Fun With Food Waste

On Saturday, Angie and I attended the 3rd annual Nashville VegFest. The event has come a long way since we first wove our way through a massive crowd of vegans all vying to ogle an assortment of booths at Vanderbilt University a few years ago. Come to think of it, so have we. Back then we were just as confused about what a “vegfest” was as we were about our own eating habits. We thought it was a festival celebrating vegetables. Though not entirely incorrect, VegFest actually celebrates plant-based eating (almost exclusively veganism). Though we’re not vegans, we do enjoy a mostly meat-free diet and we found the festival to be a wonderful experience.

VegFest Selfie!

Now held at the Nashville Fairgrounds, VegFest has grown tremendously in just a short time. It was still crowded but we were able to see and sample of lot of new items we’d never even heard of before – like CORE + RIND Cashew Cheese Sauce. (A funny side note – when I was trying to tell my mom about this product over the phone, she somehow heard me to say Keith Austin Cheese Sauce. Sorry CORE + RIND, but from now on, your yummy jar of goodness will always be Keith Austin Cheese Sauce at our house.)

Where there is mass sampling of food products, there’s inevitably going to be food waste. Sadly, not everything was good and not everyone liked it. Even I had a brief moment of contemplation over my No Evil Foods “pulled pork” sandwich. While it was good, it was way too big. With some cheering from Angie, I managed to finish it though (and sadly, was too full afterwards to have the gelato I was so looking forward to!).

My giant vegan “pulled pork” sandwich.

But back to the food waste…

Me, playing in the trash, as usual.

VegFest was on our calendar anyway but when an email from Beadle at Compost Nashville arrived a few weeks ago asking for volunteers to assist festival goers in sorting their trash, we jumped at the opportunity. Sure there was the added incentive of free admission, free parking, and a free t-shirt, but really, we did it for the food waste. It’s one thing to sit back and complain because festivals and community events generate huge amounts of food waste. It’s an entirely different thing to actually do something about it. This time, we got to play an active role in reducing food waste. Donning our sporty new t-shirts, emblazoned with the words: Grow Food, Not Landfills, Angie and I each manned a trash station. I can’t speak for Angie (who is super shy in public), but I had a blast talking to people and helping them sort their food scraps and recycling into the proper bins.

Would I do it again? Absolutely! I truly felt like we were making a difference that day. We were turning the goals of our 2018 Food Waste Project into actions. We were helping others fill compost bins rather than landfills – stopping waste from happening in the first place. And one day, in the not-so-distant future, a Compost Nashville customer will receive the soil from our efforts to go in their own garden. That fact alone made the experience simply awesome!

Food Waste Update

Still no access to the dumpster. I can’t say enough how glad we will be when construction is completed next door. I shudder to think of all the good food that’s gone to waste simply because we, and other rescuers, can’t get to it. 

  • Wasted Food this week: 0 ounces
  • Total Wasted Food in 2018: 50 ounces
  • Rescued Food this week:   0 US pounds
  • Total Food Rescued this year:  185.69 US pounds

Keep up with our food finds in real time by viewing our Food Find Gallery.