15th Annual Garlic Fest is Raising Awareness for Waste to Taste this Year (Video)

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New to this year, is an awareness component regarding food waste in the American production and distribution system.

"I watched a Food Network show with Bobby Flay and some other chefs in which they had to cook a four-course meal for 100 people all with foods destined for the garbage," says festival organizer Nancy Stewart-Franczak. "I wanted to do something with that. We decided to create an ongoing awareness campaign with the festival. Our focus is to educate the consumer like, 'Hey, you can get a tomato and because it's split a bit, it doesn't mean it's bad; it just had too much water."

According to the Food Network stats, around 200 pounds of food per person (72 Billion pounds total) ends up in the trash annually; 27 Million tons of which is disposed of from grocery stores. Additionally, five billion eggs are wasted per year.

Green Cay Farms, Perro Family Farms, Jimmy P's Butcher Shop in Naples, and the new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market on Federal Highway are donating food that is not marketable to consumers for the chef cook-off.

As per usual, a surprise twist will be involved in the culinary competition.

Already sold out is the Garlic Infused Local Sustainable Cuisine VIP Dining Experience, which brings together Garlic Fest winning chefs last year's Feingold along with first, second, and third year winner Alan Lake, who is coming down from Chicago for a multi-course dinner the first night of the festival. Michael Gelato, corporate chef for Christopher's Ranch, is also participating.

In addition to raising awareness for food issues, the festival is raising funds for local charities; this year it will surpass $500,000 in charitable contributions to the 16 organizations and the 500 community volunteers they represent.

Tickets are $10 per person before 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; $20 from then until close. It is $10 all day long on Sunday. Kids under ten are free.

For tickets visit dbgarlicfest.com, or call 561-279-0907.

Old School Square at the Delray Beach Center for the Performing Arts is located at 51 N. Swinton Ave. in Delray Beach. Call 561-243-7922, or visit oldschool.org.

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.

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