Eat Those Stems: Talking Food Waste Reduction with 2022 ‘Taste It Don’t Waste It’ Champion Steven Goff

On May 1, 2022, after wrapping up four weeks of activities and engagement for Food Waste Reduction Month, Food Waste Solutions WNC hosted its first-ever Taste It, Don’t Waste It: Asheville Chefs Challenge event at Wicked Weed’s production facility and taproom in Candler. And it was a blast! 

Four talented, popular, waste-conscious Asheville chefs (John Rice of Wicked Weed’s downtown brewpub, Clarence Robinson of Cooking with Comedy, Eric Morris of Cultura, and Steven Goff of Tastee Diner) created fantastic dishes from food scraps that many home cooks might just throw away. 

The large crowd that gathered in the hallway and patio of the taproom lined up to sample the incredible dishes at each chef’s station: 

  • Vegan sous vide leek ends and grilled leeks with lemon topped with crispy fried leek tops, leek-infused oil and chile-garlic purée (John Rice)
  • Ham and cheese croquettas with sweet potato jus made from scraps of prosciutto, house-cured Cuban ham, capicola, and various cheeses, breadcrumbs from leftover buns, rosemary-infused rendered pork fat, flour, and whey leftover from mozzarella production, and dehydrated spring onion tops powder. (Eric Morris)
  • Mac and cheese with collard greens salsa made with leftover pasta, chicken scraps, and collard greens stems. (Clarence Robinson)
  • Smoked brisket burnt ends with pork jus, collard-stem kimchi, herb-stem chimichurri, pork rind crumb gremolata, and grits made with corn-cob stock. (Steven Goff)

After the guests tasted — and sometimes re-tasted, then re-re-tasted! — each of the dishes, they were encouraged to select their favorite, write it down, and drop their vote into the big, silver stockpot at the entrance. 

As you can imagine, it was a tough decision, and the race was very close. But in the end, chef Goff won the most votes with his inventive smoked brisket and bright, flavorful toppings. Not only was it tasty, but his dish was a tribute to innovative waste avoidance: The brisket was trimmed pieces. The pork jus was made from whey leftover from cheese making, bones from breaking down a hog, and simmer liquid from making pork rinds. The kimchi was made from collard stems and fermented veggie scraps. The chimichurri was made from herb stems. The gremolata was from the crumbs of pork rinds, and the grits were cooked in stock made from corn cobs.

Months after the competition, as he celebrated the opening of his newest venture, Tastee Diner on Haywood Road in West Asheville, Goff shared some insight with Food Waste Solutions WNC on what inspired the winning dish and why food waste reduction is so important to him. Oh, and he divulged a couple of his magical recipes as well!

What inspired the dish you made for Taste It Don’t Waste It 2022?

Goff: Honestly, everything on that dish is something we just always do in the kitchens I operate. I absolutely love the burnt ends portion of barbecue because of the diverse textures and flavors involved, and I love making stock with all the hog skin and bones after a whole-hog catering and using the simmer liquid from pork rind production. 

When I first started making pork rinds, it was in the middle of winter, and we dumped our simmer liquid down the drain, and it immediately congealed and clogged every pipe in the kitchen. That’s when I realized how much lip-smacking goodness (aka gelatin and collagen) it had. I love the collard stem kimchi because it packs a ton of flavor and keeps its texture. I frequently use it in place of red pepper flakes when I’m making collards. And corn cob stock always adds a nice little bit of fresh corn flavor

At the competition, you noted that as a chef you are passionate about finding ways to use food scraps and avoid food waste. Why is this important to you, and what first piqued your interest in not wasting food?

Goff: I spent my teens and early twenties on and off homeless and hungry, so I really hate when thought isn’t put into what could possibly be done with all the trim and “waste” we create in a commercial kitchen. When I went to school at A-B Tech, I would gather all the organs, heads, skin, and trim [from breaking down animals] and stay after class to attempt to make things with it. So it’s been a focus since early on in my career. I feel like every time we throw something out in a kitchen that we could have utilized somehow, it’s a slap in the face to all the hungry people around the world as well as the plants and animals that give their lives so that we can have food on our tables. 

What’s one common food item most people throw away that drives you crazy? How should they be using it?

Goff: Kale and collard stems!!!!! They’re so nice raw and shaved thin as a garnish or in salads. They ferment and pickle awesome. They add great texture and body to soups and stews. They add great crunch to egg and tater salads as well.

Can you share one super easy technique you use in your kitchen for repurposing a meat or veggie scrap?

Goff: Any herb stems or greens about to go before you can get to using them can make a great chimichurri-like sauce. For greens, I take about a quart of greens, salt, pepper, and five to 10 garlic cloves (I like 10….) and purée with oil until you have a bright-green garlic spread. I like to mix with mayo for sandwiches or marinate meat and veggies in it before grilling or smoking.

Collard Stems Kimchi

Weigh your chopped collard stems. Massage 2.5% of their weight in salt into them, then let them hang out for a few hours and up to overnight. Mix with some kimchi paste.

My favorite kimchi paste recipe is:

1 cup garlic, puréed

3 large onions, puréed

1 cup cider vinegar

1 cup dried arboles and guajillo peppers, reconstituted

1 cup or so of pepper water from reconstituting dried peppers

Sweat out the puréed onions and garlic in some extra virgin olive oil. Deglaze with vinegar, peppers, and pepper water. Bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of rice flour. Purée all.

FOOD WASTE HERO: UNCA’s Commitment to Food Waste Reduction Runs Wide and Deep

By Marc Rudow

UNC Asheville Dining Services, a partnership between Chartwells Higher Education and University of North Carolina Asheville, works hard to keep food waste to a minimum. The team at UNC Asheville Dining uses every tool available to feed students, and at the same time keeps about 11,000 pounds of food a month out of the trash. 

The efforts to divert food waste are led by Chantal Fortin, the Sustainability and Marketing Manager for dining. Chartwells has made an enormous commitment to recycling and composting at the national level, and Chantal supplements that by recruiting members of her staff who work as her “champions” to keep the program working well at the local level.  

Chartwells supports and encourages staff to reduce food waste as a matter of corporate policy,.  As part of the company’s commitment, they have provided UNCA Asheville Dining Services with a waste reduction app called Waste Not 2.0 , which measures and analyzes food that’s sent to compost to help identify strategies for further waste elimination. 

At the local level, this work is implemented entirely by staff who maintain high standards by carefully monitoring both food production and waste. The system features trayless dining (which has been shown to result in a huge reduction in wasted food), composts all food left on plates as well as kitchen scraps, makes regular donations of leftover food to Food Connection (which distributes donated food to folks experiencing food insecurity), and is partnering with NexTrex and local grocery stores to implement a program for recycling plastics, including plastic bags.  

Pictured: Chantal Fortin, UNCA Dining Service’s Sustainability and Marketing Manager

Chartwells also hosts a Stop Food Waste Day campaign in the spring where UNC Asheville Dining plans events, social media content, and other outreach efforts focused on ways to be more mindful about food waste.  

This culture of saving, reusing, and composting has become a part of the entire campus culture. Students living in dorm rooms, for example, are offered compost containers for personal use, which are picked up and sent along with dining room kitchen scraps to Atlas Organics for composting. 

 By providing a culture conducive to eliminating waste, UNCA Dining is training a new generation (actually several generations over the years!) of students/diners to be a part of the food waste solution.  Seeing this operation will make you want to go back to college to enjoy these delicious meals knowing that very little will go to waste.  

In 2022, UNCA Dining Services has donated over 30,000 meals to community members who needed them. And kitchen employees get a free meal every day, further reducing waste! 

Thanks to the UNC Asheville Dining team for setting up an incredible system that works from the top down to eliminate food waste — and is now also deeply imbedded in the university’s culture. If all institutions of this size would do as much as UNCA Dining does, we would feed a lot more folks and have a lot less waste. 

The 2022 Food Waste Challenge

WNC Food Waste Root Vegetables

2022 Food Waste Challenge

This year Buncombe County joins Asheville in recognizing April as Food Waste Reduction Month!

Why a whole month dedicated to food waste education, you ask? Almost half of food produced in the United States is wasted! Here in Buncombe County, an estimated 57,500 tons of food is wasted annually. Most of the waste is buried in the ground as landfill. Food that is thrown away also wastes all of the land, water, and energy that it takes to grow, store, and transport it. We all need healthy food to live and grow, so we’re investigating how to waste less food and live more sustainably.

In celebration of Food Waste Reduction Month, we’re bringing you the latest food waste stats, tips to reduce food waste in your home and community, and inspiring best practices from leaders around the globe and here in WNC. Follow along on the website or Instagram @wncfoodwaste so you won’t miss a thing and to join the Food Waste Challenge!  Participants can enter as many times as they like for a chance to win one of three amazing prize packages. At the end of April, we will randomly select three winners.


Pick one, two, or do all 9! Each challenge is a new entry so the more you do, the better your chances of winning an amazing prize.


As you complete a challenge, simply comment on one of our challenge posts or share your pics and videos on Instagram—just be sure to tag @wncfoodwaste to ensure you’re entered to win!

  1. Conduct a home food waste audit. Follow the handy Home Food Waste Audit Worksheet and tell us/show us what you learn about your food habits!
  2. Bring food scraps to one of two City of Asheville drop-off sites! Read more and register here.
  3. Follow @wickedweedbrewing to track the great work this Asheville-born brewery is doing to reduce food waste. Stay tuned for updates about a special May 1st event featuring local chefs!
  4. Start composting at home! If you already compost, tell us about it. If you’re new to composting, read more to get started.
  5. Sign up for our Email Newsletter. Don’t miss a thing. Sign up!
  6. Share your home food waste hacks! Do you have an amazing tip for storing or using food that might go to waste? These are game-changers for reducing our collective food waste footprint so don’t keep them to yourself!
  7. Create a new recipe using food “scraps”! Show us your carrot top pesto and kale stem soup! Need some inspiration? Follow local food maven, Ashley English @smallmeasure
  8. Try New Belgium’s Citrus Rescue IPA! This limited release was brewed with approximately 35,000 imperfect oranges in partnership with Imperfect Foods.
  9. Meal Plan your week. It’s all about planning ahead and is one of the simplest ways to avoid food waste at home. Get started.
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How many times can I enter this challenge?

You can enter as many times as you like. The more you enter, the greater your chances of winning a prize, of course. But our goal is to raise awareness and enthusiasm around reducing food waste so the more the merrier. Don’t forget to tag @wncfoodwaste on Instagram each time you enter!

Do I have to enter by April 1st?

No, you can enter any time throughout the month of April (even the last day! Of course, we hope you’ll get involved sooner!)

When will prize winners be announced?

We will randomly select three winners during the first week of May. 

Are the prizes really amazing?

Yes. Yes, they are. Visit our instagram for details!

Don’t forget to tag @wncfoodwaste on Instagram!

6 Simple Tips to Reduce Food Waste on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is all about sharing and gratitude, yet on this holiday — probably the most food-focused day in the United States — about 200 million pounds of turkey meat alone is thrown in the garbage. 

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the greenhouse gas emissions from the wasted turkey alone is equal to what would be produced if every resident of Jacksonville, Florida drove their own car all the way across the U.S. to San Francisco. That’s the equivalent of 25.6 billion grams of protein, which is enough to meet the recommended daily protein intake for more than 500 million adults! And that doesn’t even count all the uneaten mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie that goes from the table to the trash.

As sad and unappetizing as this is, there are plenty of simple strategies for making sure every morsel of your Thanksgiving feast is savored rather than sent to languish in the landfill. Share these ideas to reduce food waste on Thanksgiving with your family and friends and start making food waste reduction part of your holiday tradition!

  • Plan ahead
    • Get an exact headcount of guests and plan your meal accordingly. Use The Guest-imator tool from the NRDC to more accurately determine portion sizes.
    • Consider serving your meal buffet-style using smaller plates.
    • Ask guests in advance to bring their own to-go containers for taking home some of the leftover deliciousness.
  • Embrace imperfection
    • Look in your refrigerator as you plan your Thanksgiving meal to see what’s already there before heading to the grocery store. Even wilted veggies and fruit and stale bread can be used in a variety of ways for your meal.
    • Roll with your mistakes! Cooking mishaps are the stuff family Thanksgiving legends are made from, and there are plenty of ways to salvage dishes that are too salty, overcooked, or even burned. Check out this article for ideas.
  • Take stock, then make stock
    • Save your vegetable scraps as you prepare your meal (even ask guests to do the same, if you’re feeling like going all in on this!). After dinner, clean your turkey carcass of all usable meat (store that in the fridge or freezer to repurpose into another meal), then add everything else — bones, skin, joints, juices, everything! — to a stock pot with your vegetable scraps and plenty of water. You can even throw in leftover gravy and cooked vegetables, if you like. Bring to a boil then let it simmer away on the stove for at least 3-4 hours (simmering even longer will make richer stock). Once it’s cooled, portion into containers and freeze to use in soups, stews, and gravies all winter long!
    • This recipe for Turkey Bone and Stuffing Dumpling Soup uses up just about every imaginable leftover from the Thanksgiving table.
reduce food waste on thanksgiving with stock
  • Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose
    • Get creative with those leftover side dishes so no one gets bored! Leftover bread and rolls can be quickly made into tasty croutons. Mashed potatoes lend themselves to shepherd’s pie and can easily be shaped into patties and fried. Peas, green beans, corn, carrots, and other vegetables can be made into soups, pasta dishes, and frittatas. Turkey meat can be tucked into tacos, sandwiches, omelets, and more. The internet is full of great recipes for repurposing all kinds of dishes!
    • Give your pets their own Thanksgiving. Turkey and pet-safe foods like sweet potatoes, peas, and green beans can be cooked with a little brown rice to make a doggie feast!
  • Freeze!
    • As the Thanksgiving leftovers you’ve stashed in the fridge start to near the end of their salad days, transfer them to the freezer (either in individual portions or as meals) to be thawed and enjoyed later on busy winter weeknights or as  heat-and-eat lunches.
  • Spread the love
    • If you have large amounts of leftovers or bought too much at the grocery store, consider donating to a local food bank or food redistribution organization for others to enjoy. In Western North Carolina, MANNA FoodBank is a good place to start in finding agencies that might accept food donations.

Article by Gina Smith

Quarterly Meeting Recap: Talking Black Soldier Flies

WNC Food Waste

In 2021, the word “meeting” has become synonymous with online platforms and chatting with people in little boxes on a computer screen. But on Aug. 19, WNC Food Waste Solutions decided to take its Quarterly Meeting outdoors as a distanced, in-person event in the covered, open-air venue at Blue Ghost Brewing Co. in Fletcher.

The gathering was originally scheduled to kick off with business and Working Group updates, but when heavy late-afternoon traffic held up the arrival time for many attendees, the first hour organically shifted to a casual meet-and-greet. Some guests grabbed a cold beverage from the Blue Ghost taproom, and the group eventually circled up for a round of introductions — much more fun in person than on Zoom!

From there, the meeting segued into a presentation from Danny’s Dumpster owner Danny Keaton on his exciting new black soldier-fly operation. Danny just debuted his black soldier fly production facility this summer — a project that’s been in development for nearly eight years — and is now selling dried and live larvae as animal feed at various Asheville-area locations. 

From a nutrient standpoint, the larvae offer chickens and other animals about the same protein as mealworms (most of which are imported from China), Danny pointed out. But from a food-waste reduction standpoint, these industrious larvae have the potential to be large-scale game-changers.

Classified as beneficial insects, black soldier fly larvae can eat twice their body weight daily, enabling them to process enormous amounts of organic waste within just a couple of weeks, turning it into rich, odorless castings, or “frass,” which makes an excellent fertilizer. Traditional composting methods, by comparison, take many months. 

As part of the research for launching his black soldier fly facility, Danny visited China, where black soldier flies are commonly used for processing food and animal waste as well as feeding livestock. While he is currently producing the larvae for chicken feed rather than using them for large-scale food-scrap processing, Danny told attendees that his vision is to one day scale up significantly to a larger space and equipment that would allow him to process food waste for the community.

Danny came to the meeting equipped with some undeniably captivating visual aids — plastic bins filled with three developmental stages of black soldier fly larvae, another  bin filled with squirming larvae busily devouring some Brussels sprouts and tomato scraps, and a screened box buzzing with adult black soldier flies. Attendees were invited to get up close and personal with these items during and after the discussion, and a few participants proved themselves true food waste nerds by plunging their hands into the bins to get a literal feel for working with black soldier fly larvae.

Also present at the event were representatives from Asheville GreenWorks offering backyard compost bin demonstrations and giving away free kitchen compost pails and composting information.

Interested in attending Food Waste Solutions’ next quarterly event? Stay tuned! The group is currently planning a new meeting schedule for the coming year.

Fun Facts About Black Soldier Flies

Did you know:

  • The adult black soldier fly does not have mouthparts. They don’t feed and can’t bite, so they are not known to transmit diseases.
  • Black soldier fly larvae aren’t just for composting food scraps — they are scavengers and rapidly consume all types of organic matter, including algae, carrion, mold, and manure. 
  • The larvae digest biomass before it can decompose, which is very effective in eliminating odor, so they can be quite useful on farming operations for manure management. 
  • Black soldier fly larvae convert organic matter and waste into 42% protein and 35% fat and can be fed back to the animals or birds that generated the waste or used as feed for fish or livestock. 
  • Having a population of black soldier flies discourages houseflies, gnats, and other pest insects from feeding and breeding in the same area.

Article by: Gina Smith

UNC Asheville Ranks Among Top Universities for Waste Reduction by National Wildlife Federation

Originally posted at the News by UNC Asheville

UNC Asheville was ranked as the top university in the nation in the food organics category in the National Wildlife Federation’s 2021 Campus Race to Zero Waste Competition among medium-sized campuses.

The award was given based on UNC Asheville’s food donation and composting programs, which diverts uneaten food and food waste from the landfill. UNC Asheville was also the top ranked school in North Carolina for diverting waste from the landfill through reduction and recycling strategies, and for collecting the largest combined amount of paper, cardboard and bottles and cans on a per person basis. More than 200 college campuses in 43 states competed in Campus Race to Zero Waste, the nation’s premier waste reduction and recycling competition among colleges and universities.

During the eight-week competition, UNC Asheville collected 30,136 lbs. of compost. The University also works in partnership with Food Connection, a local organization that picks up leftover food from campus—an average of 170 lbs. a week during the school year—and distributes it to organization that feed underserved populations. Other programs by UNC Asheville Dining Services, operated by Chartwells, such as small plates, trayless dining, reusable to-go containers, repurposing food scraps into other dishes like stocks and smoothies, and awareness campaigns also contribute to the University’s food waste reduction and diversion.

“A big part of UNC Asheville’s success this year is due to the fact that we didn’t give up on sustainability during COVID,” said Jackie Hampstead, UNC Asheville’s environmental specialist. “Our team worked hard to find innovative waste reduction solutions to adapt to shifting health and safety guidelines.”

This award is one of many sustainability recognitions UNC Asheville has recently received, and it comes on the heels of UNC Asheville signing the Carbon Commitment. UNC Asheville’s newest residence halls, The Woods, are certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council. UNC Asheville was again a featured university in Princeton Review’s “Guide to Green Colleges.” The guide considers environmentally friendly practices such as the school’s use of renewable energy, its recycling and conservation programs, the availability of environmental studies in academic offerings, and career guidance for green jobs. The University also won the 2020 Carolina Recycling Association Annual Recycling Award, and was designated a Tree Campus USA for the second year in a row. Additionally, UNC Asheville has been certified as a Bee Campus USA, a designation that recognizes educational campuses that commit to a set of practices that support pollinators. UNC Asheville was the eighth school in the nation to receive the Bee Campus USA designation, and the first in North Carolina.

Other sustainability-focused programs at UNC Asheville include campus gardens, the Seed Library, stormwater management, the Student Environmental Center, Greenfest, the Farm to Table Dinner on the Quad, and an environmental, social and governance strategy for its endowment investments. UNC Asheville’s Dining Services became the first designated Fair Trade Campus in North Carolina, and has been awarded three starts by the Green Restaurant Association.

For more information on these and many other sustainability initiatives at UNC Asheville, read the University’s first Sustainability Annual Report and visit

For additional information on Food Connection, visit

Prepared by UNC Asheville.

Asheville Office of Sustainability shares results of recent food waste audit

Originally posted at the City of Asheville’s website by Polly McDaniel

Did you know that in the US nearly 40% of food is wasted, clogging our landfills and costing us over $408 billion annually?! The City of Asheville is working hard to think of solutions to reduce our waste and save our food.

The City of Asheville’s Office of Sustainability, in partnership with Sanitation and Buncombe County, recently audited waste at three Asheville Parks & Recreation facilities while they were hosting Asheville City Schools’ learning PODS. This data is being used to learn more about how much and what types of materials are thrown away at public facilities and collect important information to build the case for future changes.


One recreation center already requested additional recycling bins and will be supporting staff in improving recycling.  At another site, the City will be trialing a food scrap drop off to compost organic materials.

Almost half of the garbage in the facilities audited was organic material (food scraps and other plant-derived products that will break down naturally), nearly all of which was food waste. By preventing food waste in your home or business, rescuing surplus food for donation and composting food scraps instead of landfilling them, our community could reduce the amount of landfill garbage by half!!

Asheville food waste audut chart

This work is being conducted in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the southeastern cohort of NRDC’s Food Matters program, comprised of Asheville and four other cities tackling food waste (Atlanta, Memphis, Nashville, and Orlando). 

Here are some ideas for you to take action at your home or business.

  • Use this handy resource to conduct your own home food waste audit. It’s amazing what you discover when you take the time to track your food waste — you’ll find quick and easy ways to make little changes that have a big impact!

  • Date labels on food can be tricky! Best/use by dates are intended to predict peak quality, not food safety. Exception: dates on baby formula are regulated and should be followed. Your nose knows! Sight, taste and smell are the best indicators of food safety.
  • Plan your grocery trips. Have a good list and recipes in mind before you shop to avoid over-purchasing items that might go bad in your fridge
  • Freeze it! Freezing food is a great way to extend shelf life on items like bread, eggs, meats, fruits, veggies, and dairy products… even butter and nuts!
  • Compost food scraps. Food waste is the largest part of our landfills and creates methane, a powerful global warming pollutant. Composted food scraps create healthy soil!

Learn about composting in Asheville, workshops, events, materials giveaways, and more!  Visit Asheville Greenworks’ composting page HERE.

For more information and food waste reduction resources, check out Food Waste Solutions WNC at, on social media @wncfoodwaste and by following this hashtag #savethefoodAVL.


City of Asheville supporting governance

Resolution 14-27 Establishing a Waste Reduction Goal

Resolution 17-257 Asheville’s 2017 Food Policy Action Plan

Resolution 20-25 Declaration of a Climate Emergency

To learn more about sustainability initiatives, visit the City of Asheville’s website and sign up for the Office of Sustainability’s quarterly newsletter. 

City of Asheville Proclamation – April as “Food Waste Reduction Month”

The City of Asheville declared April as “Food Waste Reduction Month.” See the text below for the full proclamation and be sure to scroll to the bottom to see the one that was signed by our Mayor, Esther E. Manhaimer.

Whereas, North Carolina residents each annually generate significant amounts of food waste that could be reduced to improve environmental health and food access through strategic prevention, rescue, and recycling actions (247 pounds per person in NC[1] as compared to 219 pounds/person nationally[2]); and,

Whereas, there is an opportunity to redirect edible food to nourish our state’s residents with inadequate access to food from the 30-40% of the national food supply that is wasted[3], 55.9% of which was sent to landfills in 2018[4]; and,

Whereas, it is estimated that 57,500 tons of food waste are generated in Buncombe County each year; and,

Whereas, according to 2018 records, there were more than 31,000 food insecure individuals, including 8,120 children, in Buncombe County alone[5]; and,

Whereas, April is Earth Month and food waste reduction relates to conservation activities and helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions, with food waste itself comprising nearly a quarter of municipal solid waste landfilled[6]; and,

Whereas, North Carolina ranked tenth in the nation for food insecurity[7] (fifth for seniors[8] and twelfth for children[9]), particularly among minority and low-income populations, food recovery services can reduce food waste and improve food security for all ages throughout the state; and,

Whereas, we spend $218 billion or 1.3% of our national gross domestic product to grow, process, and dispose of food that is never eaten[10], reducing food waste can reduce economic loss; and  

Whereas, reducing food waste would help preserve our natural resources as food waste uses 21% of the country’s freshwater, 19% of our fertilizer, 18% of our cropland, and 24% of our landfill volume[11]; and 

Whereas, activities to reduce food waste can provide economic opportunities for entrepreneurs and farmers to sell otherwise unsellable products, and for the private composting industry to grow; and, 

Whereas, reducing food waste will impact greenhouse gas emissions, and support NC’s goal to reduce emissions by 40% by 2025, as directed by Executive Order No. 80: NC’s Commitment to Address Climate Change and Transition to a Clean Energy Economy[12]; and,

Whereas, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), Bountiful Cities, Food Connections, Katie Button Restaurants, Lenoir Rhyne University Asheville-Sustainability Studies, Manna Food Bank, Sage Nutrition Associates, The Cantina at Historic Biltmore Village, and UNC Asheville Sustainability Council are local businesses and organizations actively engaged in food waste reduction work and support Food Waste Reduction month; and,

Whereas, the City of Asheville has adopted Resolution 17-257, re-establishing the City of Asheville’s Food Action PlanResolution 20-25, declaring a Climate Emergency and Resolution 11-77, committing to an annual 4% Carbon Reduction Goal; and,

Whereas, designating April as “Food Waste Reduction Month” would address these resolutions and move us forward to engage in food waste prevention and recovery efforts, develop and share food waste prevention and recovery best practices, and ground us in the traditions of food saving and composting.

Now, therefore, I, Esther Manheimer, Mayor of the City of Asheville, do hereby proclaim April as “Food Waste Reduction Month.”


[1] Food Recovery. NC DEQ. , accessed on Dec. 16, 2019. 

[2] U.S. Food Waste Challenge FAQ’s. USDA Office of the Chief Economist., accessed on Jan. 16, 2020.

[3] Food Waste and Loss. Food and Drug Administration., accessed on Dec 16, 2019.

[4] Facts and Figures about Materials, Waste and Recycling. United States Environmental Protection Agency., accessed on Jan. 16, 2020.

[5] Food Insecurity in North Carolina., accessed Jan. 5, 2021

[6] Facts and Figures about Materials, Waste and Recycling. United States Environmental Protection Agency., accessed on Jan. 4, 2021.

[7] Hunger and Poverty in NC. Feeding America., accessed on Dec.16, 2019. 

[8] The State of Senior Hunger in America in 2017”, Feeding America., accessed on Dec. 16, 2019. 

[9] “Map the Meal Gap 2019”, Feeding America., accessed on Dec. 16, 2019. 

[10] About Food Waste. Move for Hunger., accessed on Dec. 16, 2019. 

[11] “What Environmental Problems Does Wasting Food Cause?” Forbes. Jul 18, 2018., accessed on Dec. 16, 2019

[12] Executive order n°80; Roy Cooper., accessed on Jan. 15, 2020.
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Food Matters to the City of Asheville: City joins regional group to address food waste reduction

Food waste happens.  It happens at work, at home, in public, in private, by individuals, and by whole communities. Creating solutions to food waste requires interventions, collaborations, and innovations at every level of home, work, and community life. The City of Asheville, while not a stranger to supporting food waste reduction efforts, has recently increased its work on food waste reduction. 

Through the Natural Resources Defense Council  Food Matters Project, ( the City of Asheville’s Office of Sustainability has begun  working alongside other innovative cities in the southeast to develop and implement  food waste initiatives. The “Food Matters Project” partners with cities to achieve meaningful reductions in food waste through comprehensive policies and programs. The City of Asheville joins Atlanta, Memphis, and Orlando in tackling food waste and attempting to minimize what goes into landfills and incinerators. The Food Matters initiative is expected to last through 2022 and plant the seeds for ongoing city and community projects. 

Key strategies that the City of Asheville is pursuing include:

  • Food Waste Reduction Month Proclamation for the month of April
  • Snapshot Food Waste Audit initiative pilot project at city recreation centers
  • Community compost drop-off site exploration and trial
  • Public education campaign in partnership with Food Waste Solutions-WNC and other local organizations (

According to Mayor Esther Manheimer, “The City of Asheville has taken a holistic approach to disrupting food waste in our community.   We will continue to advance our values of environmental and social justice in making our city more sustainable in this continued effort with the Food Matters Southeast Regional Initiative.”  

A core component of this work in the Office of Sustainability is collaborating with existing on-the-ground food waste reduction efforts.  By partnering with community leaders, we hope to elevate and support the expansion of the inspiring organizations, individuals, institutions, and networks that have already been moving this work forward. To learn more about the City’s Office of Sustainability and the Food Waste Reduction Initiative visit: the webpage HERE.

2021 Home Food Waste Challenge

April 2021 is Food Waste Reduction Month! We’ve organized a Home Food Waste Challenge so that you can get involved, learn ways to reduce food waste in your home, and so we can learn from each other as a community! We hope that this challenge raises awareness and enthusiasm around reducing food waste!

Did we mention that there are some fun prizes involved?

How to Enter

Pick one or ALL of the challenges below. Document them on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook with the following hashtags #AVLFoodWasteChallenge, #SavetheFoodAVL, #SavetheFoodWNC, #NRDCFoodMatters. Be sure to tag @wncfoodwaste so that we see them.

You will be entered to win each time you post! Posts on Instagram must be made to your feed and not to stories.
Conduct a Home Food Waste Audit
Track the food you compost and throw away by completing Page 2 of the worksheet for each week you’d like to participate.
Share your worksheet on social media.
Share Your Fave Food Waste Hacks
Show us your favorite home food waste hacks!
An amazing recipe using food ‘scraps’? A way to make food last longer? A special way of organizing your refrigerator? We want to learn from you.
Take a photo and share your favorite hacks with us!
 Spot the Truck

In April, two City of Asheville trash collection trucks will sport the Save the Food Logo. If you see one, snap a photo and share it with us!

Show Us Food Reduction in Action

See some amazing food waste reduction action out in the world?

A restaurant redistributing food? Neighbors feeding food scraps to their chickens?

We want to see it!


The Prizes

Seasonal Cooking & Food Storage Prize Package
From @ware.avl
  • Six Seasons, A New Way With Vegetables by Joshua McFadden
  • 4 reusable silicone Stasher bags in 3 sizes and 4 colorways
  • 2 large Vejibag Vegetable Crisper Bags 
  • A crocheted tear drop basket in Wild Rose (excellent for storing alliums, potatoes, etc)   –Or whatever description you prefer!–
  • A $50 gift certificate from the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project to participating area farmers markets


Fermentation Prize Package
  • 3 16oz jars of some of the tastiest products from Fermenti: (Ginger and Turmeric Pink Kraut, Apple Carrot Kraut, Kimchi)
  • One At-Home Fermentation Kit 

From @ware.avl

  • 3 Aplat couvre-plat organic cotton bowl covers in large, medium and small from @ware.avl

From @asapconnections 

  • A $50 gift certificate from the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project to participating area farmers markets


Composting Starter Kit Prize Package
  • 1 Full Circle Odor-Free composting collector (great for small spaces and apartments)
  • 1 box of Full Circle compostable bin liners
  • 1 package of Full Circle Scrap Sack compostable scrap collector bags (perfect for collecting scraps while traveling or camping)

From Valley View Worms

  • 1 gallon of worm castings (also known as vermicast, this is organic fertilizer made from worm waste–perfect for healthy, rich soil)


How many times can I enter this challenge?

You can enter as many times as you’d like! The more you enter, the greater your changes of winning a prize.

When can I enter?

You can enter anytime in April, but the sooner the better!

When will you announce prize winners?

We will randomly select three winners during the first week of May

Are the prizes really amazing?

YES! You can revisit them above! And shh… we may be adding some more prizes in April.

Do I have to live in Western North Carolina to enter?

NO! But some prizes will only be available for local pickup. But while the prizes are really cool, enthusiasm about food waste is even cooler 🙂

Do I have to use all of those tags?

No, but be sure to tag us at @wncfoodwaste and use #AVLFoodWasteChallenge so that we see your posts. But the more food waste related tags you use, the more we share food waste reduction enthusiasm with the world 🙂