Reduce Food Waste by Ordering More Drinks at the Bar

Think about it for a second. What happens to all those lime rinds that go into your margaritas? And that muddled mint, where does that end up?

Although we don't like to think about it, so many of the ingredients that are used to make those irresistible beverages go to waste. And with food waste being one of the biggest issues facing food world today, wouldn't it be comforting to know that leftover ingredients are getting a second life somewhere else in the kitchen?

How Much Food Do We Waste?

Every year 133 billion pounds of food end up in the garbage. The surprising part of this statistic is that 40 percent of this comes strictly from restaurants. So that means, not eating your full portion is only a small percentage of the food being wasted in commercial kitchens. 

Thankfully, people are beginning to take notice. In particular, Trash Tiki, a London-based online platform and pop-up, is at the forefront of the movement to reduce waste behind the bar. Iain Griffiths and Kelsey Ramage, the two bartenders in charge of this startup, estimate that bars often produce between six and eight bags of organic trash each night. 

Trash Tiki

So, in order to reverse this waste trend, they began encouraging drink slingers' creativity with zero-waste cocktails. In short order, their local mission has turned into a multi-national movement.

All over the world Griffiths and Ramage are evangelizing the use of past-their-prime ingredients. They are showing bartenders everywhere how to reuse previously squeezed limes, coffee grounds, or stale almond croissants to create homemade stocks that can be used in cocktails later that week.

And they're not alone. Trash Tiki is among many beverage companies who are beginning to fight actively against food waste.

Who Else is Getting on Board with Zero-Waste?

For instance, Toast Ale, Hackney Brewery, and Smog City Brewery have all jumped onto the bandwagon. UK-based Toast Ale is an award-winning craft beer that is brewed from a portion of the 24 million slices of surplus bread that is tossed away each year in the UK.

Hackney Brewery too puts its money where its mouth is and plugs all its profits back into the owner's food waste-fighting non-profit group Feedback.

The United States as a whole is a big part of this movement. On the West Coast, Smog City Brewery makes a fruity kumquat saison from surplus kumquats found in the area. They recycle  800 pounds of surplus kumquats to brew the more than 600 gallons of beer annually. And their recycled beer is good. In fact, their beer earned the silver medal at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival.

So look closely dear reader. You're about to start seeing more bartenders and beverage companies supporting zero-waste by making deliciously inventive beverages that you can feel good about drinking.

Watch: 11 Award-Winning Texas Breweries

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