Things recently got ugly at Cambia Health Solutions in Portland, OR…with an IDP photo booth and homely produce taste-test in honor of Earth Day!
I joined forces with Executive Chef and General Manager Ethan Davidsohn and Lauren Bodine from Charlie’s Produce in Portland. Ethan made a delicious agua fresca from IDP cucumbers, mint, lime, and a pinch of sugar. Though some guests hesitated to try the green drink, they proceeded to fall in love with it after tasting it. He and his team also wowed with a chicken and Soy Curl tinga. (The dish incorporated a stock simmered from scraps, as well as cilantro rice flavored with cilantro stems, furthering the nothing-goes-to-waste theme.)
Meanwhile, Lauren served up taste tests of both “perfect” and IDP Honeycrisp apples, English cucumbers, and shiitake mushrooms. Guests could not tell the difference between the two — proving the point of the exercise — and were shocked to learn how much food goes to waste in the United States due to minor cosmetic imperfections. They were thrilled to learn about the IDP program, and all agreed that ugly produce tastes just as good as its prettier counterparts.
More than 30 people snapped selfies with produce in the IDP photo booth and many more stopped by the table to learn and enjoy a taste test. Cambia plans on displaying the photos to promote the company’s commitment to sustainability, ensuring that the learning will extend beyond Earth Day — and the confines of the café.