On the 18th of May 2016, the London MakeSense community gathered for another inspiring MKS Room (hybrid event format with talks and live music).
The objective of this event was to understand how we are responsible for food waste and what we can do as individuals to help reduce it.
We had the chance to discuss this hot topic with our special guest speakers:
► Martina Randles, Community Marketing Manager at OLIO, a free app that allows consumers, restaurants and supermarkets to share perfectly edible food that is due to be removed from the shelves. Their mission: to unlock the value of food that is wasted in the home and community.
► Keiran Whitaker, Founder of Entocycle, an innovative food company that is developing one of the most advanced, efficient and sustainable systems to feed the world. They produce animal food the way nature intended. They are utilising the power of Hermetia illucens (Black Soldier Fly) – to ‘up-cycle’ organic waste into a sustainable protein feed alternative for Aquaculture and Livestock.
► James McGowan, Manager of the campaign « Love Food Hate Waste » which targets food-waste prevention and helps address the amount of food that is wasted in people’s homes. The campaign was launched following ground-breaking research, carried out by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), illustrating the scale of the problem and the associated environmental and economic impacts. WRAP is a private, not-for-profit company that works with governments, businesses and communities to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency.
It is important to be aware that we all waste food. According to WRAP, almost 50% of the food wasted in the UK comes from our homes and unfortunately most people don’t realise that food waste is an issue. The global impact of food waste is enormous and results in significant chain-reaction implications: loss of money for businesses/households and has terrible consequences on the environment. Food waste is responsible for a huge amount of loss in resources and biodiversity due to lands being exploited unnecessarily for food production. It’s also important to remember that food waste contributes to one of the largest amounts of the world’s carbon footprint.
Given the current state of our ecosystem and the constant growing population, a change in our current food system is more than necessary and everyone has a role to play.
During this MKS Room, we highlighted that food waste is happening mainly due to the fact that our generation has lost the value of food. Our busy lifestyle is, in a large part, to be blamed for this; in order to save time, we favour quick and easy solutions to eat. We spend less time cooking and buying groceries and don’t think enough about using leftovers. Subsequently, our cooking skills and knowledge have been lost between generations, as people tend to throw away products they don’t know how to cook. Indeed, buying our groceries in the supermarket by batches and at discounted prices, tends to be appealing to consumers but doesn’t help us make sensible purchases.
“Our cooking skills and knowledge have been lost between generations”
However, with the help of our guests we emphasised how we can think differently about the food we eat and what we can do to reduce food waste on a day-to-day basis. Solutions are simple and numerous such as: buying less food at a time and doing it at our local green grocers, keep food in suitable packaging in order to keep it longer, learn to cook with what we have in our cupboards rather than constantly buying and throwing it away…
There are many more positive movements and campaigns happening around food waste reduction and they have an important role in spreading information and contributing to increasing consumers’ awareness (This is Rubbish, Wonky Vegetables, Love Food Hate Waste, etc).
What’s more, innovative projects such as Entocycle’s sustainable animal feed and OLIO’s app aimed at creating links between communities, will definitely make a difference to reducing food waste.
Collective awareness and being proactive are key and will considerably contribute to a more sustainable food system.
It has been a very inspiring and interactive night. You can find more by listening to the podcast of the emission below :
2 artists have enlightened the room:
Anna McAndrew – Anna is a singer-songwriter & artist traveller educator. She researches arts, learning and song around the world including Canada, Burkina Faso and India.
Diligent Indolent – Diligent Indolent is an acoustic guitarist from South West London, who delivers progressive folk with verve and melody.
This event was part of the global mobilisation campaign that raises awareness and creates action around #FoodSecurity.
Written by Marie Le Solliec, MakeSense volunteer and MKS Room master.
Thank you Gianpietro Pucciariello for those amazing pictures.