02 January 2011

wasting food 4

I've previously written about wasting food. On Boxing Day (26 December 2010), Jennifer Rajca writing in the Sydney Morning Herald reported that annually "[a]cross Australia, about 4.45 million tonnes of food, worth $7.8 billion, is discarded."   According to Jon Dee, founder of Do Something! "each household throws away $1036 worth of food, or 585 kilograms, each year."

That is a staggering amount. There needs to be a more careful study that audits food by type such as fresh (including vegetable, meat and dairy), processed foods (including condiments and their expiry dates) and frozen foods. While I very rarely discard fresh food as they are usually consumed before they get to spoil, processed condiments such as mayonnaise with expiry dates that require refrigeration often expire with significant content in the bottle. Hence packaging sizes may be a factor on such items.

Relatedly, last month, Sophie Morris in the London Evening Standard reported about a wonderful concept called "The People's Kitchen". Extrait
Sundays start slowly in Dalston. The local hipsters have been up late. If not partying, they've been customising their latest vintage clothing finds, writing short films to release as virals or debating radical politics.

So it's gone 4pm when a crowd begins to gather around chopping boards and crates of onions and potatoes at Passing Clouds on Richmond Road, a newish venue that wants to offer all things to all-comers, be that a funk night, drum workshop, gin-soaked ragtime and swing afternoon, golden oldie film screening or, in this case, a tasty home-cooked Sunday feast.

The venue describes itself as a “collective of artists and musicians” but now a band of foodies are staging a weekly takeover dubbed “the People's Kitchen”. You can eat a leek and courgette tortilla, oozing runny eggs and fresh greens, curled up in one of the worn velvet and leather armchairs in front of a film, or grab a spot at the bar with a bowl of spicy aubergine pasta. Latecomers pile up plates of bread and cheese before settling in for the evening's jam session, a weekly event performed by some of Passing Clouds' regulars.

The food is all waste collected from Spitalfields Market and local businesses that would otherwise have been thrown away, and some of the people who have turned up to help out have experience in professional kitchens, so the food and environmental boxes are ticked. But, best of all, this Sunday lunch is completely free.
Read more. It is a fascinating read. Wasting food is just simply sinful.

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