Banana peel bacon? Use Food Well will change how you think about food waste

Imagine making a new meal from the food scraps left on your cutting board. Yes, you can even use those banana peels! 

Chef Joel Gamoran is the culinary ambassador for Ecology’s Use Food Well campaign, which launches today. We are celebrating the launch with a tasty demo event at the Homemade Studio in downtown Seattle where Joel will be creating a deceptively tasty, meat-free BLT sandwich with an unusual ingredient...banana peels!

“If we are able to take something like banana peels and turn them into something recognizable like 'bacon,' then we can start a conversation about where else home cooks can find value in their food scraps,” said Joel.

From his kitchen studio in Seattle, Joel creates some amazing recipes based on the most commonly wasted ingredients, inspiring Washingtonians to get started on their own food saving journey.

“We hope to fundamentally reshape the attitudes and behaviors of consumers and businesses toward food waste,” said Jade Monroe, Washington State Food Center Lead. “This initiative is crucial, not only for environmental sustainability, but also for enhancing economic well-being.”  

Washington is stepping up as a national leader in reducing food waste. Food is one of the largest parts of the state’s solid waste stream. Washington generated one million tons of food waste in 2021, including half a million tons of edible food sent to landfills. That's enough to make 105 meals for every person in Washington!

Today, at the start of Food Waste Prevention Week, we remind ourselves of our ambitious goal: to cut food waste in half by 2030. 

We found the best place to reach people with food waste prevention messages are where they engage with food, which is why we partnered with grocery stores statewide to bring the message directly to consumers.

Sign in grocery store says

The “Use Food Well” campaign and logo will be visible throughout Safeway and Albertsons stores across Washington State for the next several months.

Starting today, look for signs in your local Safeway and Albertsons that encourage you to:

  • Meal plan: Plan food-saving meals before you shop.
  • Shop smart: Buy only what you need.
  • Store food properly: Learn how and where to store the foods you buy, so they last longer and stay fresh. 

Explore to learn how the Use Food Well campaign supports the Washington Center for Sustainable Food Management and initiatives to promote a circular economy for food. This creates a more resilient and sustainable food system for everyone by using resources and food efficiently. Get involved and subscribe to our email list to get Chef Joel's recipe for banana peel bacon!

Six smiling adults in grocery store around sign that says

Members of the campaign team pose around Use Food Well signage at the Bothell Safeway. Our campaign launch would not be possible without our dedicated Ecology staff, innovative partnerships, and the hard work of the PRR consulting team. Thank you everyone who help make the Use Food Well campaign a success – launch and beyond!