How much of the world’s food is thrown away each year? What about here in the UK – how much do we waste every year and how many people in the world live their lives in some degree of food poverty?
One third of all food produced in the World is thrown away. Yes, ONE THIRD. This is shocking beyond belief. In the UK, we throw away £13 billion worth of food in our homes, restaurants and supermarkets every year. What upsets me is the fact that most of this food is perfectly edible and with 800 million people undernourished on a daily basis, how can we justify throwing so much away? I know we don’t live in an ideal world but surely we are in an age when these figures should not look as frightening as this.
In my time as a Vegan cook, running my Business, Bumpkin Deli, I made and delivered lunches to local homes and offices. I decided to trade at the Manchester Uni Fresher fair to welcome all the young, healthy students to Manchester with my vegan delights. I made so much food to feed all these morally sound hipsters. However, hiding around the corner were Greggs the pasty people, giving out as much free food as they could muster. Suddenly the morally sound and healthy young hipsters were too full of pastry to dig deep in their pockets for my (reasonably priced) healthy and delicious lettuce wraps.
So the process began. I set about pouring the said food into my green bin, tray by tray with tears in my eyes. I couldn’t give it away as it had been stood uncovered for too long to secure safe levels. I have never felt so sad for so many different reasons. The most powerful – aside from my huge financial and time loss – was the waste. So my passion for reducing food waste began.
I set about looking for organisations who tackle this issue so that Velocity could donate a portion of profits to them. I had ideas about initiatives and schemes and PR work to raise awareness of this huge issue. There are some fabulous organisations such as FFL.org.uk and therealjunkfood. FFL are a huge charity and I wondered what impact our small organisation would have on them and as much as I love the concept of the realjunkfood, it is not vegan and that was a big necessity for me.
So I decided we would set up our own project named “Waste it on” and donate at least 20% of the velocity profits to causes which tackle hunger and waste using entirely plant based food. We will detail projects on the site as and when they happen. The first will be a project with young people in Manchester in primary schools. The 8-10 year olds will learn how to set up a food based enterprise to tackle food waste in their local area. They will then sell their concept to the community and raise money to put back into the community or further projects to tackle the issue.
It’s easy not to waste food, we just have to THINK more about it:-
Be SMART – Plan your shopping trips and write lists of the food that you need – do meal plans for the week. Only buy multipacks if you need them – don’t get romanticised by the offers. Its not an offer if you end up throwing it away!
Be MINDFUL – Don’t overload your plate with food you cannot eat. Also keep a monitor of what you do throw away – it will drive you on to waste less if you monetise what you throw away.
Be CONSCIOUS – Use the leftover food wisely (you can’t beat a roast dinner soup – chuck it all in, gravy and all with some water and blend) or my favourite “Bottom of the Fridge Drawer Soup” which is great to secretly get kids to eat their veggies too!
Food waste is bad for people, the environment and your pocket too so think about it and we’ll all be winners.