Food Network: The Big Waste

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by mrmexico25, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. mrmexico25

    mrmexico25

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    The show premiered tonight and I just finished watching it.  The premise:  For two teams (Bobby Flay and Michael Symon vs. Anne Burrell and Alex Guarnaschelli) to create a dinner for 100 people with nothing but food that was intended or in the process of being thrown out.  Most of this food never even made it to the shelves of the grocery stores because of it's "lack of quality".  If the food has too many "bruises", the blind American consumer wont buy it, therefore it's discarded - either by trash or compost.  This is a huge problem, and some of these farms have waste percentages as high as 50%.  This is disgraceful.  It's sickening. 

    The goal of the show is to open our eyes as consumers.  As cooks, and chefs.  If we can get these products and USE them before they're wasted, we can really make a difference.  Also, profit margins would skyrocket because most of this stuff you can get for free just by asking! 

    I've never tried it, but I assure you, tomorrow I'll be dropping by my nearest grocery store to see what I can get.  Some of the quality they found is staggering.
     
  2. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I watched only a little bit of the show, I couldn't watch all of it because I dislike Guarnaschelli and watch Ann Burrell makes me want to brush my hair compulsively so I find no enjoyment in them. 

    I watched the part where they met the Freegan and although it's not something I would do I found it awesome that he didn't want to engage in consumerism and would find free food.  But then after I watched Burrell just stand there with her arms crossed the whole time he was digging for food and then professed that she "just got done foraging for food" I changed the channel.

    I feel a bit helpless at the grocery and I'm afraid that I'm one of those people that overlooks certain products.  If you put 2 loafs of bread in front of me and one's expiration date is tomorrow and the others is a week from tomorrow I choose the latter.  If you put 2 piece of fruit, one bruised and one pretty I choose the pretty.  It's human nature, that's what we would do out in nature if we were gathering after all.
     
  3. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    I didn't watch the show, because the premise description didn't appeal. But one thing to consider: In many jurisdictions, stores are not allowed, but either law or company policy, to distribute non-sellable foods. They can't even give it to you for composting, let alone eating.

    The other aspect is that dumpster diving is technically illegal. You are both trespassing and stealing. Would your local supermarket prosecute? Who knows.
     
  4. french fries

    french fries

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    What I would like to know is how much food the Food Network throws away. We can see them throw away quite a fair amount of perfectly edible food on screen, I'm sure they actually throw away even more behind the scenes. 
     
  5. mrmexico25

    mrmexico25

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    I disagree, I really like Anne and Alex's cooking styles (judging from what I see on tv) but I did notice that Burrel didnt pick through the trash at all.  On tghe same token though, she wouldn't let the proscuitto goto waste that the health inspector wouldn't let them use.

    As far as food wasted by the food network:  I dont know for sure what their policy is, but I'm sure they have something in place where whats cooked is eaten and whats not cooked is donated.  Hopefully.  Maybe I'm investing too much faith in the Food Network, but I'd like to think these professionals are treating their profession with respect (this goes beyond the chefs - producers, film crew etc...)
     
  6. chefross

    chefross

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    I've not even heard of the show, but from the standpoint of food sense, basic food safety, isn't there enough food born illness around that we don't have to give people ideas....all in the name of "entertainment?"
     
  7. mrmexico25

    mrmexico25

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    @chefross:  All the product they used was checked by a health inspector and what ever didn't pass wasn't allowed to be used.  In fact, Team Burrell and Guarnaschelli weren't allowed to use some left over prosciutto because it's temperature was too high, even though it's a cure meat. 

    I honestly don't see anything wrong with the programming, and if your grocery store will let you, I recommend that you do - at least try. 
     
  8. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    All the product they used was checked by a health inspector and what ever didn't pass wasn't allowed to be used

    Oh, yeah. That's realistic. Next time I feel like dumpster diving for scraps I'll be sure and carry a health inspector along for the ride.

    You really see that as responsible programming?
     
  9. mrmexico25

    mrmexico25

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    First of all, starting an argument wasn't my intention.  I don't know if you are, but it seems like you're quite upset with this subject all around, whether or not its directed towards me, The Food Network, or the idea of trying to use all of your ingredients - I apologize for that.

    Second, yes I do think it's responsible programming for notifying an audience that the food was checked and obviously fit to be served as dinner.  Why wouldn't I?  Now if I think that's realistic for any average Joe to go and do?  Not necessarily.  Calm down man, it's an eye opening show to make consumers aware of what they're doing that's wasteful.  Not everyone is going to "dumpster dive", and in fact, the show wasn't based on just that.  They went to farms and recovered crops that had simply fallen on the ground.  They went to butchers and collected ends and fatty pieces that meat markets can't sell.  If you think they just went digging through trash bags then you are thoroughly mistaken.  Sorry you feel that way. 
     
  10. chefedb

    chefedb

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    They are running out of programming.  It must take them at least 30 seconds to write a half hour script. Reality TV is cheap to produce , no million dollar an episode actors to pay ,and no high priced set. This is the future of TV, heaven help us.
     
  11. mrmexico25

    mrmexico25

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    Food network is some of the best TV around I think, that is unless you prefer Jersey Shore and the new seasons of Beavis and Butt Head.  I seriously don't understand the negativity on here..../img/vbsmilies/smilies/confused.gif
     
  12. chefedb

    chefedb

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    The negativity ? simple  over the years I have seen it  go from food and cooking lessons to Paula Dean and a bunch of  housewife type shows that sell cheap pots and pans for a lot of money. Most of the former Pro's are gone. In order to be on food channel you do not have to know how to cook. You have to wear low cut blouses and be pretty and show people how in 6 minutes one can convert Stouffers beef stew into a classic Beef Strogonoff?(Lee). Or phony Paula telling you to use 3 pounds of butter for something. Flay even says as was mentioned in a recent article ''I HAD TO FORGET ALL i KNOW ABOUT COOKING TO DO A SHOW ON FOOD NETWORK""
     
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  13. chefross

    chefross

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    MrMexico25 please understand that as professionals in the industry it is regretful that shows such as this air on the public television airwaves.

    You may see this type of programming as being helpful and educational, while we view it quite differently.

    Programming on the food network has nothing to do with educating the public about food in any way.

    It is purely entertainment.

    Nothing else.

    Can you truly tell us that you learned how to cook something by watching a contestant on a program?

    You see the technique, you see the ingredients, you see the entire production of the food item. I think not!!!!

    It is you that does not understand what programs like this are doing to the public.
     
  14. reverendfoodie

    reverendfoodie

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    I think most are over looking the purpose of the show, it's not to show some great dish or some exotic ingredient, it is trying to show a major problem in America and the rest of the world!! food that goes to waste when it could be feeding people, 93 billion pounds of food is wasted every year just in North America and Oceania (that is Canada, the USA, Mexico and all of the Pacific Islands), thats 650 pounds per person, while at the same time "1 in 7 people in the U.S. now subsist on food stamps, and, in 2009, nearly 15 percent of U.S. households were found to have low or very low “food security,” meaning that, on a regular basis, nearly 50 million Americans ran short on food."(The starvation of America’s middle class By Dominic Basulto of The Washington Post). So how much food do you waste in your day to day operation as a restaurateur or chef, what do you do with your unused food, do you throw it away or do you donate it to a homeless shelter or food bank, you cannot use the excuse of it being illegal because its not, as a mater of fact the is a law that protects people from liability for donating food, its called "Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act of 1996".

    The point of the show was that the food never should have made it to the garbage, better management of resource at the restaurant and grocery store level will low your cost and provide food to those in need.
     
  15. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    The negativity is not towards you, the members on this forum are in general quite negative towards the Food network.  I agree with you that the concept of being less wasteful is very important, however I'm not sure this particular show is helpful.  There are other networks that focus solely on these types of topics and their programming is better.  The Food Network has become a series of tedious contests all of which are quite predictable (I mean come on, it was a given that Spike would be the first to go, Alex G. would advance very far, and that chef Z. would be the winner in the recent Iron chef competition).  It makes me think that Alex G. must be very independently wealthy or must own the FN because they promote her in every way they can even though I don't like her food, her skills or her demeanor in any way. 

    And I'm very upset but Anne Burrell's hair.  Seriously, what's wrong with her?  I'm never one to judge a woman by her looks but somebody please tell her that there is this brilliant little device called a comb.
     
  16. reverendfoodie

    reverendfoodie

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    Anne Burrell's hair can be overwhelming and Alex is not my favorite chef while Bobby and Michael are two of my favorites, but thats not important. The thing that makes FN the perfect place for this show is the fact they have such a large viewership, now the number of people that are aware of what is for all intense purpose a national tragedy is large enough for people to start making a change in how we look at the food we eat and the food we throw away. After all we thow away a bushell of tomatos because a blemish the size of a dime.
     
  17. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    So you're saying FN is now operating in the public service arenae?

    Gimme an effin break!

    It makes me think that Alex G. must be very independently wealthy

    Don't overlook the fact that Bobby Flay is her rabbi. And at FN that counts for a lot.
     
  18. planethoff

    planethoff

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    I haven't seen that show on FN, but this thread reminded me of a movie Dive!  Living off America's Waste  http://www.divethefilm.com/  I'll admit I don't necessarily agree with all of their agenda, but it does open your eyes up to the major food waste problems in this country.   In kitchens I work (have worked in) I try to use every bit for food I can and compost the rest.  Hey that reminds me of the thread on putting onion skins, potato peels, etc in stock.  yuk
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  19. rainy day

    rainy day

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    Hi, My name is Robert and I am the freegan that helped Ann. There is no laws against trespassing for garbage bags on the curb. The laws only apply to actual dumpsters that are owned by other than the city. Please brush up on the laws to avoid scaring people from doing the right thing. Thanks.
     
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  20. planethoff

    planethoff

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    Good for you Robert!   I am only against it when it is breaking into somewhere illegally, but I don't have the fortitude to do it myself.  I have a couple friends who did it for a year and still do on occasion.  It's scary how much we waste.  I am one who is always called crazy because I only quick-thaw under water on the rarest of times to conserve water.  It kills me to see 4 faucets running full blast for 4-5 hrs every day down the drain.