25 | May | 10

Richard Johnson

Food For Thought

I grew up on leftovers – the original meal was never found. So, when I became an adult, I vowed my life would be different. That meant no more bubble and squeak. But it all changed the day I met Dr William Rathje, the world’s leading ‘garbologist’. He had been trawling through kitchen garbage for 30 years, analysing what we throw away – however bad it smells. He took one look at the amount of food I was throwing away, and told me straight – I should be ashamed of myself.

The fact is that one third of the food we buy in this country ends up in the bin. That includes old tea bags and dirty vegetable peelings – but 15% of it includes perfectly edible food. So I worked out the sums. I was chucking away £30 every time I did a supermarket shop. That was £120 a month, or £1,440 a year – a lot of money. It’s also a lot of food: as a nation, we throw away 6.7m tons per year. Talk about a throwaway society.

As a food writer, I was forever binning the dishes that PRs sent me – unusual stir-fry sauces with goji berries, for instance. And anything involving beetroot. I didn’t see the problem. When I met the amazing team at A Taste of Freedom, I started to see the error of my ways. They intercept fresh yet unwanted fruit before it goes to waste, and transform it into healthy delectable treats. I’m beyond excited to have them as my latest finalist in September……..