My goal is that within this blog you’ll find inspiration to reduce your food waste in fun, accessible, and easy ways. When I was seven years old, I was introduced to utilizing food waste when I started helping make wine with my dad and his friends. Although, at first, I only attended these long days of laborious tasks because I would get a cream filled donut and a cup of decaffeinated coffee, I grew to love them. I was able to see the progression of our endeavor, from the grape to the bottle, and enjoyed the community of friends that we formed. Once the wine was bottled, the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems (also called the pomace) were leftover. My dad would take the pomace and make grappa, a clear grape-based brandy. Grappa is an exemplary zero waste product. While I didnt know it then, this concept of lowering food waste would follow me throughout my life.
A few years after I corked my last wine bottle, you’d find me in high school working at Cherry Grove Farm, a small raw milk cheese, meat, and egg farm in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. I worked countless hours per week, got stepped on by pigs, and peed on by cows. Despite this gruesome work, I loved it. At Cherry Grove Farm, my appreciation and view of food changed even more dramatically. The hard work that we poured into the food we ate made every bite more delicious. My attentiveness to food waste grew from my work there. We used rotational grazing to feed our herds of cows and heifers. The vast amounts of whey produced from cheese making was fed to the pigs. Goats were used to browse the overgrown areas. I slowly realized how little was wasted day to day. Even the cracked eggs were fed to barn cats instead of tossing them in the trash.
My inspiration for sustainability and food waste has grown since I last milked a cow. I’ve continued my education in Culinary Arts & Food Science, with a focus in Food Science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. And I’ve gotten involved in other companies and organizations that hold the same values as me. About 30-40% of the food supply in the U.S. goes to waste which makes every little step we can take to reduce our individual waste have the potential to make an impact on climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. It is exhilarating to discover delicious uses for things people usually throw away. For instance, banana peels are edible, cauliflower greens are delicious, and carrot tops make a wonderful pesto. Education and inspiration is all most people need to highly utilize the food they buy. With Cook Clever, Waste Never I hope you find your own motivation to generate change, and make some new, delicious food along the way.