Food waste is a matter that has clear and quantifiable solutions. Considering the increased awareness of extreme world hunger and poverty, this much overlooked issue could improve food security worldwide. The Real Junk Food Project and Healthy Living Network have acted on this very fact, and have created something very innovative and simple to raise the public awareness to how we relate to our food.
The current world hunger statistics stand at around 842 million people, with a 17% improvement in the last two decades. With a myriad of global initiatives and goals at play the hopes are that targets are reached. With that in mind, how can food waste still be occurring at the extent that it is when one third of the food produced (1.3 billion tonnes) is going to waste every year. When asked what the aim of the project is ‘to really feed the world’ was the answer, and this is most definitely a step in the right direction.
SMART Approaches to Reduce Edible Food Going To Landfill
In a small humble café in Armley, Leeds a food movement is brewing; The Real Junk Food Project is in full swing and gaining momentum. The founder and chef Adam Smith puts food waste figures into context ‘we make about 400 meals from each tonne of wasted food. This means if we could get our hands on the UK’s 7.2 million kg of food waste; we could potentially make 2,880,000,000 meals. That would feed nearly half the world’s population!’
It is all in the name, put simply; all food that would have otherwise been thrown away – ‘Junk Food’ is entirely what they work with. Their innovative business model is based on intercepting food from restaurants, supermarkets and even households before it goes into the bin and serve it in their café, relying on donations from customers, as well as volunteers to help with service and food preparation. The Pay-As-You-Feel cafe is the first of its kind in the UK and is located at The Hub in Leeds. The project itself started February of last year and but the café was registered as a community interest company in December. The café holds around 30 people and the menu changes from day to day, making the best use of the otherwise neglected produce.
Development more often than not is focused solely towards developing nations, however without a huge change in direction of the OECD countries, the whole notion of sustainable development is at risk. High level of consumption and a myopic way of life can no longer be maintained, and it is project such as these that bring the light the need for a behavioural and attitudinal change towards issues that have fallen by the way side.
For more information on the project please click here
2015 is the deadline for the MDGs. Our editorial special,Sustainable Development 2.0, will explore the changes that sustainable development has undergone in the past decade and bring to light projects, initiatives and policies that are implementing smart approaches to mark a turnaround for the movement as the SDGs come into effect.