I am a very greedy girl so wasting food just seems ridiculous to me.
What is even more ridiculous is people and companies throwing out perfectly good food while others go hungry.
The Real Junk Food Project network was created to try and tackle this madness through a global network of social enterprises that divert food destined for waste and make it accessible through a variety of Pay As You Feel concepts .
Amazingly TRJFP Glasgow have prevented about three tonnes of vegan food going to landfill and have used it to feed around 3500 people through various projects throughout the city! When reusable cutlery and crockery isn’t possible at events then Vegware is used, it is completely compostable disposables made from renewable or recycled materials. Captain Planet would be very proud!
This week I’m talking to Laura to find out more about the work TRJFP Glasgow do and how you can get involved…
Congratulations on recently catering your first wedding! Tell me more about the catering you offer?
Thank you! It was a wonderful day and the Bride and Groom are the kindest most wonderful couple. Weddings are known to be typically not environmentally friendly – so we were happy to help out this eco minded couple.
We offer mostly vegan and some vegetarian catering using surplus food. This means we are unlike a regular caterer in that you are not able to choose from a set menu as we pick up a lot of the food the day before or on the day that it is being prepared. This comes with its own set of challenges but on the whole it encourages us to be creative and really demonstrates why the food should be used up and not thrown away! We have had a lot of enquiries along the lines of ‘if I give you some chicken will you cook it for us?’ – no! This is not how we work. The Real Junk Food Project is a network of over 200+ groups world wide that want to work towards reducing food waste to care for our planet. Constitutionally we have all agreed that 90% of the food that we use should be surplus food and the last 10% can be ingredients like flour, sugar, herbs etc – ‘store cupboard’ items that we don’t usually find as surplus. This 10% is NOT allowed to be meat or fish and our project has decided that this will not be anything else non-vegan either.
I know you work with my faves Little Botanica , tell me more about this project…
Hayley and her team are great. They have such great vision and produce amazing bouquets and displays! With brides that don’t want to keep all of their flowers post-wedding, Hayley takes them back to their studio and we take them up to the Marie Curie Hospice for the patients and staff to enjoy.
Any other projects you want to tell me about?
We have a new herb garden and have some fruit and veg growing too. I am really interested in the concept of ‘ecotherapy’ – using outdoor space to improve mental health. I am keen to develop this further, start using our herbs and veg in our cooking, maybe even build a pizza oven!
I also like upcycling textiles in to unique, useful items and would like to set up a group doing this.
Food and waste are great mediums for bringing people together – and people coming together has been shown to improve our mood and help the mind. This has been coined as ‘social prescription’ and I really think this is the way forward to help this mental health crisis.
How can people get involved?
We are always looking for volunteers and there is room for EVERYONE! You don’t need to be a Chef (although this expertise is very much welcomed!) – you could be happy washing dishes, would like to take photographs, help weed the garden, would like to make a poster, fancy doing some preserving… we welcome everyone’s skills and also welcome those folk that want to learn new skills and help us #feedbelliesnotbins
Any top tips for reducing food waste at home?
Keep an eye on portion sizes – we have all accidentally made enough rice/pasta to feed half of Glasgow! One regular sized mug (i.e not that giant one from Sports Direct, where did that even come from anyway…!?) of rice is enough to feed four. And one mug of pasta is about enough for one person.
Plan in advance what you are going to eat and make the most of your freezer! Left over fruit/veg can always be piled in to a smoothie or soup.
There was also chat of some exciting (but top secret!) plans in the pipeline that couldn’t be included in this post, so make sure to follow TRJFP on Instagram and show this amazing project some love by sharing with friends or volunteering to get involved. Remember this project is not restricted to just Glasgow so you can check their website to find a project near you!
You can also follow me on Instagram for lots more food and events too!