Free lunch in Union Square comes with a lesson in food waste - Metro US

Free lunch in Union Square comes with a lesson in food waste

Feeding the 5000 in Milan

Sustainable farming and food policy are like the vegetables of the food world — we have good intentions, but they’re not tasty and tend to be an afterthought.

That’s where Feeding the 5000 comes in. The event come to NYCfor the first timein Union Square on May 10, is serving 5,000 free meals made with food that would’ve ordinarily been thrown away — which doesn’t mean it’s expired. The fruit or vegetable could be too “ugly” to sell at a supermarket (though it may actually be healthier!), fine dining restaurants often have scraps that don’t make the cut, or food like bread that’s past its sell-by date but still edible.

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These ingredients will be used to make 5,000 meals from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and handed out for free. And since part of ending food waste is reducing hunger — 1.4 million New Yorkers are food insecure, according to Barbara Turk, NYC’s director of food policy — Feeding the 5000 is also donating 5,000 meals to City Harvest.

In the U.S. alone, we spend $218 billion growing, processing and transporting food that goes uneaten, sending up to 63 million tons of edible food to landfills annually, according to Feedback, the U.K.-based environmental nonprofit that has been hosting Feeding the 5000 events since 2009.

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