A week-long series of events is about to be unleashed upon us and it’s all fun and games that goes for a good cause. That, and it revolves around food. FERN, Food Establishments Recycling Nutrients, is a Lebanese NGO working to reduce food waste, improve composting, and recycling efforts.
The kickoff, taking place on June 1st, is in collaboration with UN agencies (UNESCWA and UNHCR) and local organizations. The other events that follow throughout the week are strictly FERN & corresponding collaborators (as listed on the schedule below). Anyway, the kickoff will be bright and early (9am) at Souk El Tayeb in the Downtown square parallel to the fancy shmancy my-wallet-hates-you Librairie Antoine. The theme for this year is “Think.Eat.Save”, revolving around food waste.
Looks Aren’t Everything: From Farm to Table with FERN at Souk el Tayeb
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
With UNHCR, UNESCWA, the Lebanese Food Bank, Cedar Environmental, and other organizations What’s going to happen? Talks about food waste, methods to reduce food waste at home, insight into global food production.
BONUS: The inside scoop as to why average supermarkets seem to have perfect symmetrical I’m-not-real-but-you-can-touch-me food and how even food suffers from beauty discrimination.
Happy Hour at The Alleyway
4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Actually, 4 happy hours to help out the people of FERN. This is a fundraiser but also a chance to raise awareness about the problems faced when it comes to waste sorting, what FERN does to counteract them, and what small actions YOU could do to help out too. Besides learning something new and supporting a great initiative, it’s also an opportunity to mingle. Did I mention it’s $10 for OPEN 961 Beer?For those of you who frequent any of the establishments in The Alleyway or know of Ziad Kamel, I’m sure you’re aware that these people know how to throw a fun bash and are always looking for a way to improve the lives of the Lebanese.
Fundraiser at Lamba Labs, Mar Mikhael
7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
DIY food waste treatment ideas, easy peasy explanations on how to treat food waste, and a documentary screening – with snacks and beer, of course! Quite the deal for 10,000L.L. on a Tuesday night. Come on, you know you were just going to stay at home and watch Friends reruns anyway. Stretch your brain muscles and help society. And the Lamba Labs crew are the coolest geeks you’ll find.
“I like to think of Lamba Labs as a group of young, passionate, mad scientists. They’re artists, software developers, and engineers, and they like to use their imaginations and their tinkering skills to solve problems. As we speak, they’re building their very own anaerobic digester, meant to turn food waste into methane gas. When captured properly, methane gas can be used for cooking, heating, and electricity,” said Meredith Danberg-Ficarelli, co-founder of FERN.
For those of you who don’t know how to get to Lamba Labs, let me explain because it’s sort of a doozy the first time around: Go down Mar Mikhael road, if driving away from Gemmayzeh Gouraud St., LL will be on your righthand side. It’s the pink building directly after 3anab restaurant next to BLC bank – you have to buzz on the intercom to get in. It’s the second floor labeled “Karaj Beirut.”
Environmental Quiz Night at AltCity, Hamra
7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
20,000L.L. for open 961 Beer and a competitive environment-friendly trivia night all at AltCity, Hamra. You’ll learn some stuff, you’ll lose some stuff, you’ll make some new friends – and it can all end in the alleyway over some drinks when you’re done. Or you can go home since you have work the next morning because you’re an adult or something.
AltCity is on the main Hamra Street, just after the FransaBank. If you’ve gone past Kababji and Dunkin, you’ve gone too far. It’s on the second floor (floor M in the elevator) of the Montreal Building, which has a big colorful neon sign on it that says “Carre.” It’s the vintage shady looking building right before Kababji, on your left side if you’re going with the direction of traffic. There’s usually a “ZUMBA!” banner right outside the entrance. June 6
$25 for open dinner buffet, open 961 Beer, and open wine at Tawlet, Mar Mikhael
7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
This is FERN’s monthly fundraiser but RSVPs are required, because seating is limited. Reserve via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Every month, there’s a different guest chef and a rotating menu. “Always Lebanese food, always homemade, and always delicious.” Well duh, it’s Lebanese – that would’ve said enough. The ingredients and structure of the menu were chosen with waste reduction in mind by this month’s guest chef: FERN’s co-founder and amateur culinary mastermind, Naji Boustany.
I have yet to go to Tawlet so I have no secret directions but, according to the website, it’s on the ground floor of the corner building facing the Spoiler Center in the dead-end street at the corner of Maher Flower shop. I have a crazy work schedule and I still think some of these events are convenient – and they’re in great locations. And it’s all about cherishing food. Who doesn’t love an excuse to do that? Do you really need more convincing?