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This Is What Happens To All The Leftover Food On 'Masterchef'

The 'MasterChef' pantry is a cave of wonders, bursting with fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood. But have you ever wondered what happens to the perishable items that aren't picked as the hero of someone's dish?

You'll be pleased to know that nothing in the 'MasterChef' kitchen goes to waste, with the excess food heading straight to some very worthy causes.

The program has an arrangement with Second Bite -- an organisation that works towards curbing two growing problems in Australia -- food waste and food insecurity.

Jim Mullan -- the CEO of Second Bite -- -- told 10 daily that items from the cooking competition's larder always end up heading to a good home.

"The 'MasterChef' pantry is replenished on an almost daily basis while the program is shooting and we collect daily from the MasterChef studios," he said. 

Photo: Network 10.

"Everything you see in the pantry that’s applied through the program, everything that we can possibly salvage, we collect and divert it to people in need, generally in the Melbourne area," Mullan said. 

Australian households are estimated to be throwing away eight billion dollars worth of edible food every year and in stark contrast, there are currently over two million Australians who have accessed food relief services in the last year.

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Second Bite is the largest provider of food rescue services to the retail sector in Australia working with major retailers to salvage food that's dispersed to a network of 1,300 community food relief agencies.

"We go to everyone you might anticipate like the Salvation Army and Vinnies right through to small soup kitchens and mission services," Mullan said.

Photo: Network 10.

"We go all the way to church door organisations and local community groups who are just trying to make a difference to a problem that they see happening on their doorsteps." 

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Judge Matt Preston is himself a director at Second Bite and, according to Mullan, is extremely invested in avoiding food waste in the 'MasterChef' kitchen.

"At every angle and with every respect you look at, 'MasterChef' as an operation, there’s that concern to make sure that, as a food program, they do the right thing and work to the highest environmental and moral standards," Mullan told 10 daily. 

Massimo! Photo: Network 10.

This week's elimination challenge was overseen by Massimo Bottura -- the renowned Italian chef who runs the world's best restaurant, Osteria Francescana, in Modena.

Massimo is passionate about fighting food waste and providing meals to those in need through his non-profit organisation, Food For Soul.

He challenged the contestants to create some magic with the four ingredients most commonly chucked out by Australian households -- milk, bread, soggy lettuce and old bananas.

Photo: Network 10.

"If Massimo’s contribution to 'MasterChef' elevates that conversation in households across the country, that potentially has a significant impact," Mullan told 10 daily. 

While Second Bite is working with the retail sector to direct food away from, much of our country's food waste is being made in domestic households.

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"Its the most difficult area to deal with because, even for the most conscientious of households, these systems are not in place to deal with food waste in a proper environmental sense. So anyone who is committing to it has to commit to it as a household decision," said Mullan. 

Lettuce and bread are two of the most commonly wasted products in Australia. Photo: Network 10.
How You Can Start Being More Conscious Of Food Waste In Your Home

"The first one is, don’t buy more than you need and you’ll address the problem immediately," advised Mullan. 

And if you have accidentally overstocked your fridge or pantry?

Be creative with it! You could try out Tati's recipe for No Waste Gado Gado using whatever you've got on hand in the kitchen.

Mullan added that there's also another option when you've accidentally cooked'.

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"If you make too much and it can be reasonably stored or reasonably transported, my guess is that, right across this country, you are probably no more than a couple of kilometres away from an organisation that’s trying to feed people.

"Even if you live in the richest suburbs in this country, there will be someone who needs it. Go and give it to them!" 

 MasterChef Australia airs Sunday to Thursday nights at 7.30pm. Only On 10 And WIN Network. Missed an episode? Catch up on 10 Play or 10 All Access!