Literally everything is served smushed into a mason jar
A new Ithacan restaurant, Stuffed, opened last Friday in The Commons. The company is using new and innovative sustainability techniques to reduce waste. Instead of using plates, bowls, and cups—which can produce spillage— the company takes your order and mushes the entire meal into a mason jar of adequate size, complete with a leak-proof cap.
If you bring in your own jars from home, instead of purchasing a new one at the restaurant, you’re given a “0.25% OFF” coupon, good for the next 2 days, upon purchase.
The waste that the restaurant produces is entirely recyclable and eco-friendly. They even take care to go through their trash and fish out all the jars that patrons have thrown out whole, after posting a photo of the meal on Instagram. The new restaurant is very thankful for the free publicity.
The jars are not just for sustainable eating, however. They’re also for sustainable design. The light bulbs, candle holders, tip jar, after-dinner mint dish, and trash bins are mason jars. Even the urinals in the bathrooms have been replaced with jars. The urinal jars are emptied at least once every three hours into the “In-House Garden” – a lot in the back of the restaurant by the dumpster, where the owner plans to use the soon-fertile soil to plant a couple of lilies, and maybe a begonia.
“We could plant some basil out there, or cilantro, I guess,” said the owner, Ed Paulsen. “But I don’t know how I feel about using something that comes out of the ground, ya know? Seems pretty unclean. We just buy our greens from the supermarket and spray them with a little extra pesticide. You know, to be safe.”
Ed first came across the idea for “Stuffed” when he was 6. At that age, Ed was given a mason jar full of small chocolates as a Valentine’s Day gift from a classmate. He began stuffing the jar full of anything he could.
“I kept plenty of shit in there,” says Ed. “Shoelaces, bugs, Oreos, pencil shavings, trading cards… you name it.” The story of how he built his jar-stuffing resume is packed with jarring twists and turns, and deserves more time than this piece will allow. If you’d like to hear the full interview with Ed, please take a listen to his new podcast, Stuff It.
You can also check out our Facebook for a satisfying video of one of their chefs packing a chicken salad sandwich, a dill pickle, coleslaw, a red velvet cupcake, and a caramel macchiato into a single jar before sealing it up and writing the person’s name on the jar in lead paint.
Isabel Murray is a second-year writing major who likes to eat spaghetti out of a wine glass. You can reach them at [email protected].