ROUNDUP: 10 Food Friendly Feeds You Should Be Following on Twitter for #foodwaste across London

For all you London foodies looking to save money and chuck away less of your precious grub, being able to find local food-save events and recipe tips at the click of a mouse is an invaluable tool. While researching more about exactly what’s going on in London to combat the food waste issue, I compiled a list of the top 10 twitter feeds showing what’s not to be missed and who exactly to keep an eye on. So here are the important foodie feeds:

1. Food Cycle Pie in the Sky @FoodCycleCafe

This community café in East London is open Monday to Friday and caters city-wide!  It’s no-waste philosophy is reflected in every event, meal and piece of advice its people provide. Dedicated staff at Food Cycle also train volunteers to build up their skills and foodie expertise to transfer into jobs. So whether you’re looking to develop your own skills, or simply chill out with a coffee and a brownie, (delicious by the way, and a steal at £1.50) Pie in the Sky is the place to do it.

2. Love Food Hate Waste @LFHW_UK

This company are all about wasting less and saving US money – what’s not to love?! Love Food Hate Waste are all about the 2 P’s Portion and Planning. Their twitter feed is a daily frenzy of the latest updates about food saving initiatives across the UK, with a hive of activity in London. And of course – it is positively brimming with wholesome, tasty leftover recipe ideas to soothe your soul and belly – not to mention bank balance! So go on, share the love.

3. West London Waste @WestLondonWaste

Attention all West Londoners! Now the fine people at West London Waste really care about their grub! Whether it’s biking their way all day long to 2nd chance smoothies at Richmond May Fair (I went along and, trust me, it’s no mean feat!), celebrating compost giveaway or giving simple advice on how to #saveaspud these people care about food. So we at FindersEaters care about them. Check their twitter for upcoming events and volunteering opportunities.

4. The Rubbish Diet @therubbishdiet

Dubbed ‘the UK’s first slimming club for bins, helping you to halve your waste in just two steps’, The Rubbish Diet are taking the UK, and especially London, by storm, offering public events and top tips that can help you recycle more, save money and be a savvy shopper. You can also sign up to their website to take a two-step email challenge to slim down your bin. Think Weight Watchers but without the choc cravings!

5. The Dinner Exchange East @DinnerexchangeE

#Upcycling #foodwaste has never been easier with this lavish lot! Aiming to generate debate around food waste, they hold events across London offering music, entertainment, and 3-course vegan meals fit for a king. Leftovers never tasted so good! You can book online in advance via the twitter page or check out their website here.

6. Save The Date Café @savethedatecafe

‘London’s first egalitarian eatery’ is located in Dalston. Open until 2.30 most days for lunch, they offer lots of tasty fresh fruit and veg for you to take away on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis. You can check out audio from the Save The Date Café Launch here at Finders Eaters, or for more information visit their Facebook page.

7. Plan Zheros @PlanZheros

Based at Kings Cross, Plan Zheros is a charity which links up shops and restaurants which have surplus food to organisations who distribute it to those in need. Their twitter feed is all about sustainable living and leftover recipe demos – so keep a close eye on it for food events near you. Borough Market is a popular venue!

8. Brixton People’s Kitchen @BrixtonPK

Just what it says on the tin! Surplus food for all – and they’ve now built a mobile kitchen on a bike (Yes, you read that right) to hold foodie events in South London.

9. Snact @SnactNow

Founded in Brixton and Hackney Wick, Snact have been ‘taking a bite out of food waste and food poverty’ in and around London. Check out their delicious healthy snacks and where to find them – all made from surplus food!

10. Finders Eaters @finderseaters_

And finally…as the cliché goes – we hate to brag but we think we’re pretty awesome too!

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Top food saving cafes in London

Want to grab cheap and healthy up-cycled food on the go? Here’s our list of London’s top picks…

Click on the map:

https://en.batchgeo.com/map/c7758504202df7e6e0f3cc442da4aefa
https://en.batchgeo.com/map/c7758504202df7e6e0f3cc442da4aefa
North London

1) The People’s Kitchen Passing Clouds (@PeoplesKitchen)

peoples kitchen
Image by @PeoplesKitchen_

A volunteer run community kitchen offering up surplus food dishes. Offers FREE cooking lessons at the Kingsmead Community Centre, Kingsmead Way.

Next event: community feasts served every other Saturday (from 7th February) at 6pm at the Concorde Youth Centre, Kingsmead Way, Hackney. Volunteers welcome from 3pm.

Location: Passing Clouds, 1 Richmond Road, Dalston, E8 4AA

Contact: 07824641927

save the date
Image by James Smart

2) Save The Date (@savethedatecafe)

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.

Location: Abbot Street, Dalston

Opening times: Wednesday- Friday, 3pm-10pm

Next event: Disco Soup, 20th March, 17:00-23:55. Find out more.

morningside
Image by @CafeMorningSide

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

Contact: 07587083131

Opening times: Thursday and Friday, 9am-4pm

South London
brixton pk
Image by @BrixtonPK

4) Brixton People’s Kitchen (@BrixtonPK)

Part of the People’s Kitchen group, this Brixton community cafe run by volunteers cooks up surplus food for people across South London.

Contact: 07466653761 or volunteerwithbrixtonpk@gmail.com

Next event: 

East London

5) FoodCycle Pie in the Sky Cafe (@FoodCycleCafe)

FoodCycle-Logo
Image by @FoodCycle

The food saving charity, FoodCycle’s very own community cafe in Bromley by Bow. Run by volunteers it serves up affordable, healthy dishes made from surplus food.

Location: Bromley by Bow Centre, St Leonards Street

Contact: nicola@foodcycle.org.uk

Opening times: Monday-Friday, 8:30am-3:30pm

To find out more check out our liveblog and extended interview with cafe manager Nicola Corney. For other FoodCycle hubs across London visit their website.

West London

6) West London People’s Kitchen (@WestLondonPK)

west london peoples kitchen
Image by @WestLondonPK

Runs pop-up kitchens serving meals and snacks made from surplus food across West London, with payment on a pay-as-you-feel basis. Volunteers welcome!

Next event:

FEATURE: New cafe calls on Londoners to stop food waste

There are just weeks to go before the launch of a new cafe in Dalston which will create its dishes from surplus food donations.

Save the Date cafe will intercept and repackage food from supermarkets and food outlets that would otherwise go to over-crowded landfill sites.

The project aims to change attitudes in the UK on a larger scale through educational workshops and attracting the attention of big businesses.

We caught up with James Smart, the co-director and head chef at Save The Date, to talk about changing attitudes towards food waste and how to source your own leftovers.

save the date
Image by James Smart

Saving Food

Some 60 million tonnes of food are wasted in the UK every year.

James explained that the idea of the cafe is “to change people’s perspective on how we treat food, how we value food, and how we are wasting it.”

“There’s so much being wasted that’s good; if we did stop wasting all that food we could feed everybody in the world”.

The not-for-profit cafe will be run by volunteers and operate a strictly Pay-as-you-feel (PAYF) policy.

That means payment may be made through voluntary work at the cafe or through a donation of cash or equipment, such as a tea pot.

Food providers will include three of the UK’s largest supermarkets as well as various high-street cafe and restaurant chains.

The Real Junk Food Project

Save The Date is the latest initiative from from the anti-food waste organization, The Real Junk Food Project, whose first community cafe opened in Leeds in December 2013.

The network now spans 40 cafes across the UK, with plans to expand abroad to Uruguay, Japan, France and America.

As James pointed out, the project’s expansion shows that “more and more people are becoming aware of the issue”.

As part of the Real Junk Food Project network, Save the Date will be able to share resources and volunteers with other cafes.

The notoriety of the project has meant that Save The Date cafe has already received attention from the Green Party and Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Diane Abbott.

Image by @realjunkfoodLiv
Image by @realjunkfoodLiv

Educating the young

Save The Date plans to change people’s eating habits, starting with the youngest, through their schools programme.

James highlighted the importance of catching the problem at an early age.

“If kids learn to grow up that way and they know about ways to eat and about nutrition, hopefully by the time they’re older it will be naturally ingrained into them that you shouldn’t waste food.”

Supermarket attitudes

James believes that the key to making changes is to get big companies to take responsibility for their own food wastage.

“It should be made illegal to waste food.”

France is already in the early stages of doing just that.

A group of French MPs have drafted a law making it compulsory for supermarket chains to hand over all unsold food still fit for consumption to charity.

In May a law was passed in Belgium doing-away with ‘best before’ labels on coffee, rice, dry pasta, hard cheeses, jams and pickles to help reduce food wastage.

The highly successful ‘Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables’ initiative by French supermarket giant Intermarché, sees ugly fruit sold at a 30% discount to demonstrate to shoppers that it is still just as edible.

“People are willing to accept that food,” James pointed out, “it’s the supermarkets who think it’s cosmetically unfit”.

“The food’s sometimes even tastier and has more nutrients in it because it’s had longer to grow”.

Inglorious_Fruits_and_Vegetables
Source: http://www.permaculturenews.org/images/Inglorious_Fruits_and_Vegetables.jpg

Social benefit

The cafe’s PAYF policy promises to help members of the community in need.

Figures suggest that suicide rates have dropped in Leeds, in the area around the Real Junk Food Project’s community cafe.

“There were people spending seven days a week without food in the apartments across the road from the cafe.”

“They are now some of our best volunteers because they’re getting fed every day. Their whole life has changed around because of it”.

James is also keen to welcome the homeless to Save the Date.

“We don’t discriminate against anyone. In my ideal world I would have homeless people in my cafe sitting next to some of the richest people in the country”.

The Real Junk Food Cafe runs a number of soup kitchens and mobile catering vans, which James plans to introduce in London.

Do-It-Yourself

Save the Date also aims to encourage people to actively save food at home.

At the cafe’s ‘Food Boutique’ people will be able to pick up essential items for a small donation to save money on their weekly shop.

A ‘skipper’ himself, James encourages people to source their own surplus food but warns that it should be done “with extreme caution”.

Certain areas of London are better for ‘skipping’ than others, he told me.

It’s a good idea to ask for surplus food in markets where it’s often kept in a separate food bin to be taken to landfill.

Sourcing food in skips can be risky because “you don’t know what journey it’s been on to get there,” James explained.

“It’s all about using common sense.”

Knowing how the supermarkets’ bin system works is essential to avoiding potentially contaminated food.

Food-only bins destined for landfill are the safest option.

Above all, James warned, avoid entering anywhere unless you know that you have the right to.

Staying safe whilst skipping is important not only for your own well-being but for the impact of the anti-food waste cause.

“If someone get’s really ill and breaks the law while they’re doing it, all that will do is have a massive negative consequence on the whole of the industry”.

A key rule-of-thumb when skipping is never to take more than you need, since large communities, such as squats, depend on that food for survival.

As James summed up:

“The golden rule is common sense and never take more than you need.”

Save the Date cafe will open at the Bee Garden on Abbott Street in Dalston on 28th November. For more details and to volunteer visit their Facebook page.