The New Year’s Resolution I have been trying to encourage all my nearest and dearest to take up is to eat mindfully and waste less food.
It’s horrifying to think that almost 50% of the total amount of food thrown away in the UK comes from our homes and, tragically, over half of this food we could have eaten. According to Love Food Hate Waste, 7 million tonnes of food is thrown away annually – that’s the equivalent weight of 3.5 million cars!
On the subject of surplus food - I was lucky enough to be able to volunteer at the Christmas Lunch put on by the Oxford Food Bank on 25th December. We served almost 800 people: from whole local families, to elderly people living alone, even asylum seekers – anyone from anywhere was welcomed with open arms.
The atmosphere was more than just heartwarming; the enthusiasm and collaborative attitude of the 100 volunteers was truly inspiring. I was so proud to have been able to take part in such a brilliant initiative – to cook up a hearty wholesome meal completely out of donated food.
I was thrilled to learn of the many enterprises in Oxford that are involved in feeding those in need and promoting the minimising of food waste. Chopping lemons with me was Marie who runs a catering company called Waste2Taste, which creates delicious nutritious dishes purely out of food that would have otherwise been binned. I also recently discovered the outfit Love Health Hate Waste which offers up to 90% off the RRP of health foods that are past their BBD or have slightly damaged packaging.
If you have any surplus food, there are lots of places all over the country where you can donate it – from supermarkets to Food Banks, there are so many fun ways to get involved and be an active member of your community. The Trussell Trust has a brilliant website full of information on how to get involved in Food Banks, where to volunteer etc. Check them out: www.trusselltrust.org
Food holds the power to unite people. Cook First’s philosophy is that food – no matter the time of year - should continue to be about bringing people together.