Everything is made with the “ugly” food from local grocery stores.
By Claire Nunez
According to the USDA, approximately 31% of all food produced in the U.S. is wasted each year. That is around 133 billion pounds. This fact blew my mind– especially because I learned this fact after eating at InStock, an Amsterdam restaurant that specializes in reducing food waste. The menu not only featured sustainably sources items, but also completely delicious and beautiful ones.
The staff at InStock developed contacts with grocery stores all over Amsterdam. They ride their bikes (so Dutch) to these stores daily and pick up the incomplete cartons of eggs, slightly bruised fruits, and ugly vegetables. The menu is completely sourced from these grocery store finds. It is incredible. The restaurant has saved 293,701 kilograms of food since it opened about three years ago. Sustainability goals really come to life at this funky place.
Now for the fun part, the food.
InStock’s menu is pretty diverse. I went for lunch so there were fewer items available, but there is something for everyone here whether you’re an American or a Dutchie. I ordered the juice of the day, apple & mandarin. It was super refreshing and light. I loved every sip. It reminded me of the sweet beginnings of summer. The cup was pretty small, but that may just be because I am 1) an American used to huge portions and 2) I am an idiot and ordered a small.
As for my entree, I ordered the dish called “The Best Ever French Toast” and let me tell you, it was pretty damn good. I was the last to get my plate– everyone else ordered the chef’s tasting platter, but it was worth the wait. The french toast was made with a croissant which made it super buttery and soft. There was a banana caramelized that perfectly complimented the flaky croissant. Some kind of apple compote was also on the plate. It didn’t go super well, but it was pretty good on its own.
Everyone who had the chef’s tasting platter were super impressed too. This dish came with the daily soup, a salad, a bit of french toast, yogurt with granola, some of the Mediterranean omelette, two random pieces of bread, and mackerel salad. All of my friends were going gaga over their platters. Rave reviews were given for the soup, french toast, and the bread. The mackerel was well-liked, but after all, it is mackerel. The yogurt was good too– it is just a different consistency than what we are used to in the States. The platter as a whole was well-loved and my friends all want to return after eating it.
I loved my dish and it was pretty cheap too. Some cities in Europe are very expensive, but all of our dishes were ten Euros or less. I was impressed and I am definitely coming back to try InStock’s four course dinner option for€28,50.
InStock is a super cool, hip, and cheap place to go if you are ever in Amsterdam. I love the mission it has and their execution of it. It is super important that we actually put sustainability goals in action, and I hope that more restaurants around the world take action like InStock does.