Three businesses doing fantastic work with food waste
Food waste is one of the most pressing issues our industry faces, so let's shine a spotlight on some of the people making a big difference
This week we've welcomed Snact to many of our sites to offer free tastings of their fabulous snacks to our diners. Snact is way more than a fun food brand, though. They've built their company as one way of tackling a major global problem - food waste.
Food waste is one of the biggest sustainability issues that our industry has to tackle - in the UK alone we produce 10 million tonnes of the stuff. This increases the amount of landfill we produce, and the food creates carbon dioxide as it breaks down, which pollutes the atmosphere and adds to global warming.
It also means that lots of people go hungry when they don't need to, since a whopping third of all food globally is wasted. Because this is such a pressing issue, we're always keeping our eyes open for fantastic companies doing brilliant and important work in that area, and coming up with creative solutions to the problem.
Here are four that have caught our notice recently.
Our friends at Snact buy up surplus fruit from farmers that has been rejected by supermarkets, usually just for being a bit lumpy. They then turn that fruit into delicious snacks - so they're treating us and the environment at the same time.
They call their product "fruit jerky", since it's dried but still nice and chewy. That means it lasts a good while and is only 65 calories per bag. What's not to love?
Snact started as just a small operation buying up leftover fruit from wholesale markets, but recently crowdfunded enough money to expand considerably - showing the huge appetite there is out there for a change in how we look after our food stocks.
Look at their blog for more great updates on their work.
Rubies in the Rubble
Like Snact, Rubies in the Rubble aim to fill the hole left by supermarkets rejecting huge amounts of produce that isn't quite the right shape or size. Instead of doing this with fruit, Rubies mostly works with vegetables, making fantastic chutneys and pickles that, once again, can sit on a shelf for way longer than the fresh stuff - helping us hold on to our produce for a rainy day.
They say they've so far prevented over 100 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere and saved 660 thousand individual pieces of fruit and vegetables. It doesn't hurt that their food tastes great. We especially recommend their picallili, and we can't wait to give the new ketchup a try.
The Real Junk Food Project
Rather than turning surplus food into useful and tasty products, the Real Junk Food Project goes one step further and makes sure surplus food is available to everyone, including those who need it most.
They run a network of cafés across the UK that divert food that might otherwise go to landfill and turn it into fantastic meals. These can be eaten by absolutely anyone, since all their cafés are run on a "Pay what you Feel" basis. You pay as much as you want to, or can manage, and everyone eats the same great food.
Like Snact, the Real Junk Food Project also ran a recent crowdfunder to open a brand new restaurant in Manchester, and they reached their target eight days before the deadline. They'll be moving their restaurant right into the city centre - showing that the food industry's growing attention on food waste is here to stay.
We're inspired every time we see another business or organisation finding creative ways to do good with food. So if you know of any companies making a difference in our industry, we'd love to hear about them! Send us a tweet @JustHospitality and tell us all about what they're doing.