Who says there’s no free lunch? Metro Vancouver’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign kicked off with Feeding the 5000, a free event where recovered food was used to create thousands of servings of lunch and highlight the issues surrounding food waste.
“The event we are doing today is to put the food waste issue on the table,” says Metro Vancouver Communications Specialist Peter Cech. “We are literally doing that.”
Love Food Hate Waste is a Metro Vancouver campaign to help people use more of the food they bring into their homes. To help launch the campaign, Metro Vancouver recently took part in an event called Feeding the 5000.
We are taking recovered food prior to it becoming waste and utilizing it in a fashion that is really enjoyable to eat,” explains Chef Don Guthro of the North Shore Culinary School. “We got the food on Sunday night and Monday morning, then we had to create a menu and then prep all the work so we could do this all by lunch time. We’ve got all kinds of food and it’s all recovered – sliders, spring rolls, vegetarian, bread pudding with chocolate chips, mango stuff.”
Free Lunch Fosters Awareness
“We’re using food that has reached its peak freshness before it can be reached at restaurants and stores,” notes Cech. “We’re making 5000 meals and giving them away.”
The purpose of the event is to show people the high quality of the perfectly good food that goes to waste in our region.
“There are countries out there that don’t have food to eat and yet here we are with so much food that we are willing to waste it!” exclaims attendee Natasha Cooper.
Research shows that one of the main reasons food is wasted in our homes comes from purchasing food without a menu plan to use it.
“Why are we feeling like there isn’t enough? There is enough,” asserts Kayla Feenstra of Farm to Food Bank. “It is just about using it wisely. Conserving our resources and doing things just a little bit differently.”
“Number one thing is that people have to start thinking about their food in order not to waste it,” says Guelph University researcher Kate Parizeau, “You have to plan, check your fridge, you have to care about not throwing it out.”
Highlighting Food Facts and Waste Reduction Tips
Feeding the 5000 was an eye-opener for attendee Paula Chapman.
“A lot of people don’t even realize how much food were wasting. Like I didn’t know that stores throw away the food based on looks, until we did this.”
“Right now Love Food Hate Waste has some really good tips in terms of meal planning, says Parizeau. “In terms of how to store your food in the fridge, how to know best before dates.”
“We are trying to show the potential of food that would otherwise be wasted. This is really what its all about,” says participant Catie Tatham.
Mark Your Calendar for 2016
Based on today’s success, organizers would like to make Feeding the 5000 an annual event.
“I am exhausted but it’s fun,” says Guthro with a big smile. “I think everyone that can get down here get down here. ‘Cause its fun.”
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