07/16/2015 04:18 EDT | Updated 07/16/2015 04:59 EDT

Salvaged, Edmonton Pop-Up Restaurant, Uses Ugly And Old Food To Make Culinary Magic

When it comes to produce we often reach for the roundest red tomato or the least blemished bunch of bananas, but an Edmonton group wants to change how we look at less-than-perfect food.

The Alder Food Security Society rejects the idea that tasty food can only be made using aesthetically pleasing produce, and, instead, has been creating menus featuring ugly and older fruits and vegetables for their pop-up vegetarian restaurant, Salvaged.

"You can really make delicious food out of things that are a little less pretty in the fridge," Carly Stanton, the society's founder, told CBC's Edmonton AM.

Stanton told CTV News her group is collecting tossed aside food from local growers and grocery stores, to be used at their next event on July 24 at Earth's General Store in downtown Edmonton.

"It's meant to teach people about the sort of delicious meals they can make with floppy vegetables and bruised apples," said Stanton. "It's also meant to raise awareness about the amount of food waste that is in our city."

Each year Canadians throw out approximately $31 billion in wasted food, according to a 2014 report by Value Chain Management International.

As well, over 30 per cent of fruits and vegetables in Canada don't even make it to display because they aren't attractive enough for consumers.

"Part of it is just educating home cooks about the fact that just because their carrots are a little more wilty or a tomato has a bruise on it, those ingredients can still be utilized and can be turned into incredibly delicious dishes," Mike Hudema, board member of the Alder Society, told Vue Weekly.

“Through the event we’re also hoping to start a conversation with the bigger supermarket players that just throw out a lot of food rather than giving it to people that really need it.”

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