With several cooking challenges a week over the span of a few months, it's safe to say a lot of food is whipped up in the MasterChef Australia kitchen. However, with not all of it actually being consumed, you can't help but wonder where all the leftover ingredients and uneaten food end up.
Channel 10 has confirmed to Refinery29 Australia that the produce doesn't go to waste, with several charities receiving what's left in the pantry and on the cooking benches.
For nine consecutive seasons, the show has partnered with food rescue organisation Secondbite, which distributes the food to charities reaching people who need it most across Australia. From Season 14 this year, 53,000 kilos of food was donated to SecondBite, equating to more than 106,000 meals to people in need.
There was also 4.5 tonnes of produce rescued from landfill and donated to FareShare across the season.
Last year, the cooking show also donated edible food to other food relief charities and social enterprises, including FareShare, Food Bank, STREAT, Salvation Army and St. Mary's House of Welcome. After Episode 51 in Uluru in Northern Territory, food was donated to Yulara, a local Indigenous community. Meanwhile, after filming episode 52, the remaining food was given to Food Bank, which set up a pop-up distribution centre in the Alice Springs Desert Knowledge Precinct.
Back in 2020, judge Melissa Leong had revealed that a sustainability officer worked full-time on the show and that any food that wasn't donated to charity was put through a "closed-loop organic system".
"Everything has a place and even just things like packaging, the choices that are made are highly considered and very much mindful about minimising waste."
The Gold Logie nominee said she had also requested in her rider for "no single-use plastic". (FYI a 'rider' is a list of requests that celebrities can ask for).
"I don’t care what’s for lunch, as long as there is no single-use plastic. We are all very committed to making sure you do the responsible thing. It’s about setting an example."
This year's season of the popular reality show is called MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites and features 12 'favourites' from previous seasons and 12 'fans' who are amateur home cooks.
In terms of the cast, the favourites include Julie Goodwin (Season 1), Billie McKay (Season 7), Sashi Cheliah (Season 10), Alvin Quah (Season 2), Michael Weldon (Season 3) Mindy Woods (Season 4), Christina Batista (Season 5), Sarah Todd (Season 6), John Carasig (Season 7), Aldo Ortado (Season 10), Minoli De Silva (Season 13) and Tommy Pham (Season 13).