Tasting but not Wasting

1 May - By Alyssa Mittiga

Tasting Australia’s charity partner OzHarvest is helping to maintain a sustainable event. 

In a festival celebrating food, it may seem taboo to highlight that Australians waste eight billion dollars’ worth each year. Tasting Australia, however, attempts to tackle the statistics head on with OzHarvest. 

Founded in 2004, OzHarvest is Australia’s first perishable food rescue organisation. Recognisable by a bright yellow logo, its roaming vans are seen circulating Adelaide daily to collect and redistribute excess food, but the organisation’s work reaches much further. It also runs hospitality training and mentoring programs for disadvantaged youth, and teaches ways to maximise nutritional value when cooking. 

A team of 20 informative volunteers in Town Square are keen to educate visitors about OzHarvest throughout this week. You can also purchase the charity’s charcoal, symbolic of the fuel needed to warm the bellies of people in need; every dollar raised will provide them with two meals. The concept was conceived by festival creative director Simon Bryant, reinforcing the event’s Charred theme. 

OzHarvest’s co-state manager Hayley Everuss thanked Simon for providing the charity with a particularly generous platform. “Our bright yellow really stands out amongst the char, helping us to raise funds, which keeps our wheels on the road,” said Hayley. Those wheels are vital in transporting festival food leftovers, to ensure a sustainable town square. “We never know what we will end up with at the end of each day. We are known for thinking on our feet and able to react quickly to prevent wastage.” 

Hayley said public support for OzHarvest at Tasting Australia has been positive, with festival attendees already donating a lot of their spare change. OzHarvest will be raising funds all week, and host the “pay to play” chef’s quiz in Town Square on Friday night; $49 tickets, available via the Tasting Australia website, include Pizzateca food and four drinks.

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