After a successful debut at
WasteExpo 2016, the Food
Recovery Forum returned for
a second time this year. The
forum included 15 educational
sessions and a keynote
with speakers from the U.S.
Department of Agriculture and
the Environmental Protection
Agency — along with a
workshop on “How to Start a
Food-Diversion Program and
Make It Sustainable.” According
to WasteExpo’s Mark Hickey,
the forum focuses on two big
questions: How do you get food
to people who need it rather than
wasting it, and how do you keep
organic waste out of land;ills?
ON THE WEB
Learn more about WasteExpo
2017 at wasteexpo.com/we17.
leftover rum from the alcohol service at
a previous event.
“I didn’t order anything for that
lunch,” Felder said. “All the food was in-house and something we were going to
discard or compost or send to a shelter.
That week, I saved it all.”
In describing the special luncheon,
Hickey emphasizes the word visible.
That was WasteExpo’s main goal: to
bring everyone’s attention to food
waste and possible solutions. It’s why
he made sure there were signs near
the dumpster, explaining what was
happening. “The idea is to get the light
bulb to go on,” Hickey said. “And it’ll
take a while. These are initial e;orts
to make people think di;erently about
food and how it’s consumed or what
you do if it’s not consumed.”
It also tasted good. The lunch guests
— who included a leader from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, a
food-bank CEO, and a U.S. Department
of Agriculture director — were “blown
away by how much flavor we could
pack into it,” Felder said, “and the story
behind each course.”
Hickey plans to repeat the lunch at
WasteExpo 2018, which will be held at
the Las Vegas Convention Center next
April. The guest list will stay small — he
wants to keep it contained to a dump-
ster again — but he’s thinking about
having companies sponsor individual
diners and then donating that money to
charity. “We made it real,” Hickey said
of the lunch’s impact. “This wasn’t just
people talking about stu; in an educa-
tion session. It was a real event with
real food, and people were very enthusi-
astic about it.” ;.
Contributing Editor Molly Petrilla is a
freelance writer based in New Jersey.