“Feed Bellies Not Bins”
The Real Junk Food is a cafe that diverts food destined for waste and uses it to create delicious and healthy meals. It operates on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis meaning that people can exchange whatever they may have for a meal.
This project exists because approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food gets wasted every year. To put it in simpler terms, that is around a third of food that is produced for human consumption wasted. The video below shows the founder of the project explaining why food waste is a real issue and how he came about to make this change.
Over the past six weeks I have been volunteering at The Real Junk Food Project and have really enjoyed a range of things about being there. First of all, although there should not be a need for such a project as food waste should not be an issue, it was great to see for myself that something is being done about this and made this realistic especially when looking at all of the food waste in front of me and using it to create meals to feed people. In addition to this, the team there are extremely friendly and welcoming to new people as they are really appreciative of all the help that they receive. It is clear to see that they are passionate about what they are doing as things are always done effectively and they hold themselves to very high standards.
I have also become more cautious and mindful when eating food, myself and trying not to waste it as I know how much of an issue it is. Even though you may think that you cannot make a change, doing something as simple as cutting down on your food waste can be quite significant in the fact that others will see that you are doing this and will follow along, but also become more aware of the issue and possibly encourage others to do so as well.
Projects like the Real Junk Food are really important as they are tackling real issues like food waste in a practical and hands on way whilst also challenging how we view food that is often considered undesirable to eat. One of the best things for me is that it is done in a manner that engages the community and brings people from all different backgrounds together for a good cause to socialise with others whilst enjoying a meal.
I have begun to realise the significance of projects such as the Real Junk Food for people in the community, not only from a perspective about eliminating food waste but the role that it plays to people in their lives. Whilst volunteering one evening, I encountered two individuals who were very angry and were quite rude when approaching me, although it did make me upset to think that people would behave like this, I evaluated the situation and remembered that incidents like this show why places like these are needed, not only for the food but because it is an outlet for many people whether they use it in a positive or negative way. It can be so easily forgotten that others are human and have feelings too. That is not to say that this excuses bad actions however that people often come to these spaces with baggage and personal issues and this is almost a form of escape for them whist being in this environment whether it is through simply having conversations with people or being in the physical space itself.
If you would like to find out further information about the project and how to get involved, links are below
~ Let hurtful words and energy remind you that what the world needs is more love. Let this knowingness make you strong
~ “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”
~ “No one has ever become poor by giving.”
Kieran is a Chakra ’16 Intern working with Lightseekers.
Read Kieran’s blog https://kieranbains.wordpress.com/
The views expressed on this blog are those of the Chakra Intern