Think there’s nothing to do with your kale stems besides toss them in the garbage? Think again.
At least, that’s what Sweetgreen did when they decided to partner with Dan Barber’s sustainability project. Barber, the co-owner and executive chef of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, temporarily transformed the restaurant in Greenwich Village this past March into WastED, a pop-up embracing kale ribs, vegetable pulp, and the other uncelebrated food products otherwise tossed out during the kitchen prep process.
“I want to use a chef’s creativity and technique to transform ingredients that we don’t think of as edible and delicious and turn them into something that’s coveted,” Barber explained. “It’s not just about ugly vegetables and offal cuts. I think our thinking is to take it beyond to include things we wouldn’t normally look at.”
Barber’s innovative transformation of the unattractive into the delicious has inspired Sweetgreen to do the same. The trendy salad joint decided to include broccoli stalks, carrot ribbons and kale stems in a WastED salad, which will be a part of their late summer menu through September 28. 50% of the net proceeds from the salad sales are donated to City Harvest, the world’s first food rescue organization dedicated to helping feed nearly 1.4 million hungry New Yorkers.
Together, Blue Hill and Sweetgreen are encouraging their customers to consider the impact of food waste, including the fact that a staggering 40% of food in the United States is never eaten while globally, 4 billion tons of food is wasted annually.
So next time you pass by Sweetgreen during your lunch break, stop by and #getwastED on this light and delicious summer salad.
Consider it food for thought.