What Happens To The Food On America's Test Kitchen?

person holding plant in compost
person holding plant in compost - Jerome Romme/Shutterstock

Cooking shows use a lot of food. Between instructional series like Rachael Ray's or competitions such as "The Great British Bake Off," there's a lot of potential food waste happening on film sets. "America's Test Kitchen," one of the most trusted names in American cookery, is no different. Between revealing the secret to better french fries and product testing, those 50 test cooks and reviewers generate a lot of food that needs a home.

Just like with the recipes and product testing, the folks at America's Test Kitchen are thorough and have a multi-faceted plan in place to waste as little food as possible. Luckily, most of the discards are composted -- anything that fits the criteria is sent to a food-waste collection service and turned into renewable energy, fertilizer, or animal bedding. The containers for tastings and mise en place are also compostable, along with other items like napkins and paper towels -- more than just the food gets taken care of sustainably. Not only that but used cooking oil is reused and turned into biofuels like biodiesel instead of going down the drain.

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stocked and organized pantry
stocked and organized pantry - Hispanolistic/Getty Images

Reducing food waste also has its perks if you're an America's Test Kitchen employee, as you get to eat the results of the numerous recipe tests. Anything that can still be consumed and enjoyed is up for grabs. In fact, there's even a well-stocked employee refrigerator that anyone on staff can access. Leftover food from tests and other ingredients that don't find their way into a recipe are available to whoever wants them.

Meanwhile, any ingredients that aren't used are carefully monitored through a recirculation program. That way a recipe tester can shop for what they need before placing a grocery order -- and bypass potentially adding to the problem of food waste. The highly organized pantry is maintained by a team that rotates ingredients according to expiration dates to maximize freshness and minimize waste.

So much food gets wasted in America every year, and although the country has a huge capacity to grow food, between 30 and 40% of it never makes it to the table (per U.S. Food & Drug Administration). The amount of food tossed every year is enough to feed the hundreds of millions of people who go hungry worldwide, according to the "Yale Environment" documentary about food waste. It's important to see that America's Test Kitchen and all of our favorite cooking shows are taking care of leftover food and combating food waste.

Read the original article on Mashed.