Food Rescue – what’s that!?
We at VOICE empower local groups and communities to hold ‘Food Rescue’ events with food that would have been thrown away or rejected by supermarkets, shops, businesses and restaurants.
Our Food Rescue champions organise the collection of short-dated food from local shops, farms or other food businesses which is then be prepared to make a delicious meal to share with their neighbours. See our events in Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo, Clonakilty, Co. Cork, Co. Leitrim, Ballon, Co. Carlow, Wicklow , Fingal and Kildare.
However, the event does not need to stop with the meal!
We encourage communities to hold additional activities which can include:
- Educational talks on the environmental, social and financial costs of food waste and how to reduce it in homes and businesses
- Home composting demonstrations
- Leftover food recipe exchanges
- Workshops on how to use old coffee grains
- Cooking demonstrations
- The engagement of schools in food waste reduction challenges
We hope that Food Rescue events will be the impetus to motivate shops and restaurants to adopt practices to reduce their own food waste. For example, they could:
- Sell imperfect or ‘ugly’ produce or short-dated products at a reduced cost
- In restaurants, offer ½ portions to customers who don’t want a full portion
- Give ‘doggy bags’ to customers to bring their uneaten meals home
- Use every part of the food in the cooking process
There are many ways you can FOOD RESCUE at home and in schools!
- Make a shopping list – Check what you have, think of meal plans, make your list and then stick to it.
- When shopping buy funny looking produce – Many fruit and veg are not sold because their size, shape or colour is not perfect, but they are perfect to eat. Usually these products even taste better!
- Store food properly – Check that your fridge temperature is correct and read the storage instructions on products. A fridge that is too hot or cold can cause food to rot quicker.
- Live by first in, first out – When unpacking your shopping move older items to the front of fridge or cupboard.
- Use your own judgement when it comes to perishables – ‘Use by’ dates should be followed, ‘best before’ dates are only a guide.
- When cooking, use it all – Leave skins on cucumbers and potatoes, use broccoli stems along with florets – you will not only food rescue but many skins and stems provide additional nutrients.
- Love your leftovers – Use leftovers and foods that will soon perish to make new, interesting recipes, bring leftovers to school or work for lunch the next day, freeze meals after cooking if they won’t be eaten straight away.
- Monitor what you do throw away for a week or two and then redesign you shopping list and meal plans to reduce this waste of food and money.
- Compost! You can compost uncooked vegetables and fruit, teabags, coffee grounds, eggshells, and paper. If you have a brown bin, you can add meat, fish and bones.
So, now that you know about Food Rescue, what will you do…?
If you are interested in hosting a Food Rescue event, please get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org