Dan Barber's Pop-Up Restaurant Puts Food Waste on the Plate
Dan Barber, award-winning chef and innovative leader in the sustainable food movement, has a revolutionary idea. From March 13-31, with the help of his brother David and sister-in-law Laureen, Barber will transform his renowned Blue Hill restaurant in the Village into a food waste pop-up.
The Barbers are calling the two-week project, WasteED, in which the entire menu will be revamped with daily specials from esteemed chefs, such as Mario Batali, Dominique Crenn, Daniel Humm and Alain Ducasse. The concept behind the project is to raise awareness about the issue of food waste.
Barber, through his restaurants and his non-profit farm and education center, has been promoting sustainable and regenerative agriculture for several years now. His book, The Third Plate, challenges chefs and eaters to think beyond the farm-to-table movement to look at the whole farm and not just any one ingredient.
Examples of Barber's whole systems approach include the laying hens at his farm in Massachusetts "that are fed only scraps taken from diners' plates at nearby Great Barrington restaurants, or pigs a colleague is raising using only the skimmed milk that's a byproduct of making butter," according to New York Eater. Barber's latest venture is an excellent example of that approach. Barber plans to explore "inefficiencies at every part of the food chain from the field to the processor to the vendor," New York Eater said. And with almost half of all food wasted in the U.S., inefficiencies abound.
So, not only will he be using locally and sustainably sourced ingredients in his dishes, but he will be incorporating his "Third Plate" approach by using parts of the plant or animal that would otherwise be thrown away. "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 told New York Eater.
For this pop-up they'll be using spent grain from local distilleries, cocoa beans from the Mast Brothers, pasta scraps from Rafetto's and vegetable pulp from juice shops, among other ingredients.
"If this is done right [it will] broadcast a message about how chefs, and restaurants in particular, can bring about a cultural shift in how we think about producing enough food to feed a growing population," says Barber.
Love @DanBarber's #foodwaste pop-up idea, w/ guest chefs @Mariobatali @alex_raij & @dannybowien #ChangeFood http://t.co/kM2ZZB2ojt …
— Jonathan Bloom (@WastedFood) February 23, 2015
The project may extend beyond March 31 if it proves popular enough. A design firm that specializes in utilizing waste in creative ways will give the restaurant a makeover. After it's over, the restaurant will go back to business as usual.
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By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
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