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'Farm-to-Court' Focus Includes Measures To Curb Food Waste At New Arena

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A plate of porchetta, one of the many culinary offerings at the new Golden 1 center.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

At a preview tasting in the arena's gleaming new kitchen, Executive Chef Michael Tuohy offered reporters tender, Italian-style porchetta, street-style tacos and hot dogs sourced from a Bay Area meat purveyor. 

Tuohy touted the Farm-to-Court motto for the Golden 1 Center, explaining that 90 percent of the food and beverages would come from growers, ranchers and other food producers within 150 miles of Sacramento.

But the head chef was also quick to point out that local sourcing is only the front end of the venue's sustainability plan.

The Golden 1 Center kitchen is also teaming up with a local group called California Safe Soil to recycle the arena's produce and meat scraps.

Here's how it will work.

The kitchen crew will cool the food scraps. Those materials will be picked up by California Safe Soil and taken to their facility where the matter will be mixed with an organic enzyme. At that point it goes into a bio-digester.

"It gets broken down into a sludge and then it gets extracted and triple filtered," explains Tuohy. "Then the solids go to hog farms. The rest of the sludge gets pasteurized at 180 degrees and then it gets racked and stored until it's transported to farms and used as an organic input back into the soil."

As for surplus food that's safe to eat - that will be repurposed too. Each day surplus food from the venue will be cooled, packaged and stored overnight so it can be picked up by Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services the next morning so it can be delivered to local food pantries.

Arena Food Tacos
Street-style tacos made by Golden 1 Center kitchen staff.  Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
Chocolate chip cookies from a preview tasting at the Golden 1 Center kitchen. Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio