Following the big success of our last Supper Club back in November: #DineDanceDonate in aid of the refugees in Calais & Syria, I was really keen to have another. When I met Justin, from Tiny Leaf, London's first zero waste restaurant, I knew it was the perfect place for our next event. Tiny Leaf is a vegetarian, organic restaurant that serves all its food from surplus. It has just finished a 3 month stint in the site of the old Bumpkin on Westbourne Park Road, Notting Hill, and is opening in a new premises soon. 15 MILLION tonnes of food is thrown away in the UK every year. Enough to fill Wembley Stadium about 18 times. Food wastage has always been an issue that SERIOUSLY bothers me, especially as I see so much surplus at work. All my team know never to throw anything away; I'm militant about the keeping stalks and ends of everything. So I'd actually like to follow Tiny Leaf's lead and make the bold claim that we are also a zero waste catering company! So we decided to go on a crazy mission to prove that ugly food can still be beautiful food. To show how much perfectly delicious food is wasted every day.
We set ourselves a challenge: 48 hours to hunt down and cook up London's most tasty waste - and transform into a 3 course gourmet feast Peardop Style.
Here's how we did it!
We hope that last Friday was the beginning of a bigger campaign. Despite the scary amounts of food wasted in the world, during our research we discovered that things are slowly beginning to improve. Largely thanks to campaigners like Jamie Oliver & Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, supermarkets and restaurants are finally changing their ways. In January, Hugh’s War on Waste saw a Norfolk parsnip farmer went out of business as supermarkets continued to reject his beautiful, wonky parsnips. It was so heartbreaking. How awesome is it to buy giant apples or wonky green tomatoes when you're in Italy or France? Up until 6 months ago, 40% of veg was rejected for being too ugly - but now Morrisons, Asda & Waitrose have introduced Wonky Veg boxes. But I say - why are the imperfect ones even separate at all? Vegetables are to eat, not to admire.
France has gone one step further and become the first country in the world to ban supermarkets from throwing away or destroying unsold food. Now Italy have followed suit, but why not the UK? And why does the government still set such strict cosmetic requirements on fruit & veg?
Thank you all so much for putting your money where your mouth is and helping contribute to FareShare’s work taking surplus and feeding those in need.
Stay tuned for the next part of our campaign and in the meantime, make those leftovers into soup!