By Emilie Bell
TORONTO — During the final day of the Restaurants Canada Show, in Toronto, chef Jagger Gordon shared his passion for waste-based cooking with show attendees. Jagger, who founded the non-profit organization Feed it Forward, utilizes an innovative waste-based cooking program to feed those in need while reducing the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills.
The idea for Feed it Forward came from Gordon’s experience as a sergeant overseas, where he witnessed his crew disposing of hundreds of pounds food waste. This experience inspired the chef to use food that would otherwise be wasted to help feed those who go hungry.
Gordon showed guests how to utilize scraps and food that may be past its expiration date. Each dish prepared was made from produce that would typically end up in the landfill, such as the scraps of vegetables and produce that has brown spots, is wilted or past its best -before date. To demonstrate, Gordon and his team prepared pakora made from vegetable scraps. The pakora was made using chickpea flower, sparkling water and any leftovers from throughout the week — including ends of carrots and broccoli stems — then baked or fried. The team also made a tea from pineapple peels and a blend of spices.
Gordon stressed that waste-based cooking could save restaurants hundreds of dollars every year and gave helpful tips for wasting as little produce as possible: food planning to avoid letting food go bad, keep to the outside area of the grocery store to stay away from processed foods and freeze any scraps from vegetables gathered over the week to use in dishes such as soups and stews.