What can Londoners do to help the food waste problem?
The problem of food waste has long been on the tips of many tongues but it seems as though it has recently been the eco matter on everyone’s minds.
So what can we do to reduce food waste? According to Recycle for London, each year in the capital a shocking 910,000 tonnes of food from our homes is thrown away. What’s worse is that 60% of that figure is still good quality food and drink that can be used, so that’s 540,000 tonnes that could have been prepared, snacked on, roasted or baked. Obviously all of this totals up to the hefty sum of £1.4 billion being spent on food that’s purely destined for the rubbish.
With more initiatives such as Love Food Hate Waste and more people taking more care when it comes to doing their weekly shop and reducing food waste at home, you would think the problem is well on its way to being solved. Wrong. Whilst we have control over the amount of yellow stickered, “ugly” fruits we put in our basket and opt to put that extra banana in the freezer for a smoothie rather than throw it away, there’s still a lot to be done for London’s food scene.
How many times do we think of the amount of waste that a certain food outlet produces before choosing to venture there on a Thursday evening? Does anyone think about the amount of waste their local chippy produces when drunkenly stumbling into it on a Saturday night? Or how about your favourite brunch spot? Whilst London is definitely becoming more of a conscious environment, the problem of food waste is still a large one.
So what can the average Londoner do to get involved in the fight against food waste? Good news: there’s PLENTY.
Go to a zero waste restaurant
This Vegan and Veggie friendly restaurant’s mission is simple: spread the word about food consciousness. Expect to find things such as organic CBD powder syringe shots and less quirkier additions like buckwheat pancakes and choc chip waffles.
The street food stall in Borough Market specialises in using underused and ethical meats such as rose veal and kid goat, all sourced from UK farms. Customers can choose to either tuck into East Mediterranean salad bowls or Greek pita wraps till their heart’s content.
So these guys pride themselves on being London’s first and only organic, zero waste, vegetarian restaurant. Unfortunately, they’ve just moved on from their residency over at Mercato Metropolitano but stay updated with their website and social media to watch their next move.
The cocktail king, Mr Lyan (of Super Lyan, White Lyan and Dandelyan) is all about sustainability and this collaborative restaurant venture of his is no different. Cub boasts that they are all about “using considered ingredients and applying sustainable methods to create delicious stuff that does good too”.
Get tipsy with sustainable alcohol
This Mayfair bar doesn’t use perishable ingredients in a bid for a greater shift into the zero waste movement. Forget fresh fruit garnishes, herbs and vegetables but instead, opts for syrups and essences in a bid to
Their mantra is simple - “Live off the land. At this bar, they use any surplus ingredients from their menu to be make up the main components for their cocktails. There’s a focus on minimal waste and an adaptation to seasonality.
Did you know we waste approximately 24 million slices of bread everyday? It’s because everyone always buys too much and consequently, most of it goes in the bin. Well Toast uses any surplus bread that can’t be redistributed to charities and makes beer! Buy a bottle of the hoppy stuff here.
Snack on some food that’s been made using “waste” products
Rubies in the Rubble
You know all that fruit and veg that gets ignored for being too “ugly” and doesn’t get bought at the produce markets? Well Rubies founder Jenny is tackling the problem of food waste by making sauces and relishes from all that good stuff. They have some pretty interesting flavours too like Banana Ketchup or a Blueberry BBQ sauce, check out more here.
Check out your local supermarket for more options
More supermarkets are trying to help out with the food waste problem by offering up those surplus fruits and veggies that often get overlooked. Tesco have launched their Waste Not juices, Morrisons offers a Wonky range and Lidl recently started selling £1.50 5KG boxes of surplus produce as well as Asda offering similar boxes.
These dried fruit snacks are made from otherwise “rubbish” fruit and you can munch away on fruit jerky or banana bars till your heart’s content. Bonus, their packaging is plastic free also and is even biologically decomposable in a home composter. Check out their range here.
The food waste problem may seem too big to tackle but there’s plenty that the average Londoner can do and these are just a snapshot of the businesses that are making it their mission to change the way we think about food waste. Continue the conversation on social media using #djvldn and be sure to follow us over on Instagram and Twitter.
[Feature Image: Environment Journal]