FOOD

Dinner Parties Just Got Mindful In The Best Way

Captain Planet-approved.

19/05/2016 4:16 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:52 PM AEST
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Friday May 20 marks Food Revolution Day.

It's Sunday and you've just returned from the Farmer's Market, bright-eyed and loaded up with fresh produce. You've already started Googling recipes for the week because you are, like, basically Gwyneth Paltrow now.

Then Hump Day rolls around and an after-work wine turns into three. Suddenly, you've ordered a bowl of chips and the salt and pepper squid. Who can be bothered cooking, anyway?

Next minute, you're chucking out all of that locally grown spinach and there are no winners. Soz Gwyn.

Enter Youth Food Movement's "SpoonLed", an education program with the mission of turning food waste around by encouraging and sparking a conversation about food literacy among young Australians.

Households waste an average of $1,000 on food each year which is equivalent to leaving one of five shopping bags at the supermarket.

"Households waste an average of $1,000 on food each year which is equivalent to leaving one of five shopping bags at the supermarket," Helena Rosebery, creative producer of SpoonLed told The Huffington Post Australia.

The worst offenders? Gen Y.

"Young people are aware of food waste as an issue and they care about it, but they lack the resources and support to make a difference -- that's where SpoonLed's 'teaspoon' dinner parties come in," Rosebery said.

The concept is simple: a dinner party where each person brings items that need rescuing from their fridge or pantry to create a delicious, nutritious (and best of all) cheap meal.

"We wanted to start a new way of looking at food with creativity and friendship at its heart," Rosebery said.

Those bendy carrots, the almost-stale loaf of bread and those battered bananas have huge potential, you just don't know it yet.

"It's about thinking creatively about your food. We want people to know that you can use the radish leaves, they're actually quite peppery and a bit like rocket. Or that celery leaves are in fact perfectly edible," Rosebery said.

Basically it's about reconfiguring how people think about food and giving them the confidence to look in their cupboards first, before going out and buying ingredients for a recipe they'll likely never cook again.

"We have a very limited view of what you can eat in this day and age -- even though we've got more choice than ever," Rosebery said.

A dumpster diving, cupboard clearing feast! No food waste here 🙅🏼🍴🍽 @yfmaustralia @hidden_harvest #spoonled

A photo posted by Flippin' off food waste (@platelickers) on

Instead, Rosebery encourages a "no-recipe recipe" way of thinking.

"We want people to be mixing and matching and substituting different ingredients."

Freezing fresh produce is another of SpoonLed's food-saving "hacks."

"Your spring onion, eggs and tomatoes can actually be frozen, as can your lettuce which can then be put into a stirfry," Rosebery said.

Food Revolution Day is Friday May 20, 2016.

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