Bowls Full of 'Chowda' with Zero Waste

Food System
Jan 27th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Sustainable America is headquartered in New England, which means we love our chowder. So when we had the chance to help make the 6th-annual Chowdafest a zero-waste event, we jumped at the opportunity.

The culinary competition is a popular fundraiser where attendees slurp and rate chowder samples from 28 award-winning chefs and restaurants. The event takes place on February 2 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and benefits the Connecticut Food Bank.

We’re sure the contestants’ chowders will be so good that little will go to waste. But since it’s inevitable that some will, we’ll be on hand to help coordinate a food waste recovery effort that will ensure all of the bowls, utensils and food that’s thrown away will get composted rather than end up in a landfill.

We’ve recruited more than 30 volunteers from Sacred Heart University who will help event attendees separate their compostable and recycled products into designated receptacles. The food waste and tableware will then be sent to a commercial composting facility where it will become rich soil, similar to what we did for the Alive @ 5 summer concert series, another popular Connecticut event.

“We’re thrilled to see marquee events like Chowdafest do much more than just talk the talk” said Jeremy Kranowitz, executive director Sustainable America. “They are walking the walk. Our partnership allows us to educate the public further on the importance of reducing food waste, composting and using locally grown foods.”


World Centric, a Petaluma, California-based manufacturer of compostable products, is providing plant-based spoons and cups that can all be composted. “The soufflé cups that World Centric is providing are 100% made from plant fibers and can withstand heat up to 200 degrees but they’re cool to the touch making them perfect for sampling all our chowder, soup & bisque,” said Jim Keenan, director of Chowdafest.

If you’re in the Bridgeport area, stop by Chowdafest on Feb. 2, from 11am to 3pm at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard. We promise, your time — or food — won’t be wasted.

Tagged: food waste, compost, composting, Jeremy Kranowitz, food system, Sustainable America, food, Chowdafest, Food & Farms

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