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Closed Loop Food Fest In Back Of The Yards To Teach How Waste Can Be Reused

By Joe Ward | July 26, 2017 5:21am | Updated on July 28, 2017 11:26am
 The Plant will host its Closed Loop Food Fest in Back of the Yards Saturday.
The Plant will host its Closed Loop Food Fest in Back of the Yards Saturday.
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Provided/Plant Chicago

BACK OF THE YARDS — One of Chicago's most unique food production plants will host a food fest that will highlight local and sustainably made products Saturday in Back of the Yards.

The Plant, a Back of the Yards food production facility that seeks to create as little waste as possible, will host its Closed Loop Food Fest Saturday in the yard behind its facility, 1400 W. 46th St.

The fest will highlight food made in the plant, including Pleasant House's baked goods and Whiner Beer Company's unique brews. It will also host food trucks that use sustainable methods, and will have demonstrations from chefs and others on how to more efficiently consume food.

"It's to draw more attention to what happens to our food, and to also have a good time," said Jonathan Pereira, executive director of The Plant. "We want to get as many as possible to buy locally grown, sustainable produce."

The "closed loop" food fest refers to The Plant's efforts to close loopholes in our food production and consumption habits by creating as little non-reusable waste as possible. The Plant is unique in that it seeks to create a "circular economy," meaning each tenant in the facility must think how its output and waste and can be used for the benefit of someone else in the building.

At the fest, attendees can see how The Plant operates and learn about more sustainable food consumption, including workshops on bee harvesting, worm composting and other ways to reuse household products, Pereira said. An outdoor farmers market, which the Plant hosts most Saturdays throughout the summer, will also be held as part of the festival.

The event will also feature a day's worth of musical acts and kids activities, including live mural painting and a cartoonist.

There will be a $10 requested donation, or $5 for Back of the Yards residents. The Closed Loop Food Fest will begin at 10 a.m. and goes until 6 p.m. For more information, email info@plantchicago.org.