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More food waste than ever, students say, makes it time to learn 'How to Eat Trash'

Students at a Tufts residence are learning “How to Eat Trash” by enjoying a community dinner made of food rescued from dumpsters.

Tony Chung foraged meal 400A meal made by foraged food and served as part of the 2014 Honk! Festival of Activist Street Bands. / Tony Chung Monotone photo

The place most associated locally with the art is Crafts House,  an iconoclastic Tufts student residence.

Crafts House spawned not just Maximus Thaler, a 2013 graduate who literally wrote the book on the topic (a cookbook called A Curious Harvest: The Practical Art of Cooking Everything, illustrated by Dayna Safferstein, also of Tufts), but Rachael Kadish, a 2015 graduate who sat with playwright Eve Ensler to give her “O.P.C.” some verisimilitude when it premiered at the American Repertory Theater in 2014.

Thaler and Kadish are cofounders of The Gleaners’ Kitchen, which educates about urban foraging and caters events with foraged food.

There’s enough food waste locally that Crafts House residents and others have been able to put together communal meals for every visiting musician during Somerville’s annual Honk! Festival of Activist Street Bands in October – and that’s 500 or more people.

“There is enormous waste at supermarkets and restaurants, yes, yet a majority of waste in the U.S. happens at the household level,” organizers say. “This is partially due to cultural-economic pressures which drive overconsumption. Couple this to a culture of litigation whose fear of prosecution drove the widespread use of best-by/sell-by dates, and it’s no wonder people in America are throwing out more food than ever.”

It’s an issue that hits hard at race, class and ethnic and cultural minorities, but event organizers say all are welcome Thursday to “learn how to resist capitalism through your relationship with food.”

The night includes conversation about food, the foraged meal, zines for distribution, a dehydrator display and distribution of maps of local dumpsters good for dives.

“How to Eat Trash” took place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 3, at Crafts House, on the Tufts University campus at 14 Professors Row, Medford. Watch for further such meals.

This news announcement, with a viewpoint, was written by Marc Levy and first published by Cambridge Day, a YourArlington partner. It is republished with permission on Wednesday, May 2, 2018.

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