Julie Carroll teaches her young kids not to be wasteful, especially with their food.
So, she brought them along to Disco Soup, a free community event held at West Royalty Community Centre in Charlottetown on Nov. 9. The event showcased how to cook sustainably by using ingredients – that would otherwise become waste – to their full potential.
“(My kids) learned that they don’t have to throw away the compost,” Carroll said.
This was Disco Soup’s first year, a joint effort between Fusion Charlottetown, the P.E.I. Food Exchange and the City of Charlottetown Food Council. About 40 people attended the event that was inspired by a similar initiative in Europe.
Kendra Mellish, board member with Fusion Charlottetown, said the goal is to give people the skills to divert food waste. Ingredients that are often discarded by producers and retailers, such as crooked carrots and bruised apples, were chopped and prepared at the beginning of the event.
“And then we turn it into soup.”
While the soup was being prepared, attendees could take part in one of two workshops. One focused on teaching resourceful ways to use leftover pumpkins from Halloween for meals, while the other focused on teaching some 1970s dance moves.
Terry Nabuurs, chef and owner of Wheelhouse in Georgetown and Terry’s Berries food truck in Charlottetown, prepared the soup. The most important things to know about cooking sustainably are how to handle ingredients and what parts can be used for different functions.
“It’s the kind of skill you build over time,” he said, “to utilize as much ingredients as possible.”
Part of the problem when it comes to food waste is a fine dining culture, which is more concerned over the aesthetic of a meal. This mentality needs to be shifted, Nabuurs said.
“How can you still make things taste great and look great, while still using up the odds and ends?”
Attendee’s brought their own dishes and cutlery, and all the unusable ingredients like peels and cores were sent to Island Hill Farms to feed their animals, Mellish said.
“That way we’re trying to keep it as zero-waste as possible.”