From an email:
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. That’s the idea behind La Poubelle (“The Trash” in French) — a gourmet, eight-course dinner prepared entirely from “recovered” food that otherwise would be headed to the dump. Restaurant-owner and chef Ashish Alfred and DC-resident Mattie Hanley are teaming up for the event to raise awareness about food waste. The dinner will be hosted at Duck Duck Goose in Bethesda on September 28 from 7:30-10:30 pm.
La Poubelle benefits KIND (Kids In Need Distributors), which delivers school lunches to underprivileged elementary school children. Guests donate $75 for the waste-free meal and 100% of proceeds go directly to feeding hungry children. The highly anticipated dinner has already sold out.
What foods qualify as “recovered”?
Any ingredient that was headed to the trash for any number of reasons. For example, if it was not deemed to aesthetic standards, or if it wasn’t moving off the shelves fast enough. Chef Alfred will also be repurposing items from his own kitchen that are traditionally discarded, such as cheese rinds, potato peels, and juice pulp.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an estimated 133 billion pounds of food is wasted in the U.S. each year. The typical American family tosses out about a quarter of the food it buys each year, either after it goes bad or as soon as an item passes its sell-by date (even though the food is still safe to consume). Not to mention farms, where tons of quality produce is either not harvested or thrown away when it does not meet superficial cosmetic standards.
This has become such a huge problem that the USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency announced the first-ever national target for food waste, to reduce food waste 50% by 2030. Chef Alfred and Mattie Hanley hope to be a part of the solution by raising awareness about this pressing issue with the La Poubelle event.”