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Doing our part to reduce food waste

Stories from the IN Food Kitchen

To say that food waste is a huge problem in this country is an understatement. About 40% of all food in the United States goes uneaten. Seriously. Chew on that stat for a second.

As a marketing and design agency specializing in food, this carelessness around food waste is our problem too—and we’re committed to being a part of the solution. Recently we did a photoshoot for the Cady Creek Farms brand of our partner Burnett Dairy Cooperative, and challenged ourselves to use the leftover (and delicious!) cheese from the photoshoot as creatively as possible. Here’s what we did:

Lori’s Luscious Lasagna

If you know anything about our office, you know that Lori Gerdts, dauntless Vice President and Creative Director here at IN Food, could be just as successful as Chef de Cuisine at a swanky five-star restaurant. (We’re just glad she wants to stick it out in the office with us!)lasagna

Recently, after every mouthwatering shot had been prepped and captured to her exacting standards, Lori went to work on the photoshoot leftovers. The resulting lasagna was like nothing any of us had ever tasted before. Here’s what she used:

  • Perfectly savory-sweet caramelized onions left from sandwich preparations in the shoot.
  • Scrumptious sautéed mushrooms also used for sandwich preparations in the shoot.
  • Deliciously crispy leftover prosciutto.
  • Liberal amounts of 4 different flavors of Burnett Dairy cheese.

To these left-over ingredients she added a dangerously delicious béchamel sauce (made with more Cady Creek Farms cheese of course) and alternated layers of béchamel with layers of Lori’s Secret Red Sauce (a recipe she’ll take to her grave) between lasagna noodles, finishing it all with more cheese and a sprig of herbs.

Grilled Cheese Gala

Grilled cheese became a lunchtime staple at IN Food in the weeks after the Burnett photoshoot—and no one complained about eating rich melty goodness between slices of bread also left over from the shoot on more than one occasion. Cooking together is something we love to do here at IN Food, and what better excuse than making a whole bunch of darn delicious grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch at the office?

#NationalSandwichDay traditions

Even with Lori’s decadent lasagna and grilled cheese sandwiches in the kitchen at lunch, we knew that our small-but-fierce agency couldn’t consume pounds and pounds of leftover cheese fast enough to use it all. So, for the second year in a row, we celebrated National Sandwich Day (November 3rd for those of you ready to mark your calendars for next year) by making and donating 150 sandwiches to Minneapolis Recreation Development, Inc., a local nonprofit serving homeless and disadvantaged youth and families in our community. If we couldn’t use all the perfectly good cheese ourselves, we wanted to make sure someone else could.

Perks of being ‘in’ with the IN crowd

If you’re not already in good standing with one or more of our team members, you may want to move that up your to-do list. Many of our nearest and dearest benefitted from this commitment to using Cady Creek Farms’ photoshoot cheese responsibly: from neighborhood chili cook-offs to birthday blowouts for 3-year-olds, logs of delicious leftover cheese proved—once again—that it pays to be on the INside.

Looking for more ingenious solutions to the problem of food waste in America? Here are some resources we’ve found informational and helpful!

Forbes on the latest food waste solution in the food industry: Wasted Bites Get Culinary Love From All-Star Chefs And Startups.

Hungry Harvest—a non-profit that delivers “ugly produce”, food that is wasted due to aesthetic imperfections or logistical inefficiencies, to subscribers of their market box service and additionally subsidizes and donates this produce to people in need.

TC Food Justice combats food waste and hunger right here at home in the Twin Cities area!

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