Give a Fork this October

Give a Fork Wastefree|Matt Burke Photography

Everyone should have a food-mad friend like Amanda – she entertains with ease, is liberal with the olive oil, always has an array of exotic salts to hand (think Murray River pink or smoked Himalayan), and makes the only enjoyable kale salad I’ve ever encountered (the secret, I’ve learnt, is to massage the dressing in by hand).

In her work at Sustainable Table, she’s also taught me a tonne about eco-minded eating. Following their Give A Fork: Sustainable Seafood campaign last year, I’ve cut down my reliance on tinned tuna and farmed salmon, opting for more flathead, whiting and calamari. And now with the launch of Give A Fork’s #wastefree campaign, I’ve got Amanda’s voice in the back of my head every time I go food shopping.

Give a Fork Wastefree | Costa GeorgiadisWhen it comes to food and packaging waste, the stats are pretty severe. The average Australian household throws out $1000 worth of food each year, and around 1000 pieces of non-recycled plastic. Personally, I’m a shocker for buying those cellophane-wrapped bunches of herbs, plucking off a handful of coriander leaves for dinner, then leaving the rest of the pack to wilt in the bottom of the fridge. Yep, that’s a double-whammy of waste right there.

As Give A Fork ambassador Costa Georgiadis says,

One of the simplest ways that anyone can start to reduce food waste is through their shopping. If you buy with intent, then you avoid all the marketing hype and the impulse.”

Give a Fork Wastefree muffinsTo raise awareness, Give A Fork is encouraging folks to host a waste-free meal during October. You can ask your guests to pay an agreed amount, then use some of those funds to source your ingredients and donate the remainder to Sustainable Table, a Melbourne-based not-for-profit organisation that’s doing great things in the food space. Sign up here to host your own #wastefree event.

We learnt all about the campaign at a waste-free breakfast, hosted by Cecconi’s Flinders Lane, where we were treated to green smoothies made using the kitchen’s vegetable offcuts, muesli with local Schulz organic yoghurt, scrambled eggs on sourdough, and muffins flavoured with poached orange peel. Along with 17 other restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne, Cecconi’s has signed up to offer a #wastefree special throughout October, with $2 from each meal going to Sustainable Table.

Give a Fork wastefree pestoOther ways you can shop and cook consciously include:

Turning those green carrot tops into a zesty pesto

Thinly slicing the stalks of broccoli and cauliflower and sauteeing them with the florets

Using offcuts and peels of onion, carrot and celery to make a flavour-packed stock

Taking your own containers to the markets or deli counter to fill with cheeses, olives and oils

For more information, visit: giveafork.com.au

Sarah Gamboni is an Australian food, drinks and travel writer. Sarah writes for leading lifestyle magazines and websites, and produces content for a range of clients spanning tourism bodies, beauty products, food and fashion. She is currently based in Dubai with her husband, Simon, and daughter, Francesca.

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