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WGBH Food & Wine Fest Feature: Food Industry Leaders Talk Trash (As In, Food Waste)

Time:2016-11-16 20:39wine - Red wine life health Click:

Wine food Talk WGBH Fest

Food waste is a big issue in the U.S. It’s being talked about and tackled from the grassroots level to government initiatives, but it’s the industry folks with their hands in the dirt or on the food day in and day out that really have the pulse on what’s going on and what we can do about it — namely nose-to-tail or root-to-top cooking. 

The backstory

Back in 2014, the state of Massachusetts instituted a ban on collecting food waste over one ton per month, which isn’t really that much. NPR’s The Salt reported, “Massachusetts began telling any institution — like businesses, colleges and hospitals — that produces large amounts of food waste: Not in our landfill. Massachusetts law now says that if you throw out more than a ton of food waste a month, it can't go to a landfill.” The decree was met with surprising acceptance. Although, to many in the industry who’d been working toward minimizing waste for many years, that wasn’t a surprise at all. The “ban” was just a legal stamp on an effort they were already on board with. 

Chefs in New England have a particularly interesting challenge when it comes to sourcing locally while respecting sustainability, but that can actually help in the efforts to avoid food waste. Although local crops are subject to intense seasonality, this leads to a greater need to use as much of each product as possible when it’s available. If you throw away one-third of what grows, there may not be enough to go around for the season. 

WGBH Food & Wine Fest Feature: Food Industry Leaders Talk Trash (As In, Food Waste)

The local take

Many chefs turn this imperative into nose-to-tail and root-to-top cooking, making use of as many parts of a plant or animal as possible. Not only does this made good sense for economic, sustainability, and food waste reasons, but it also just feels right to many chefs. As Jason Bond, chef/owner of Bondir in Cambridge and Concord, says “Nose to Tail butchery and cooking gives you the best shot at your own best effort.” 

The practical implications are also motivating. “You can really know the farmer and feel good about who you are supporting. You can really know the animal, how it was raised, what it was finished on, it's bloodline and most likely cutting quality, and how it was finally processed.” Of course, the greatest reward is how it shows up on the plate. “You can make sure that each cut is shown to its best and each piece of trim is utilized in a way that respects this whole process.” says Bond, who will be participating in this year’s Food Fight event on Sunday, September 18th. 

What's next?

In a can’t-miss panel at this year’s Taste of WGBH Food & Wine Festival, food journalist Catherine Smart will host several industry leaders who will share their experiences within the New England food system. Fisherman, Doug Feeney, who I wrote about last week, will join the amazing chefs Colin Lynch of the new Bar Mezzana and Alex Stupak of New York’s Empellon. The group will be rounded out by food writer and activist, Ali Berlow of Martha’s Vineyard. Last year, Berlow released The Food Activist Handbook, a more comprehensive guide that expanded far beyond her earlier book, Mobile Poultry Processing, which showed how to put chicken production into the hands of we who eat it. Berlow’s books demonstrate the grassroots, anyone-can-do-it approach to creating stronger communities through a better food system. 

If you want to hear what these industry insiders have to say first hand, get your tickets to the Food & Wine Festival here.

As an added incentive, this panel discussion will include refreshments from The Real McCoy Rum, and is immeditely followed by this year's Food Fight - you really don't want to miss that! 

Want the best value and most exclusive access to the festival? We've packaged 4 events into a Craving Boston All-Access Pass, featuring special VIP early entrance this panel and 1 other event, VIP lounge access and special gifts. Don’t wait…this event is right around the corner.

And for our lucky Craving Boston readers, we have a special offer!  Use promotional code Craving to save 20% off tickets (offer not valid for all-access pass).

WGBH Food & Wine Fest Feature: Food Industry Leaders Talk Trash (As In, Food Waste)

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