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King County Demonstrating How To Feast On 'Food Too Good To Waste'

Day-old rice and stale bread might not sound like the ingredients in a fine meal. But King County is putting them in the spotlight Thursday evening for a feast of “food too good to waste.” 

The banquet will showcase things we most often toss into the trash or compost bin, but that with a bit of imagination can be used to make something good, such as a salad based on produce scraps.

“Broccoli stem and cauliflower leaves quinoa salad,” says Karen May with King County’s Solid Waste Division, which is putting on the feast. She says they’re also having an entree of fried rice and bread pudding with overripe apples and pears for dessert.

All this is to point out that it’s not just the food itself that gets wasted when we throw things out – it’s all the energy and water that went into producing and then transporting them too. And it turns out there’s more food than anything else in King County garbage bins.  

“It’s kind of surprising, but 33 percent of the waste that comes from households is food waste. That is what our studies are showing us. And so there’s a lot of headway that we need to make in terms of getting people to be more mindful about what the issues are so that they won’t waste as much,” May said. 

Even if you don’t care about all the wasted energy, she says the average family could save as much as $1,500 a year by cutting out the food waste. The county has a set of tips on its website to help residents figure out how to do that. 

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment for KNKX with an emphasis on climate justice, human health and food sovereignty. She enjoys reporting about how we will power our future while maintaining healthy cultures and livable cities. Story tips can be sent to