What Happens To The Leftover Meals & Ingredients On MasterChef Australia?

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 confirmed to Refinery29 Australia last year 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 last year, 53,000 kilos of food was donated to SecondBite, equating to more than 106,000 meals to people in need.
Image courtesy of Channel 10
MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites contestant Julie Goodwin
There was also 4.5 tonnes of produce rescued from landfill and donated to FareShare across the season.
In 2021, 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".
"What happens is that it gets ground down and cooked into compost, and that goes back into the gardens at Masterchef because that’s a huge part of the show, the fact that we grow fruits and vegetables and herbs that the contestants can use," she told The Design Files.
"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 2022 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."
Image courtesy of Channel 10
MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites judges Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo
This year's season of MasterChef is different to last year's season MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites, which featured 12 returning contestants from previous seasons and 12 amateur home cooks.
The contestants are Adi NevgiAlice Han, Amy Tanner, Andrea Puglisi, Antonio Cruz Vaamonde, Brent DraperCath Collins, Declan Cleary, Grace Jupp, Jessica Perri, Larissa SewellMalissa Fedele, Phil Conway, Ralph Kahango, Rhiannon AndersonRobbie CooperRue Mupedzi and Theo Loizou.
In addition to MasterChef judges Melissa Leong, Andy Allen and Jock Zonfrillo (who recently passed away), this year there's a star-studded lineup of guest judges including Jamie Oliver, Curtis Stone, Maggie Beer, Rick Stein and Peter Gilmore.
MasterChef Australia airs Sunday to Wednesday at 7:30pm on Channel 10 and 10 Play.Want more?
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