A recent study showed that almost 50% of the food produced in the US is wasted and here in the UK we waste 7.3 million tonnes of food, over half of which is edible! Dan Barber, the environmentally conscious Michelin Star chef of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, one of the world’s 50 best restaurants and our Head Chef, Jodi’s hero, decided to react to this nonsense. On the 24th of February – 2nd of April, Dan Barber opened a pop on the rooftop of Selfridges that featured a wide range of waste-elimination dishes like the carrot and beet juice pulp burger (Jodi said it was unbelievably delicious!!).
At our own kitchen, Maple & Co is also fighting waste! As an example, we use the pulp from our beloved Green Queen cold-pressed juice to make our overnight vegetable broth. We also work with Too Good To Go, an app that helps eliminate end of day food wastage. Chris, one of the founders of To Good to Go was kind enough to answer a few of our questions:
- How big is the food wastage in the UK in 2017?
Figures have just been released which show we’re throwing away more food than ever. We waste 7.3 million tonnes of food, over half of which is edible, in our households alone, whilst the restaurant and catering industry throws out 600,000 tonnes of edible food each year – equivalent to the weight of 84 Eiffel Towers. We want Too Good To Go to highlight that often times food ‘waste’ isn’t in fact waste at all – it’s perfectly good stuff that might have a meaningless ‘best before’ date on it or be binned because it’s remained unsold in a shop that’s had an unexpectedly quiet day. This will hopefully get people thinking about how they manage their waste in the home and ultimately lead to the more sustainable usage of our planet’s precious resources.
- How did you start Too Good To Go?
Too Good To Go began as a website in November 2015, but it had such a huge uptake in demand and positive reaction in the press that we decided to create a mobile app, which we launched in Brighton and Leeds last summer. We’ve since gone on to amass over 100,000 downloads and saved 14,000 meals – and this is just the beginning!
- Can you explain how your app works?
A user downloads the Too Good To Go app from the App Store or Play Store. On opening the app, as long as location services are enabled, a list of the closest restaurants, cafes, bakeries, market stalls, delis and other shops with surplus food available for collection will be displayed. You can then make a purchase via the app (everything costs between £1.50 and £3.80, and is up to 60-90% off regular prices) and receive a mobile receipt. Then, just take the mobile receipt to the store in the collection time specified on the app and hey presto, you get to enjoy a huge box of delicious, fresh food at the same time as fighting food waste!
- How much food wastage did you avoid since the beginning of Too Good To Go?
In the UK we’ve rescued almost 15,000 meals from landfill in a little over 6 months. Europe-wide, we have saved almost 500,000 meals and close to 900 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions (that’s the same as 450 long-haul flights) – all from perfectly good food that would have otherwise been thrown away.
- Any new challenges upcoming for your team?
Yes! Each day brings with it fresh challenges. Now, having began to establish ourselves in London, Leeds and Brighton, we’ve set our sights on other large UK cities so we can save even more food. We’ve just launched Too Good To Go in Wales and hope to land north of the border in Scotland soon!
We are so inspired by Michelin Chef Dan Barber and the team at Too Good To Go – help us win the fight against waste!
x Adria, Jodi and the Maple Team.