From the trash can to the dinner table - maybe it's not garbage

NEW YORK (WABC) -- It was a food tasting, really, the sort of thing you'd expect at a swank TriBeCa nightspot, but this was held in front of a salt pile and hosted by the city Sanitation Department.

All the food is made from ingredients that would have gone in the garbage.

"So many times our food waste just goes in the garbage, goes in the landfill, how can we use it in our own homes, how can we make sure it goes into the compost, they're looking at new, cool ways of doing it, we're pumped, this event is awesome," said Joel Gamoran, a chef.

Gamoran is a chef and the re-purposed food guru, he's got a whole TV show where he teaches people how to do it.

"There's one entire episode where we go get shrimp shells. What can you do with shrimp shells? You can turn it into an amazing butter, shrimp shell butter, put it into pasta, so it is unlocking this for the home cooks, and really getting them to think of their trash a little bit differently," Gamoran said.

"We have a vendor who's taking a flour byproduct that was going to be thrown away and created pasta out of it and is serving a pesto dish," said Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, SDNY.

Veggie burgers are made with egg whites and whatever vegetables Abby had left over in the kitchen.

"We use a lot of mushrooms, we use a lot of carrots, you know, just everyday vegetables that you have, carrots, onions, celery. It might be a little different because right now we are getting different produce in because summer's coming," Abby said.

The city produces 1.6 million tons of organic waste every year, just about half of which comes from restaurants.

"It's very much routine to just throw things out as the cost of doing business, and so we like to talk to people about sustainable waste practices and the importance of diverting organic material," said Elizabeth Balkan, DSNY.

"It saves you money, it saves the planet, and honestly, it improves your cooking in so many different ways, so there's a lot of upside," Gamoran said.

Watch Eyewitness News Anchor Bill Ritter give the recycled food a try:
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