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First-Ever ‘Disco Soup’ Event Will Highlight Food Waste Prevention, Fun

EAST BOSTON—Sunday, November 8th, Bostonians will converge on the Ashley Street YMCA Teaching Kitchen for the city’s first-ever Disco Soup event. Not your average dinner party, Disco Soup brings together guests for a night of hands-on food preparation followed by good food, music, and company. The twist is that the produce on hand would have been destined for landfill. The Boston event will begin at 5 p.m. and wrap up around 10 p.m.

Originating in Europe, the “Disco Soup” concept was born as a way to give attention to the fact that humans waste a lot of food — as much as 40 percent in the United States or, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, 133 billion pounds of food annually. Aside from seeming downright extravagant, wasted food has serious consequences for the planet, representing hefty amounts of energy, water, and land use, as well as methane emissions in landfills.

Recognizing food waste as a problem, the state of Massachusetts and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are implementing plans to reduce waste in every step of the food system. However, the World Research Institute estimates that almost two thirds of U.S. food waste comes from consumers — meaning that the majority of waste happens right in our own homes.

“Knowing how much we waste as consumers is shocking, but it’s also reason for hope,” says Molly Gee, a graduate in Sustainable Design from the Boston Architectural College and the event’s lead organizer. “When you look at the problems we face environmentally and socially, it’s easy to think, ‘I’m just one person, what difference can I make?’ With food waste, the average person can make a big difference. If we each decide to cut our day-to-day waste, the implications are huge.”

New York City hosted the nation’s first major Disco Soup, and now Boston is making Disco Soup its own. The event is a collaboration of Slow Food Boston, the Ashley Street YMCA Teaching Kitchen, and the East Boston Food Policy Council. Ingredients for cooking will be donated by Food for Free — a nonprofit that collects would-be wasted food and redistributes it to those in need. In keeping with Food for Free’s mission, Disco Soup will donate the food prepared at the event to a local soup kitchen. Dinner for guests will be provided by pop-up restaurant East Boston Oysters; other participants include Bootstrap Compost and the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic. Beer and wine will be available through a cash bar.

Tickets are $15 and are purchased online; more information can be found at the event page.

For media inquiries, please contact Molly Gee, 207-577-0105 or molly.gee@the-bac.edu.
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