Teams use 'rescued food' to cook up a storm with zero waste

April 27, 2024

Teams use 'rescued food' to cook up a storm with zero waste

Ingredients for competitors cooking off as part of Love Food Hate Waste campaign. Photo: Tiana Thorpe

Cooking a tasty dish within an hour from 'rescued' food was the goal of competing teams in a community food challenge.

Hibiscus Coast Zero Waste together with Love Food Hate Waste held the special cooking challenge at Orewa community hall as part of Eco Fest.

The goal was to inspire teams to come up with recipes from rescued food and cook a dish within one hour, with seven teams of local community members battling for first place.

Love Food Hate Waste’s Pip Beagley was one of the main organisers of the event and said that it's all about educating the community about wasted food and loving your leftovers.

“[A cooking challenge] is a really fun way to be learning together at the same time.

“So, hopefully, we create a little spark and everyone that comes today.”

According to Love Food Hate Waste, in New Zealand, we throw away 157,389 tonnes of food per year with the average family throwing away $664 due to food waste.

Hibiscus Coast Zero Waste’s Estefania Mullerpallares said when people throw away their food, they're also throwing away their money.

“Sharing food locally is such a good answer to the cost of living and [creates] good community connections.”

Helen, Becky, and John were competitors in the event under the team name Curvy Cooks.

They took interest in the event for their love of cooking and making a challenge out of leftovers.

“Yeah, [we’re] definitely into recycling and repurposing and making three nights meals out of one meal,” said Helen.

“Yeah, it's called feeding a family.”

Reducing food waste isn't only beneficial for people's pockets but for the world as, according to Love Food Hate Waste, food waste causes 409,234 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

This is the equivalent of 150,453 cars on the road each year.

Mullerpallares said that food waste is up there with transport when it comes to the toll it takes on the environment.

"[Food waste] is something that isn't super regulated at the moment, anything organic doesn't break down in landfill.

“So, if food goes to landfill, it rots and it creates methane, which is a greenhouse gas, which is worse than carbon dioxide.”

Each team was able to take whatever leftovers they wanted back home with them and all leftover food was donated.

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