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NSYSU Promotes Zero Food Wastage—the Imperfect Produce Kitchen Project
Publish date : 2018-07-12
University teachers and students cooperate with the community to transform leftovers into feasts! Recently, the teachers and students of the College of Social Sciences, NSYSU teamed up with the Union of Charity Associations of Kaohsiung City for the “Imperfect Produce Kitchen” campaign at the A-Fu Food Bank. A hotel’s head chef was invited to demonstrate how imperfect produce can be cooked, after which it can be served to disadvantaged local residents. The purpose of the campaign was to promote the concept of using leftovers and cherishing food to improve the quality of life of disadvantaged families in financial difficulty.

At least 3.73 million tons of food is wasted every year in Taiwan, equivalent to 158 kg per person. In terms of a 450-g boxed lunch, every citizen wastes approximately one boxed lunch’s worth of food every day. In addition, a substantial proportion of agricultural products are lost between the field and the dining table. If the daily wasted food was packed in barrels of height 90 cm and capacity 155 kg, the barrels could be stacked to a height 60 times that of Taipei 101. Therefore, preventing excessive food waste, excessive food purchasing, and the negligence of food discard are urgent topics for society.

Chyi-Lu Jang, Dean of the College of Social Sciences at NSYSU, has stated that last year, a team of the university’s teachers and students established stations for storing imperfect produce, leftovers, fundraising supplies, and food for distribution. This year, the team collaborated with charities to expand their service. Imperfect produce and leftovers have been transformed into feasts, and the cooked food becomes a source of food supply for disadvantaged residents of the area near the university who have difficulties cooking by themselves, including people with disability and older adults living alone.

“Turning imperfect produce into meals is like performing magic!” During the campaign, Jin-Jua Jiang, the head chef of the Chateau de Chine Hotel in Kaohsiung, demonstrated methods of food and meat preservation. The recipes included that for a common and economical home-cooked dish: minced pork sauce. Yu-Kang Lee, Chairman of the Department of Political Economy at NSYSU, specified that the tasty minced pork sauce cooked by the participants would be frozen, stored at the A-Fu Food Bank, and then distributed to disadvantaged people living locally. The participants attached blessing cards to the packaging of the food and are expected to lead the public to reflect on their own food wastage. Yi-Yu Lian, a freshman volunteer from the Department of Finance, mentioned that she was initially unaware of charitable organizations such as food banks. Through this project, she acquired in-depth understanding of the operation of nonprofit organizations and could combine the knowledge she had acquired at school with practical experience. “I didn’t know that there was a contribution I could make to the lives of disadvantaged people. I am deeply moved!”

Jin-Shu Su, chair of the Union of Charity Associations of Kaohsiung City, emphasized that the project “is a highly meaningful campaign.” The Union was established 35 years ago and was the first union of charity associations in Taiwan. The primary purpose of the union is to look after disadvantaged families and maintain a network of social assistance and community service. One of its objectives is to promote the concept of cherishing food. The union cooperated with enterprises to establish the A-Fu Food Bank in 2017. Through its cooperation with the NSYSU, love is transformed into food and warmth and delivered to those in need.
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