The United Nations estimates that, every year, a third of the world`s food is lost or wasted along the production chain. This means 1.3 billion tons per year which could feed 3 billion people. Where are the food leftovers?
Waste occurs for several reasons. In general, industrialised countries waste more in the final stages of commercialization and consumption. In developing countries most breaks occur in the production, storage and distribution due to lack of infrastructure. While food leftovers are a problem, some turned into solution to give a nobler destiny to those foods other than the trash can.
The Food Bank, brazilian organization, created the project “Gourmet Leftovers”. A partnership with restaurants to encourage the use of the neglected parts of fresh ingredients like stalks, hulls and seeds in a creative way by chefs. One of the dishes is offered free of charge to customers. At the end of the meal they receive the following question: “one of the dishes you ate today was made with left over ingredients from other dishes preparation. Do you know which one? “
Italian designer Michela Milani took the concept of preparing dishes with food leftovers more literally. Her plates are made from it and they are suitable to store dry products. For its disposal you may just dissolve it in water and use to fertilize the soil.
Other technological alternative created by materials designer Fanny Nilsson is Re-Feed, a small composting machine. Made to fit in your kitchen, it is ideal to receive the remains of the family meals. The operation is simple, you can insert leftovers in the overhead compartment and remove compost formed on the bottom, ready to be used in your garden. Unfortunately the designer hasn’t discovered a way to keep odors neutral in the composting. It’s not nice to have a stinky kitchen whenever you open the machine, but it is expected that soon this is settled.
None of this is an excuse to divert us from planning of purchases at home and what to care about what we put on our plate. But it’s a relief to see that when the disposal is unavoidable, leftover will have better times.