if you’re like us, you’ve been watching a lot of chef’s table lately. season 2 recently kicked off, and we’ve found ourselves re-immersed in endless culinary possibilities and innovative intersections between food, nature, and technology. being that it is our very sustenance as humans, it’s not surprise that food is often a quiet yet ubiquitous driving force behind contemporary culture. the phrase ‘you are what you eat’ couldn’t be more true– at its best and worst, food REALLY CAN reduce us to a sum of our parts.
SO. we wanted to check back in on this food innovation we saw happening last year. wastED is a collaborative culinary project most notably headed up by renowned chef (and subject of a chef’s table episode DUH) Dan Barber, who in 2015 temporarily converted his world-famous Greenwich Village restaurant Blue Hill into a wastED pop-up, creating a menu out of “overlooked byproducts of our food system.” In other words, he and his team cooked with ‘ugly’ or ‘misshapen’ produce that would typically go to waste. the problem of food waste is HUGE in our country. honestly, HUGE. An estimated 133 billion pounds of food goes into the garbage on an annual basis, and yet, a reported 6.8 million households in the United States were forced, due to financial deficit, to under-eat in 2013 (via the New York Times). pardon our français, but that’s fucked up.
wastED, to us, presents an approach to this challenge that is not only viable from a sales perspective – dope chefs cooking dope food – but also puts the problem right there on the table in front of you. it’s an in-your-face tactic, yet it does anything BUT offend– how could you be mad at a delicious meal? but when you realize that the food you’re eating would have been thrown away by 99% of existing food establishments, it gives you pause. on that note, we’re going to let the visuals speak for themselves; you gotta see it to believe it.
so, here’s to getting wastED… we’re ready to eat some garbage. who’s with us?
credits: yellow; wastedNY. Food gallery photographed by Nancy Borowick for The New York Times.