Ilana Taub is the co-founder of Snact, a fruit jerky Snact made from good fruit that is thrown away before it reaches shops.Did you know that we waste 15 million tonnes of food in the UK each year?
It’s because of that reason that my friend Michael Minch-Dixon and I decided to start Snact – we make fruit snacks from fruit that would otherwise be thrown away to tackle the causes of food waste.
About two years ago, we came together with a shared passion for food and sustainability and a desire to do our own thing. So we quit our jobs and set off on a journey to see how we could create a better food system. We started visiting London’s wholesale markets, collecting fruit at the end of the trading day and making it into snacks in our rented kitchen in Hackney.
We then ran a successful crowdfunding campaign supported by 278 backers (or snactivists) which has helped grow and produce our latest and finest fruit jerky! Our fruit jerky is a dried blended snack bursting with flavours made with 100% fruit and nothing else.
And you know what else is great about fruit jerky? It’s perfect to deal with fruit surplus – too big, too small, too ugly, too dark, too light… Doesn’t matter! As long as it tastes great, it’s perfect for us. We also quickly realized that food poverty is a growing issue in the UK (with more than 900,000 people visiting food banks last year), so we started to explore how Snact could address this too. We’re aiming to create employment opportunities for people who’ve been affected by food poverty to help us sell and distribute our snacks.
To this end, we recently launched a subscription model where you can get snacks delivered to you directly. 80 subscriptions in London will help us create one job! If you’d like to find out more about Snact & our subscription model, visit our website and spread the word! Ilana Taub, March 16th 2015And you can catch Snact at Borough Market on 28th March where their fruit jerky snacks will be on sale.
There’s a lot of confusion about dates- best before, use by, sell by… what does it all mean?
Each year one million tonnes of untouched food is thrown away after the best before date, even though it’s still safe to eat.
Best before dates indicate when the food will be at its best. It may lose its flavour or texture but remains edible.
Best before should NOT be confused with the use by date which refers to when the food can no longer be safely eaten. Sell by or display until dates are for shop staff only for the purpose of stock rotation.
Click on the image below for more information on food labelling:
With the exception of eggs, it’s legal to sell food after its best before date. And yet most supermarkets chose not to for aesthetic reasons.
Selling products past their best before date has proved a profitable business plan for Dan Cluderay, the founder of the Approved Foods company in Sheffield, who’s made over £4 million in the last 6 years.
He believes people are too paranoid about best before dates:
So if food is safe to eat past its best before date- why not get rid of the best before date altogether?
EU law on food labelling requires all items to have a best before date, or a use by date for products that would subsequently be dangerous to consume, such as raw meat or milk.
But since May 2014 the EU have been considering relaxing best before dates for long life foods after a proposal was submitted by Dutch and Swedish agriculture ministers.
Last week (5th March) Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP) launched a campaign for supermarkets to extend best before dates by just one day, which their report estimates would save 250,000 tonnes of food a year.
Dr. Richard Swannell, Director of Sustainable Food Systems at WRAP:
We estimate that shoppers could save upwards of £500m, and businesses could save £100m in waste prevention alone.
2nd report from @WRAP_UK in a week shows #foodwaste costs money & is bad 4 env! Best before labels r 4 quality & good 2 eat after the date
Part of the nationwide Real Junk Food Project, Save the Date cafe is a pop-up kitchen in Dalston providing restaurant quality surplus food on a pay-as-you-feel basis. For more information read our interview with co-founder James Smart.
Hey boys & girls it’s Friday so get yourself down to the cafe for a tasty lunch or a dinner. Lunch 12:30-2:30pm… http://t.co/eS7x7nmALJ — Save The Date Cafe (@savethedatecafe) May 22, 2015
3) Cafe Morningside (@CafeMorningSide) A community cafe in Hackney which values community, food sustainability and healthy eating. Volunteers welcome! To read more about Cafe Morningside see our article. Location: Morningside Community Centre, Cresset Road, Hackney