Monday 20 October 2014

give a fork

Last week I attended the fantastic Give a Fork launch dinner hosted by Sustainable Table at the fantastic Studio Neon. This year's Give a Fork theme is #wastefree, and the dinner was an excellent (and delicious!) excuse to talk about shifting our food habits so we waste less food and food packaging. We were treated to a scrumptious meal cooked by eco-wise Aaron Teece, the owner of Studio Neon.

The table centre piece featured produce from Harris Farms' Imperfect Picks.
Guests were allowed to take home the produce at the end of the night!

Smoked Onion Risotto with Organic 62 degree hen egg. As a way to
make this a #wastefree dish the chef used the skin from the onion
to create the stock to cook the risotto. Clever!

Imperfect Orange dessert - I'm drooling again just recalling
this orange zest sponge cake served with orange rind puree,
Jannei goat's curd, and dehydrated orange. Heaven!

Why the emphasis on food waste? Well,
  • Australians throw away 1 out of every 5 bags of groceries they buy? That's 20% of our grocery budget right down the drain, about $1,036 per household. Ouch!
  • 20-40% of edible produce is rejected before it even makes it to the shops, because they don't meet our expectations of the 'perfect' piece of food. So it is wasted at the farm level.
  • Australians only recycle 36% of eligible plastic bottles, and globally we add 6.4 million tonnes of plastic into the ocean each year, a large proportion being food packaging.
This is the 'imperfect' produce I took home - I'm making eggplant parmesan
tonight, and last week that quirky potato made it into a soup and the asparagus
into a frittata.  Just because they look different doesn't mean they taste different!

Two Give a Fork ambassadors were on hand to share their personal experience - Take 3 Founder Tim Silverwood and writer Sarah Wilson of I Quit Sugar fame. We also heard from the effervescent Ronni Kahn, CEO and Founder of OzHarvest.

Good onya Tim! My hubby is a devout 'Take 3er', which
can easily turn into taking 4, or 5, or, you get the idea.

I didn't realise that the I Quit Sugar recipes also work
toward a waste free kitchen (or pretty darn close, anyway)

Aside from the speeches, we viewed a short documentary titled Waste Deep, which covered everything from the problems with plastic in our oceans (here are some stylish solutions to the current problem) to how we buy and cook our groceries.

This is all the waste that was generated from feeding 40 people - incredible.

* * * *

I left feeling inspired to host my own Give a Fork dinner - my hubby and I decided to tackle a low-food waste Thanksgiving meal next month - why don't you consider hosting one as well?  Sustainable Table has provided a free eBook talking you through easy ways you can reduce your food waste at a dinner party, and in your kitchen everyday.

Any money you raise goes directly to funding Sustainable Table and the great work they do in educating Australians on sustainable food practices, and working with projects in developing nations to ensure communities have a safe and ongoing provision of food. 

I'll be in touch with an update after Thanksgiving!


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