Free Lunch “Feeding the 5000” at Trafalgar Square Highlights Food Wastage

By Chris Osburn •

Did you know that UK households waste 25% of all food purchased? Great British Chefs guest blogger Chris Osburn, looks at an initiative taking place in Trafalgar Square today which aims to highlight how much food is wasted & what we & the food industry can do to stop this.

From noon to 2pm today at Trafalgar Square, Feeding the 5000 with the support of the Mayor of London and in partnership with FareShare, FoodCycle, Love Food Hate Waste, and Friends of the Earth, will treat 5000 members of the public to a free hot lunch made entirely out of food that would otherwise have been wasted, such as fresh but cosmetically imperfect fruit and vegetables.

Along with the free lunch, there will be live cooking demonstrations, an interactive apple pressing, mass-vegetable sorting with partner charity FareShare, and a live pig enclosure where food waste will be recycled as livestock feed. Individuals will be asked to sign a “Feeding the 5000 pledge” to cut food waste and call on businesses to do the same. At the same time, businesses will be invited to respond by signing their own pledge undertaking to cut food waste in accordance with a new online policy guidance tool developed by the Feeding the 5000 team.

Mayor Boris Johnson is supposed to be there serving food along with chefs such as Wahaca co-founder Thomasina Miers, and the BBC’s Valentine Warner doing a bit of live demo cooking as well as the Bishop of London, Rosie Boycott and others lined up to speak.

The first ‘feeding’ was organised back in 2009 by Tristram Stuart. The event profiled the work of partner charities working in this field and helped garner political support with then Defra Minister, Hilary Benn MP, subsequently writing to CEOs of all UK supermarkets urging them to donate surplus food to FareShare or similar charities. This year, Stuart hopes the gathering will highlight the issue of food waste in a fun and practical way while demonstrating how governments, businesses and individuals can help solve the problem.

And indeed it is an issue that deserves calling attention to. Did you know that UK households waste 25% of all food purchased? Check out Food Waste Facts page of the Feeding the 5000& site for lots more alarming facts about how much food is wasted in the UK and around the globe. Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom on the site which also lists ways we can help to reduce food wastage, along with more details about today’s free lunch and how can get involved with future happenings. Waste not want not.

Blog post for Great British Chefs by Chris Osburn

What do you do to make sure you don’t waste food? We’re be discussing this over on Great British Chefs Facebook Page.


Chris Osburn

Chris is a freelance writer and photographer, longtime blogger and avid foodie. Originally from the American deep south, he's worked all over the world and has called London home since 2001. He thinks the British dining scene is as dynamic and delicious as ever, but more and more seems to find his own kitchen to be the most exciting place to eat

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