parts of produce that we often overlook. We will educate on how to use ingredients like carrot top for pesto, juice pulp for desserts, and how to make the most flavourful broth using vegetable stems and scraps. These are only snapshot examples of how wasted food can be salvaged.
What tips or advice do you have for everyone when they are shopping and cooking in order for them to produce less food waste?
I always recommend checking the fridge before going shopping and having a designated shelf space in the fridge for food that needs to be eaten sooner. Cut vegetables can also be stored in the freezer and staying educated on how and where to store your groceries will make a huge difference. We will provide more ideas and solutions at our event through a cocktail reception presentation and meet & greet with the film producers of Just Eat It – A Food Waste Story and Kayla Feenstra from the organization Farm to Food Bank.
Re-plated: Upcycle Dining
When: Wednesday, November 18 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: East Vancouver location (to be revealed to guests)
Cost: $60 (includes hors d’oeuvres, five-course dinner, one glass of wine); Tickets available online.