Have you heard the term rescued produce? While foodies want to be in the “food know” the reality is that this term might not be the star of the table. Luckily, Two Good Yogurt and Marcus Samuelsson are making this food conversation the star of the dish.
While many chefs and home cooks are familiar with root to tip cooking, the idea of rescued produce is a different story. The concept goes back to the farm itself. Previously, Two Good Yogurt, a Danone yogurt company, shared the fact that “one-third of edible produce gets wasted at the farm level.” Although some people were dismayed to see farm produce wasted during the early stages of the pandemic, the reality is that parts of that story have been around for a long time.
Two Good Yogurt has been a supporter of using rescued produce to change the food conversation. During a recent conversation with Stacy Reingold, Sustainability Impact Manager at Danone North America, the brand wants to target “the food waste supply chain that is happening at the farm level.” While that wasted salad bag issue continues to be a consumer problem, this conversation takes a step back to the one root of the food waste issue.
Recently, Two Good Yogurt partnered with celebrated chef Marcus Samuelsson to spark a conversation about the rescued produce issue. Through education and example, the partnership looks to change all cooks’ perceptions on this topic.
What do you know about rescued produce?
At his Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem, New York, Samuelsson highlighted recipes that featured rescued produce. Through this partnership, the chef hopes to educate others about this issue and to show how easy it is to incorporate these food choices into a menu.
Samuelsson believes that if the community can build an “ecosystem” around this topic it can be in the forefront of the conversation. While the profession chef might appreciate that all aspects of a piece of asparagus is usable, all cooks need to come to that understanding. It is about “creating content” to highlight the opportunities that are available. When cooks have the knowledge and the tools, they can adopt those changes.
While a celebrated chef in a successful restaurant might appreciate this conversation, the home cook is given a seat at the table, too. Enjoying that great meal can inspire lasting change. Although drastic alterations can have an immediate impact, the reality is that little differences stand as a meaningful example.
From the cook who uses the carrot stems as a garnish or picks the slightly misshapen produce to make a flavorful stock, the idea is to make conscious decisions and avoid more food waste. No one wants to see piles of unused food when food insecurity is on the rise. It doesn’t take a hero to save the day, but it does take initiative to make a difference.
Are you aware of rescued produce? How can you adapt this concept to your home cooking?