Huge Food Waste "Free Lunch" Will Feed The 5000

Feeding the 5000/Promo image

Just the other day we heard that UK shoppers throw out 10% of their weekly shop uneaten, but that's just the tip of a very smelly, unpleasant and destructive iceberg (lettuce?).

As food waste campaigner Tristram Stuart has shown us before, food waste occurs at every step of the supply chain. From farmers to distributors to processors/packers to stores to the end consumer, there are countless points at which unused food gets discarded, often for rather absurd reasons. Some studies have even shown that up to half of all food worldwide goes uneaten.

But as we environmentalists are finally beginning to learn, throwing data at people doesn't seem to change much. So how can we engage people in the issue of food waste, get them to understand the enormity of the problem, and excite them about the opportunity to do things smarter? The answer is blindingly obvious.

Feed them.

Back in 2009 Bonnie attended a huge feast called Feeding the 5000 in Trafalgar square. As the name suggests, the idea was to create a huge free lunch made from food that would otherwise be discarded. Cosmetically challenged fruits and vegetables; funny shaped pieces of toast, or "wrong sized" produce were all turned into delicious, free treats to help highlight the problem of food waste.

Now it's happening again this Friday. And organizers hope it will break the record for the largest "free lunch" ever in the UK:

In just two hours, charities, volunteers, and the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, will serve a free lunch to 5000 members of the public. The menu will include curry made from ‘mis-shapen’ and wonky vegetables, and a range of cooked dishes prepared live by well known chefs, including Thomasina Miers, Valentine Warner and Arthur Potts Dawson.

The public will be invited to take part in the ‘surplus apple’ pressing and to drink the free juice - with the chance to feed the apple remnants to live pigs in Trafalgar Square, as well as helping to sort through wonky vegetables for delivery to charities. Speakers at the event include the Bishop of London and Rosie Boycott, Chair of London Food.

The event is run by the Feeding the 5000 team, in partnership with FareShare, FoodCycle, Love Food Hate Waste, Friends of the Earth and supported by the Mayor of London. And it's organized by Tristram Stuart, author of Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal. Let's just hope nobody turns up and forces them to pour bleach on perfectly good produce...

Tags: Activism

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