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Miramar remains a leader in sustainability and believes in its power to unite a community. The Disco Soup events allow Miramar to educate, train and entertain our community right in our community garden. I am pleased to know for generations to come that Disco Soup will leave a legacy in our city.
Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam

The Miramar Disco Soup is a tasty initiative where participants “chop to the beat” to promote awareness about reducing food waste. It is a celebration where strangers came together to slice, dice and boogie, transforming “ugly” or blemished veggies into a deliciously prepared meal. The initiative empowers participants to save money, energy and our planet while having a lot of fun.

The Disco Soup initiative promotes agricultural practices on how to establish a local food system while encouraging urban agriculture and reducing greenhouse gas emissions related to the transport of farm produce (AG-6). It also supports local sustainable agriculture and economy by connecting farmers with local users such as chefs, schools and consumers (PO-11).

The need for the Disco Soup came from the emendable fact that food waste accounts for 21% of total waste in the United States and is the largest percentage of waste going into municipal landfills. As data indicates that the average American throws away $28-$43 in the form of approximately 20 pounds of food each month.

Held at the Miramar Intergenerational Fruit & Vegetable Garden, the 2016 Disco Soup drew students, seniors, veterans and families who celebrated the delicious flavors of locally-grown food. What better way to cultivate community than by hosting educational events which foster the principle of being “in contribution” and promote healthy living. Just like participatory art installations, Disco Soup audiences become part of a collaborative culinary performance. There was an all-around good vibe at the Disco Soup, where community engagement was palpable!

Implementation Process

The Disco Soup initiative promotes agricultural practices on how to establish a local food system while encouraging urban agriculture and reducing greenhouse gas emissions related to the transport of farm produce (AG-6). It also supports local sustainable agriculture and economy by connecting farmers with local users such as chefs, schools and consumers (PO-11).

Implementation Timeline

The initiative was fairly quick to coordinate; in our case it only took a few months to plan because we have an established network of stakeholders and a venue, our very own Miramar Intergenerational Fruit & Vegetable Garden at Fairway Park, which works well with this type of program. With the assistance of City staff, the Garden’s volunteers and other local businesses getting the Disco Soup organized did take a bit of work, but the outcome was well worth it!

Implementation Funding

The Disco Soup was held at the Miramar Intergenerational Fruit & Vegetable Community Garden, as part of the programming funded by the GRO1000 Gardens and Green Spaces Grant Award by the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. The Garden is funded exclusively by donations.

The Disco Soup itself is a low cost, easy to replicate and very adaptable initiative. We began with a budget of only $500 and expenditures went to our Chef (who choreographed and assisted in the food preparation/tastings for 100 participants), a live DJ (because what’s a Disco Soup without some tunes?) and other miscellaneous supplies. In-kind donations included burritos from Chipolte, “Made in Miramar” products from the Community Garden which included kale lemonade, lemon grass tea, Sorrel tea, moringa tea, herb sachets, etc. In addition to all of that, a local artist offered vegetable caricatures to anyone in exchange for a donation to the Garden. Proceeds from the sale of some of the Garden’s bounty (i.e. vegetables, herbs, etc.) tallied a grand total of $164—thereby making the total cost of putting on the Disco Soup only $336!

Community Benefits

With a slogan of “What do Lexicons, Carrots and Travolta have in common?” At the Miramar Disco Soup, participants danced-to-the-beat provided by a live DJ while chopping and preparing delicious recipes directed by Chef Trina Spillman from The Need to Feed Foundation. Participants were treated to a multi-cultural culinary experience offering delicious beverages such as sorrel drink, ginger beer, lemongrass tea, kale lemonade and moringa tea. A Lexicon of Sustainability Pop-Up Exhibit showcased key components of a vibrant local food system. Local farmers offered freshly-harvested vegetables and Master Gardeners hosted tours of the Garden.

Policy Language

With a slogan of “What do Lexicons, Carrots and Travolta have in common?” At the Miramar Disco Soup, participants danced-to-the-beat provided by a live DJ while chopping and preparing delicious recipes directed by Chef Trina Spillman from The Need to Feed Foundation. Participants were treated to a multi-cultural culinary experience offering delicious beverages such as sorrel drink, ginger beer, lemongrass tea, kale lemonade and moringa tea. A Lexicon of Sustainability Pop-Up Exhibit showcased key components of a vibrant local food system. Local farmers offered freshly-harvested vegetables and Master Gardeners hosted tours of the Garden.

The Facts

Quick Facts & Statistics

  • The need for the Disco Soup came from the emendable fact that food waste accounts for 21% of total waste in the United States and is the largest percentage of waste going into municipal landfills.
  • As data indicates that the average American throws away $28-$43 in the form of approximately 20 pounds of food each month.
  • The growing presence of fast-food restaurants in the area has created an overabundance of unhealthy food outlets. A report published by Scripps Research Institute Florida campus, confirms the "addictive" properties of junk food. Additionally, according to a survey about school-aged youth by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) titled “Broward County, Florida Youth Risk Behavior”: 52% of school children don’t participate in sports, 31% watch television 3 or more hours per day and 8% are considered obese. Is our youth caught in a “perfect storm” of degenerative health? Disco Soups at community gardens can come to the rescue by providing access to nutritious food and engage our children in outdoor physical activity, which are two essential ingredients for good health.