Tuesday, 29 September 2015

How Would You Like a Landfill Salad?

Credit: Huff Post Good News, UN Spokesperson’s twitter

Curious about what a landfill salad consists of? Apparently it’s made with vegetable scraps, rejected apples and pears, and chickpea water. Together with the ‘burger and fries’ made with off-grade vegetables, repurposed bread bun, bruised beet ketchup, picked cucumber scraps, and cow corn fries, the landfill salad was served to Ban Ki-moon – yes, the United Nations Secretary-General, and about 30 world leaders including French President Francois Hollande, at a high-level working lunch at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York last month. 

The menu was the brainchild of award-winning chef Dan Barber, and former executive director of first lady Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign, Sam Kass. The menu was so designed to hammer home the point of food waste as an ‘overlooked aspect of climate change’, with food manufacturing, distribution, consumption and disposal consuming an exponential amount of energy, mostly derived from fossil fuels, which is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

If you ask me, I think similar food waste menus should be served to all and not just world leaders to cultivate the habit of sustainable food consumption, as well as raising awareness of the sheer amount of food we dump into the landfill on a daily basis. Here’s the thing: most of the foods that are dumped are still perfectly good to eat, and just as nutritious as their better-looking counterparts; they’re dumped because advertisers and marketers tell us that the foods are too ugly to be presentable. But that doesn’t make sense, especially if you come to think of the time, energy and effort put into growing food.

So, what’s on your food waste menu tonight? 

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