What a truly inspirational way to tacke the food waste problem - by setting up a pay-as-you-can 'waste supermarket'!!
The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP), set up their first café in Leeds in 2013, serving meals made with food destined to be thrown away by stores or restaurants. The U.S. is next on their expansion plans, as the project has already opened a pop-up café in Buffalo, New York, and hopes to expand nationwide in 2017.
This summer they also launched their first 'waste supermarket' a store housed in a Leeds warehouse connecting local shoppers with food donated by supermarkets, restaurants, and wholesalers that would otherwise end up in the bin.
The store is already channeling a remarkable volume of otherwise wasted resources to people who need them, according to co-founder Adam Smith.
“One wholesale supplier alone recently delivered 11.3 tons of noodles to us,” he says. “It came in on twenty piled-up pallets. We're intercepting between two and ten tons of food a day at the moment just in Leeds—and that's with links to only half the city's supermarkets.”
Britain’s largest supermarket chain, Tesco, threw away the equivalent of 119 million meals last year. And Smith is outspoken about the needless, grand-scale squandering of resources that is built into the business model of the grocery industry.
“I’m sick to death of the media and supermarkets who say it’s all to do with consumers,” he told The Guardian. “It’s nothing to do with them. We didn’t want this saturation of supermarkets on our high street selling food 24 hours day, manipulating us into purchasing more.”
Anyone can use the supermarkets, take as much or as little as they like and pay what they want, in money or time/skills.
Any inedible foodstuff is also put to good use, composted it to create fertilizer and methane gas for use as fuel.
Find out more about The Real Junk Food Project.