Whatever your reason for wanting to reduce waste in your home or your commercial kitchen (be it saving money, helping the environment, or just learning some new skills), this course will provide you with the tools you need, but also help you connect to a history of food that’s bigger than yourself. In doing that, we can build a way of eating and cooking that speaks to season, and place, and history, and give ourselves an even richer and fuller experience in the kitchen.
What you get:
When you buy this class you get:
*access to all the recipes, videos, tips and tricks you’ll need
*Simple, flexible recipes to adapt to the food waste you have on hand, using minmal equipment, so you can get started right away
*New content (like extra recipes) added to the class to keep you inspired
*PLUS monthly live online hangouts, with demos, Q&A, and space for brainstorming and sharing ideas.
*And more! (Like a bonus section on building local terroir with food scraps)
In each section, you’ll find a slew of ideas and practical guidance to help you wherever you are on your food waste journey.
I’ve designed this class to have something for people at all levels of kitchen comfort: If you’re a chef, you’ll find some new ideas and possibly some new skills, but so will a home cook who is not terribly familiar with cooking.
Fermentation: Everything from sauerkraut to soda, this includes sections on dairy fermentation, homemade sodas and adult beverages, vinegar making, and tips for using up fruit and veggie scraps for sauces, dips, rich seasoning blends, and more.
Beyond fermentation: Some of my favorite tips and tricks I’ve collected over the years, including everything from pickled watermelon rinds to banana “ice cream”, healthy snacks, and more.
Beyond the kitchen: Reducing food waste doesn’t have to stop with food! We’ll make inks, dyes, perfume, home and garden products, and plenty of other goodies together.
Food waste is a huge issue right now, both in terms of the amount of food being wasted and the fact that we humans are paying more attention to it.
We see plenty of scary statistics that tell us that people in the U.S., for example, are wasting 35-40% of their food, and much of that is usable fruits and veggies. Or that if folks in the UK eliminated food waste, it would cut C02 emmissions so much that it would be equivalent to taking every fifth car off the road.
Many of us are concerned about waste and want to do better (like the founder of The Garbage Project said “no one who wastes food feels good about doing so”), both to save money and help the planet.
Reducing food waste in homes and restaurants feels, for many people I talk to, like one of the biggest things they can do on an individual level to make an impact. However, even when they learn skills they have trouble making those new skills become habits, because their mindset around food waste hasn’t changed.
That’s my hope with this course: That we can make those changes (and have some fun too) by using the lessons of the past to inform the problems of the present.
Why this class? Why now?
This class came about as a result of my own experiments with food waste, and over a decade of knowledge and a unique shift in thinking that helped me think of waste in a different way. For years, I struggled to make ends meet and afford food, and was very mindful of not wasting what I bought. I learned all kinds of techniques to use every part of my food (canning, pickling, freezing, etc), I grew whatever I could, and did everything I could think of to keep waste low and save money, but I still found myself running into a wall.
Even though the desire to waste less was there, I’d lack inspiration or would feel too overwhelmed to be able to put my knowledge into practice, and as a result, food scraps would still end up in the trash.
It wasn’t until I began my research as a food historian that it all clicked: by learning about history, I could tap into a whole world of eating much larger than myself. I felt more connected to my ancestors, and like I could play with my food in so many new ways: By trying to make an exact replica of a historic dish, or modernize it, or take the method and apply it to something entirely new. And, best of all, I found endless rabbit holes to jump down. In that way, I hope this course is a jumping off point, rather than an end point, for you.
Doing this work has helped me learn about my own personal food history, from immediate ancestors like my grandparents through learning about what my ancestors ate many generations back. And in every food tradition, we find incredible ways to reduce food waste. If you start there, there’s no telling what wonderful things you’ll unlock.
This class doesn’t just give you a set of historic recipes, though.
Instead, I hope to make those foods and the approach to making them (putting up what you have in many creative ways) something that is relatable, enjoyable, and easy.
We aren’t just learning abstract facts, or names and dates, we’re learning processes, getting curious about our food, taking risks, and learning and growing until reducing food waste comes naturally.
In this class, I’ll be giving you continuous examples of our ancestors’ foods, and how we can learn from their teachings and apply it to our own cooking and eating behaviors, to help you gently move towards thinking of your ingredients as abundant. In doing this, you’ll use less, because you’ll be using everything (or close to it), and you’ll be rewarded with delicious, creative, and engaging food that connects you to those who came before us.
I want to help you reconnect with the things about food that bring me the most joy:
- A sense of playfulness with food and a sense of curiosity
- accepting that you don’t know everything about food (no one does!), and that working with the unknown and with ingredients that feel unfamiliar is ok, and is actually a lot of fun
- a sense that our food takes resources to grow and create, and honoring those resources by using all part of it benefits us and our bodies as well as our planet
- and connecting to historic ways of making food using the whole food to its whole potential, and in so doing perhaps finding some lost little bits of yourself in the process.
After all, if you’re having fun doing something, and find ways to make that activity your own, you’re more likely to stick with it!