5 Questions with Fabio Viviani

1.       What’s your take on all the attention food waste is getting lately?

Americans waste almost as much food as they consume so it really starts with us as chefs, and anyone passionate about food, to educate the masses so more food can be preserved and saved from being wasted.  With millions of people not being able to feed themselves, throwing food away its a crime.

2.       What are your best tips to make it easy to reduce food waste in the professional kitchen?

Use the whole animal, use vegetable scraps for stocks and sauces, and do compost.

3.       How about in the home kitchen?

Same advice as above.  Plus, don't shop if you don't need it, and increase your trips to the grocery store.

4.       What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Purchase less, batch cook and freeze.

5.       What is your favorite way to repurpose leftovers?

Making great soups, love soups!

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5 Questions with Susie Weintraub

1.       What motivated your personal interest in sustainability and food waste reduction?

My 3 boys.  I want my children to have an appreciation for the abundance of food and resources that we have – and realize that there are hundreds of millions of people (including 13 million children in the US alone) that are food insecure.  We can help by being more mindful and responsible with the resources we have – and the food we eat.  Reducing food waste is something that everyone – regardless of age – can support and help to mitigate. 

2.       Can you share a story about a food waste hero who inspired you?

For me, it wasn’t a person that initially caught my attention. It was the statistic that 40% of all food produced in wasted in the US. I first thought “that can’t be right” – then started to dig in and found out in fact it is accurate – and may actually be a conservative estimate.

So personally, and professionally – I thought this is something we can truly impact.  Starting at home, but also creating awareness within and throughout Compass Group. Being the world’s largest global food service company, I felt this was an initiative that creates positive impact for people and planet, but also made commercial business sense.

3.       What change have you made personally to be more mindful?

I keep that 40% statistic top of mind when I shop, cook, make lunches for my kids, eat at restaurants – and remind my children of the same.  Gently encouraging my family and friends to be more mindful of food waste is a powerful means of shifting behavior – but a lot of times the 40% statistic alone grabs attention and resonates with people.

4.       What will it take for America to make food waste a priority?

I think it’s simply continuing to raise awareness of the food waste issue. I’ve been in the food service industry for over 20 years, and I wasn’t aware of the magnitude of food waste until about 3 years ago. By creating awareness, and giving folks simple, easy tactics they can personally exercise to help reduce food waste (and/or recover where applicable) – I think collectively we can dramatically reduce the current statistic.  People want to do the right thing – they just need to be aware of the issue.

5.       What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Keep that 40% statistic top of mind when shopping, eating, serving and cooking.  It’s nothing dramatic that needs to change in your personal life - just mindfulness alone tends to make you think twice about how much to buy, order, prepare – and portion (especially for kids!)


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5 Questions with Chef Jet Tila

1: As a chef, we know you’re very conscious of food waste. What’s your take on all the attention food waste is getting lately?

We’ve been eating nose-to-tail for 20 years now, using every part of the animal, so we created something called root-to-stem as part of our Vegetable Revolution, or Veg Rev.  The days of peeled carrots are over and now we’re roasting carrots with the peel on.  We are inspiring chefs to use it all - traditional tops of carrots, greens, turnips and broccoli trimmings.  Vegetables are the place to teach our culinarians to reduce waste and where we can really make an impact! 

2: What are your best tips to reduce food waste in the home kitchen?

Start with the obvious dishes.  Carrots and cauliflower are quintessential dishes for the Veg Rev.  Stop peeling your carrots, instead give a nice rinse and wash, then roast them.  Get creative and find recipes that fully utilize vegetables.  Plus composting and recycling – they all tie together. 

3: What changes have you made personally to be more mindful? 

We don’t’ waste anything in the Tila house.  We’re cutting fruit and composting what we can.  If the cut fruit sits for 2-3 days and it looks like we’re not getting to it, we stick it in the freezer to become smoothies.  Same with Kale and broccoli – we throw it into the freezer.  Everything becomes smoothies at the end of the week.  It’s a mindset of how can we stay creative with food and really reduce waste. 

4: What advice would you give to someone who wants to make a difference in the amount of food that they waste, but doesn’t know where to begin? 

If you have something that’s not going to last – throw it in the freezer.  Between composting, freezing, and utilization we can all make a big difference.

5: Favorite way to use up leftovers?

We build up the freezer for breakfast smoothies.  On the weekend omelets and frittatas are always a way we use up extras, and fried rice.  Between these 3 dishes we have no waste.  In our house, you are using everything all the time.

That’s the Tila way.

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