First-Ever ‘Disco Soup’ Event Highlights Food Waste Prevention

An event that was born in Europe to highlight just how much food humans waste will be landing in East Boston next month.

On Sunday, November 8 at 5 p.m. at the Ashley Street YMCA Test Kitchen Eastie will host Boston’s first ever ‘Disco Soup’ event.

“It’s called “Disco Soup”–a dinner and dance party that also happens to be about food waste reduction, and involves cooking food that would otherwise go to waste,” explained Organizer Molly Gee. “We are seeking 100 guests and are trying to spread the word.”

According to Gee the event is not your average dinner party and guests will be part of a hands-on food preparation of produce and menu items would have been destined for a landfill.

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.

“We waste as much as 40 percent of our food in the United States or, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, 133 billion pounds of food annually,” said Gee. “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,” said Gee, a graduate in Sustainable Design from the Boston Architectural College. “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.”

Gee said New York City hosted the nation’s first major Disco Soup on this side of the Atlantic, 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,” said Gee. “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:

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