The brilliant pioneers fighting food waste | Melissa Hemsley
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8 Inspiring Pioneers Fighting Food Waste

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8 Inspiring Pioneers Fighting Food Waste

food waste charities melissa hemsley

The UN reports a third of all food produced ends up in the bin. Food waste is a big contributor to global carbon emissions and it’s not just the edible product that’s wasted. It’s everything that went into growing it and getting it to you – the energy, labour, water and land to grow the food, the energy to transport it to you, and then the energy, labour and land to dispose of it from your kitchen to landfill. All those resources, all that waste.

None of us feel good throwing away food but don’t forget, we can all play our part to waste much less at home too, and it can and should be delicious. Here’s one thing you can do today to reduce food waste at home.

For now though, I’ve rounded up some amazing chefs, food heroes, charities and restaurants playing their part to fight food waste in extraordinary and wonderful ways.

Skye Gyngell
Skye Gyngell is a food hero of mine and head chef at Spring restaurant in central London. I invited her to talk at my Sustainability Sessions to discuss how she’s eliminated single-use plastic in her kitchen and her incredible zero-waste pre-theatre ‘Scratch’ menu that repurposes ingredients that would otherwise end up in the bin. Think beetroot tops turned into nourishing soups and warm bread pudding. Get down to Spring as soon as you can!

The Felix Project
A charity close to my heart, The Felix Project intercept surplus food that would otherwise go to waste and delivers it to communities in need. I’ve volunteered with them many times and cannot think of a better way to use my time. If you’d like to consider giving a few hours of your time to volunteer with this amazing team, please click here.

Silo Restaurant
Run by the brilliant Doug McMaster, Silo is truly a pioneering zero-waste restaurant and has now moved to just down the road in Hackney Wick. Not only is the menu all about innovative local, seasonal food, the zero-waste ethos runs through everything they do. 

They trade directly with farmers so that they can eliminate plastic packaging, absolutely everything is made on site – from the aged butter to their bread – they compost all leftovers and scraps, while meat that would otherwise be wasted at the source, like old dairy cows and venison, is sourced super carefully. An inspiring revolutionary restaurant.

love food hate waste melissa hemsley

Love Food Hate Waste
I was honoured to spend a fantastic day cooking for Love Food Hate Waste last year with the ladies of the Hubb Community Kitchen, who came together in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire. I cooked alongside other amazing chefs, including Anna Jones, Thomasina Miers, Skye Gyngell, Tom Hunt, Angela Hartnett and Merlin Labron-Johnson.

Love Food Hate Waste are a great online resource to help you cut food waste and they help to organise local anti-food waste initiatives like this one. Read more about that here.

Feedback are an incredible anti-food-waste campaign group, working across all levels of our food chain to fight unnecessary edible food waste. They’ve just launched their Gleaning Handbook: a resource to help people rescue on-farm food surplus and redirect it to those in need, by setting up their own gleaning hub. Find out more about it here.

Talking of farm waste, Oddbox are a fruit and veg box scheme with a difference. They work closely with farmers across the UK to rescue seasonal surplus produce that would end up wasted. They deliver across London.

Tom Hunt
A mate of mine, food waste activist and pioneer of the phrase, root to fruit, Tom is all about using the whole ingredient so nothing gets wasted. I’m hyped for his new book, coming out this spring.

Ramael Scully
Ex-Ottolenghi chef, Scully, is a brilliant visionary chef with a bold, veg-centric menu that I’m a big fan of his St James restaurant. St James, along with a couple of my favourite places like, Stem and Angela Hartnett’s Cafe Murano, has pledged to reduce food waste by at least 25% by May 2020 which is really incredible to see.

Want to know how you can cut food waste at home? Check out my new book, Eat Green! It’s packed with waste-free tips, flexible recipes, an A-Z guide to get you using those veg ‘scraps’, plus loads more. Order a copy of Eat Green here.


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