Slow Food UW interns came together last week to collect and repurpose cherries from Fresh Market in Madison. Most of the produce at Fresh has to be turned over because of the sell-by date. Campus Food Shed’s partnership with Slow Food UW allowed the organization to pass on the cherries to be repurposed. Through this collaboration, produce is recovered and distributed to the community three times a week. Any of the produce that is recovered and that may not last until the next distribution time is handed to a team of Slow Food interns and volunteers to chop up and store. This produce will then be used in cooking meals and prepared goods for the community to access, limiting food waste and insecurity.
The interns gathered in the kitchen of The Crossing to de-pit the cherries and add sugar and fresh lemon juice. They then let the jam simmer for two hours, transferring it to the fridge afterward. Had Slow Food not collected these cherries, they would have been disposed of completely and the food would have been wasted. Slow Food values local produce, and if we are only thinking of disposing of it after the sell-by date has passed, we are ignoring relief from a need for food that we can provide. As simple as that, food that would have otherwise been spoiled in a few days has been preserved to last months.