Love food hate waste
After my journeys around Europe I’m back in my hometown, London, and I’m hungry for change. After seeing so many local food networks throughout Europe, America and Canada I was desperate to find out more about what London people were doing to fix the food system.
I dumped my bags at home, made a cup of tea and sure enough after a chat with my housemate I realized London was doing something, as my housemate explained. She had been volunteering for a charity called ‘Food Cycle’, a national food recycling charity that aims to reduce the amount of food waste produced by food retailers, and who blames them. In a channel 4 investigation, Sainsbury’s told the news channel that it generated about 44,000 tonnes of food in 2011. Some food retailers give this waste to charities and animal organisations or they deposit it into anaerobic digestion centers, (a method that composts food without oxygen to produce a gas. This gas is used to generate electricity and heat). But if this amount is wasted by one food retailer, imagine who much we generate every year worldwide! That’s where food cycle enter in a golden cape, as the food recycling hero.
Food cycle started in 2008 by Kelvin Cheung, as a solution to food waste. It started as a hub in Imperial College London and has now spread across London and in Bristol. Every week volunteers visit food retailers such as Waitrose and Sainsbury’s and pick up their waste. Coincidently, one Waitrose is in Angel, which is very close to where Coldplay are playing this week. Very exciting!
Food cycle then takes this surplus food to one of their kitchens and creates an inspiring menu for community’s to enjoy in their Café’s. Since 2008 7749kg of food has been recycled into tasty food by this organization. One of their café’s, ‘Pie in the Sky’, is situated in Bromley-by-Bow, very close to the Olympic village in London. Which is very exciting as they are truly flying the food flag for Britain with this concept. I hope the world’s athletes get a chance to try their delights.
On researching food networks, my website browser was full of amazing and appetizing food ideas that London has to offer. Such a foraging courses, pop-up restaurants and vegan cooperative cafes. I don’t think I could possibly visit them all. But if you have a spare afternoon you should defiantly try them out and see how active London is being at fixing the food system.