Thousands enjoy al fresco 'waste food' feast in Los Angeles

Thousands of people in downtown Los Angeles enjoy a free outdoor feast made entirely of food that would have gone to waste. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - The traditional Mexican pozole stew has been made into a solution to an environmental problem - food waste.

Ms Dominika Jarosc, head of programmes at Feedback, which organised a free outdoor feast in Los Angeles, said: "It's one of the main environmental issues in the world today and the great thing about it is that it's one which has a delicious solution. We can eat our way out of this problem."

This feast was made using produce that would have been thrown away for being slightly less than perfect.

Forty per cent of food in the United States is never eaten, according to the Natural Resources Defence Council.

That is something the organisers of the event are trying to change.

Ms Jarosc said: "I think 10 years ago, people thought of food waste as bin diving. Now they recognise that we're talking about perfectly fresh delicious food that is wasted on farms. There's a growing worldwide movement and a growing US movement against food waste, and consumers are demanding ugly fruits and vegetables in stores. They want to know what companies are doing to lead the effort."

Most of the produce came from a nearby wholesale market, but about 135kg of kale, chard and cabbage was harvested at an urban farm, grown on unused land behind a school.

The US Environmental Protection Agency wants to reduce food loss and waste by half by the year 2030. And if it is turned into food as well-received as at the event, the next generation may just see that goal achieved.