The recent public sector strike action in and around Newcastle has left many areas with no bin collection services for the past couple of weeks. The consequential overflowing bins I’ve recently encountered during my (usually!) pleasant walk from Heaton into IHS every day has brought to my attention the sheer amount of food that people waste on a daily basis. Depressingly this is a common theme throughout large parts of the westernised world, with Tristam Stewart, author of “Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal” (2009) noting that 40 million tonnes of edible food is wasted in the US alone each year, enough to feed the one billion malnourished across the globe.
It was therefore refreshing to come across this story on the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28409924
It tells of a young ex alcoholic and drug using chef called Adam who has set up a café in suburban Leeds (aptly named the ‘Real Junk Food Project Café’) which ‘intercepts’ edible food from a variety of restaurants, supermarket and members of the public, and then serves nutritious meals to a large number of people, who can pay with either cash or labour hours.
I for one hope this idea catches on around the country, and if a similar institution is set up in Newcastle, expect me to be the first in the queue offering washing up duties for my lunch!
“Waste not want not”