DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – We've heard of "farm to table," but what about "waste to table?"
At one point, the ingredients at Detroit's Upcycling Kitchen in the Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church may have ended up in the trash.
Instead, chef Shanel DeWalt and volunteers are turning food waste into free nutritious meals for the community.
"You wouldn't have thought just looking at the meal like 'oh my goodness, this food was rescued,'" DeWalt said.
The donations of surplus food come from all over farms, restaurants, and grocery stores
"We'll go get it and we wash it off really well and nothing is wrong with it at all. It's just not in its original packaging," DeWalt said.
The kitchen is the creation of "Make Food, Not Waste," a nonprofit keeping food out of landfills.
"We're seeing more and more that people are caring about it, especially now that food prices are going up. So if you're paying more for food, it's a lot harder to throw it away," Danielle Todd, executive director of Make Food Not Waste, said.
According to Todd, we as a country throw away about 40% of what we grow. In Michigan, about 2 billion pounds of food end up in the landfill each year.
On Thursday, Make Food Not Waste, along with Tostada Magazine and Planet Detroit hosted a special dinner at Pizzaplex on Detroit's west side to show the community ways to give food a second chance.
There are simple ways folks can prevent food waste.
"Your freezer is a great tool if you make too much. You can save it for later, reheat it another time when you don't feel like cooking and really that won't go to waste," Todd said. "But it's really a matter of being truthful, being honest with yourself, take a look at what your week looks like and prepare accordingly," Todd said.
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