Food waste — also drinkable?

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In this week's Simplicity column, I bike a route with Colorado Springs Food Rescue, and learn about our world's excessive food waste problem, with one-third of all the food produced going uneaten. 

As much as there's nothing funny about that, I did find it amusing to see discover a Civil Eats article coincidentally posted today, titled  "Toast with Mario Batali’s Beer Made Out of Food Waste." 

The article highlights the big man's collaborative brew with Dogfish Head brewery's lauded Sam Calagione, who also co-owns Birreria with Batali. The beer's ingredients, likened to a prison wine, included "overripe tomatoes, rotten grapefruit, Ugli fruit (a type of tangelo), stale bread, and Demerara sugar," according to the piece. It says the recipe was based on a German hefeweizen, and the brew was cask-conditioned, released to very positive reviews. 

The inspiration came via wastED, conceived by chef Dan Barber, author of The Third Plate (a fantastic book which I happen to be in the middle of reading right now), and the Civil Eats article concludes with Batali and Calagione saying they aim to brew their food-waste beer annually in both Chicago and New York "to promote the wastED awareness." 

I'd also mentioned Batali in Simplicity last year, in relation to his pitch for the Green Restaurant Association, which tackles many other aspects of sustainability inside the eatery industry. Commercial composting of food scraps that can't be eaten also has a huge impact on the environment, as Rasta Pasta will attest locally. 

Before I share some extra photos from my ride and dinner with Colorado Springs Food Rescue, I'm posting this challenge to our bounty of local breweries and CSFR — just for fun: collaborate to make us a cool food waste beer. Maybe a portion of proceeds go to CSFR, and the brewery otherwise gets bragging rights? Who's up for the task? I'm down to document it all. 

Without further ado, some more CSFR pics:

Left to right: Seeds Cafe's Lyn Harwell, CSFR's Zac Champan, and CSFR co-founder Shane Lory. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Left to right: Seeds Cafe's Lyn Harwell, CSFR's Zac Champan, and CSFR co-founder Shane Lory.

Volunteer Meg Smeltzer recovering food at Penrose Hospital. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Volunteer Meg Smeltzer recovering food at Penrose Hospital.

Biking with CSFR volunteer and development director Elsa Kendall (left) and volunteer Meg Smeltzer. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Biking with CSFR volunteer and development director Elsa Kendall (left) and volunteer Meg Smeltzer.

Smoked pork belly with black-eyed peas and kale, from the CSFR/Seeds rescue dinner Indygive! fundraiser. Rescued food can be beautiful and delicious. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Smoked pork belly with black-eyed peas and kale, from the CSFR/Seeds rescue dinner Indygive! fundraiser. Rescued food can be beautiful and delicious.

Among contributing chefs to the Indygive! dinner were Springs Orleans' Jason Miller (far right), Adam's Mountain Cafe's David McDonough (gray hat), Odyssey Gastropub's Matt Wilcoxon (left of McDonough), Full Circle Cuisine's Kevin Campbell (orange hat), independent chef Jennifer Bostick (purple jacket) and District 11 chef Nate Dirnberger (two to the left of Bostick). - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Among contributing chefs to the Indygive! dinner were Springs Orleans' Jason Miller (far right), Adam's Mountain Cafe's David McDonough (gray hat), Odyssey Gastropub's Matt Wilcoxon (left of McDonough), Full Circle Cuisine's Kevin Campbell (orange hat), independent chef Jennifer Bostick (purple jacket) and District 11 chef Nate Dirnberger (two to the left of Bostick).

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