The American restaurant industry has a big food waste problem. A 2014 study by the Food Waste Reduction Alliance found that 84.3% of unused food in American restaurants ends up being disposed of, while 14.3% is recycled, and only 1.4% is donated.
Many restaurants and organisations have adopted the mission to end food waste, especially since so many people across the country suffer from a lack of access to high-quality food. One of those is Feedback, an environmental organisation that has planned a number of campaigns to bring about global awareness of the issue.
On May 10, Feedback hosted a food festival called “Feeding the 5,000”, where executive chefs from three notable New York-based restaurants gave away 5,000 free meals made from leftover food. All of the ingredients used in the meals would have been tossed out otherwise.
We got a chance to chat with Dan Barber, executive chef and co-owner of Michelin-starred restaurant Blue Hill, about his partnership with Feedback and Feeding the 5,000.