Food waste is one of the more intractable problems in today’s society. To keep a massive supermarket like Fresh Grocer fully stocked 24/7, or to keep a restaurant supplied with the absolute freshest ingredients or even to run a food bank requires throwing out vast quantities of edible food every day.
Well the Drexel School of Culinary Arts is aiming to put a stop to that with a new program at the Drexel Food Lab, where students are finding ways to use common mass-produced canned foodstuffs in new and delicious ways. Misshapen produce, stale bread and other food items otherwise destined for the garbage are combined into delicious meals requiring little to no cooking experience.
Many of the foods that are served to the homeless-masses are unflavorful, unappealing and generally something that people who spend their days on the streets wouldn’t want to put in their mouths. In a case reported in the University City Review, the shelter “My Brother’s Place” had an excess of peas and contacted the Drexel Food Lab for help. Understandably, tenants of the shelter wouldn’t enjoy eating a meal that consisted of only peas, so the shelter needed some help.
The Triangle commends the work of the Food Lab to reduce food waste in our community. This novel method of civic outreach shows that all majors and academic disciplines can contribute to making the community a better place, while at the same time using their creative muscles to do it appealingly. Enough food in the US is produced every year to comfortably feed everyone in the US and reducing food waste is the first step to actually doing so. By working together and coming up with ways of reusing and repurposing food that might otherwise go to waste, we can help feed more people that might be having trouble getting by.
Aside from helping members of the community, the Drexel Food Lab is teaching students the importance of giving back, something which is always valued in life no matter who you are and where you may be.
As a bonus, many of these recipes are posted online, so it gives impoverished college students alternatives to the standard ramen noodle and Handschumacher Dining Center diet!