Environmental Sociology: The Real Junk Food Project

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    • 00:05

      [Environmental Sociology: The Real Junk Food Project]

    • 00:17

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM: There were junk food projectsintercepts food waste from various sources.That could be restaurants, supermarkets,deli's, and then we turn it into healthy meals for the communityon a pay as you go basis.So we make food available to people that otherwise wouldn'thave access to it, and we prevent food wasteat the same time.[Where real junk food comes from]

    • 00:38

      IMOGEN RICHMOND-BISHOP: One for you.

    • 00:42

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM: On a day to day basis,it would involve going to supermarkets,picking up food that is surplus to requirements.Sorting it, weighing it, documenting it.

    • 00:54

      IMOGEN RICHMOND-BISHOP: What we're doing rightnow is we're weighing all the foodthat we intercepted last night.So interception is when we go to the supermarkets,and they give us all the food that they would have thrownaway. [Imogen Richmond Bishop, Director, Real Junk FoodProject] So all this food here that we've just been weighingwould've ended up in the landfillif we wouldn't have got to it first.And so we weigh it all up in different categories.So we'll do asparagus together, the peppers together,et cetera.

    • 01:14

      IMOGEN RICHMOND-BISHOP [continued]: And then we enter onto our online database,which is then sent to the global junk food network.So we've got 15 kilos of potatoes, we've got asparagus,we've got lots of orange juice, waters,we've got 30 kilos of rice.So I mean it's a really, really mixed bag, and some of it,like for example, dog food obviously we won't be serving

    • 01:34

      IMOGEN RICHMOND-BISHOP [continued]: here, but we'll be giving away.And some of the things we actuallygive to various community groups,so we'll give it to women's refuges, to homeless shelters,to different people.I mean, sometimes we'll get 132 kilos of carrots in one night.And then sometimes, like today, weseem to have boxes and boxes of asparagus.It really, really, varies, not necessarily even seasonally.

    • 01:55

      IMOGEN RICHMOND-BISHOP [continued]: It just seems to be-- shops seem to overbuy things sometimes.

    • 02:01

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM: Supermarkets are oneof the biggest wasters of food.When you start seeing crates and crates of potatoes, or cratesand crates of fruit that could feed a family for two weeks,it's shocking.A lot of people don't realize why things get thrown away,what things get thrown away.[The problem of food waste]

    • 02:22

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM: I think we have a massive problemat the moment with food waste.It happens from farm level, from what'sproduced, all the way down to the fork level on a plate.Almost half the food that is produced in this countryends up at landfill, which is shocking. [Adam Buckingham,Director, The Real Junk Food Project]Especially when there is so much poverty let alone in the world,

    • 02:46

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM [continued]: but within this country.We used to grow our own food, we usedto have a relationship with it, we used to cook with it,whereas now it's more about eat, eat,eat as quickly as you can, so we can go and dothese other things, like get back to work.We don't really stop anymore to appreciate food,and I think because of that we don't appreciate the energyand the time that has gone into food.We're not seeing it as the valuable, essential, critical

    • 03:08

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM [continued]: commodity that it is.We source our food from all manner of places.We have direct relationships with supermarkets.The Lidl are one of our close partners,and we go to store every single day.We have a relationship with the store managers,

    • 03:29

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM [continued]: they put food aside for us.So this is food that is surplus to requirementsor it's been compromised in some way.So it could be that it's past its sell by date,it's best before date.It could be that one packet of a certain vegetable, one of them

    • 03:49

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM [continued]: is gone rotten, or one of them has been squashed slightly.So we'll just come in, we'll throwthat one away, we'll compost it, and we'll use the rest.Technically what we're doing is illegal,there's no two ways about it.This food, by the letter of the law,

    • 04:12

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM [continued]: is not fit for human consumption anymore.So we're going directly against that philosophy,and saying you're wrong, it clearly is.And we can clearly prove that it is, because we're eating it.

    • 04:26

      IMOGEN RICHMOND-BISHOP: On a Friday morning whenwe get here, we just look at what we've gotand it's ready, steady, cook, really.We just have to be very creative with what we've got.

    • 04:40

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM: On the day we turn upand start cooking on a huge, huge level,i mean the kitchen here on a Fridayis just a hive of activity.

    • 05:04

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM [continued]: No one really has a set specific role, everyone does everything.It could be that on a day within the Junk Food Project,you do everything.You weigh food, you help wash up, you help prep,you help clean, and you talk to customersand explain the project to people.We've got about 120 volunteers now.

    • 05:26

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM [continued]: And everyone together has got the same amountof passion and drive.There are no set roles, people just want to be involvedand want to put their time and energy into it.People really feel like it's important,and that we'll all in it together to tackle food wasteand to feed people with that food.

    • 05:50

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM [continued]: [Breaking bread together]

    • 05:54

      IMOGEN RICHMOND-BISHOP: What's going on todayis we're at our regular community cafedown at the One Church.So here we use all of our intercepted foods,and we cook up a big meal for all the residents of Brighton.So we normally have between 160 to 200 people coming down.So we have starters, we have meat options, veg options,vegan options, juices, desserts, all sorts of things.

    • 06:18

      IMOGEN RICHMOND-BISHOP [continued]: We're trying to create a communityspace, where we have all different membersof our community.So we have homeless people, we have children and families,we have students, all the members of Brightonare coming together and sharing a meal.And sharing a table with these peoplethat wouldn't normally be meeting.Their meeting either down in the kitchen as volunteers,or they're eating up in the cafe,sharing a nice plate of food, and having things

    • 06:39

      IMOGEN RICHMOND-BISHOP [continued]: to talk about.On average, we feed about 300 to 400 people a week,so that includes about 200 at our communitycafe on the Fridays, plus various other projectsthat we help out with.The pay as you feel concept is the idea that everybody hassomething to give, whether it's money, whether it's time,

    • 07:00

      IMOGEN RICHMOND-BISHOP [continued]: whether it's-- some people are donating food to us,donating a juicer, a blender, all these different things.Because not everyone has the same levels of money,so it makes it a more equal playing field.

    • 07:13

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM: Everyone has something to bring,it doesn't necessarily have to be a monetary donation.The people can donate their time,people can donate a skill, people can donate an idea.The kind of people we get coming into the cafewill be anything really from your average Joe,we get families, we get businessmen,we get people coming from work just nipping in

    • 07:36

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM [continued]: to grab some lunch.We get homeless people, we get students,every kind of demographic in the cafe and all mingling.

    • 07:47

      IMOGEN RICHMOND-BISHOP: I think oneof the main things that we're hoping to show to peopleis the level of food waste, of perfectly edible food.This food, it's delicious food, and it's justbeing thrown away.

    • 08:02

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM: I think we're nowclose to 2,000 people that we've fed,people who are eating this food, and peoplewho know that this food would have been going to landfilland would've missed everyone mouths.And I suppose it's the shock and awefactor of seeing that amount of foodon the side, that's been turned into beautiful, delicious, and

    • 08:25

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM [continued]: nutritious meals.That gets people involved, that gets people talkingabout that when they go home to their family and their friends.[Redefining waste]

    • 08:37

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM: Waste is just something that is disregarded.So waste could be something that I've justtaken right off the shelf, and for whatever reason,because I don't like the look of it or because I think it's off,I throw it in the bin, that becomes waste.But what we're trying to say is that isn't the casethat things are surplus requirements can still be used.

    • 08:59

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM [continued]: Touch wood, no ones had any problems with the food,and that goes for every single cafe across the country.We've fed several thousand people,and now I think it's like maybe 30,000 people who'vebeen fed with food that would've been going to waste,so that speaks for itself.

    • 09:14

      IMOGEN RICHMOND-BISHOP: There needsto be a massive change with what happens to the whole foodindustry in the UK.I mean, the way that we produce food now, it's not sustainable,we can't keep on doing it.The amount of pesticides that we'reusing-- creating massive soil erosion problems,polluting the waters, all these different things.And then this food is then being thrown away,

    • 09:34

      IMOGEN RICHMOND-BISHOP [continued]: it just is quite ludicrous, really.And the supermarkets aren't really helping with the waythat they package their foods, and with sell by dates and bestby dates that don't really representthe real lifespan of a product.

    • 09:48

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM: Our future plansinvolve being able to run seven days a week.We want to be able to start working with more supermarkets,intercepting more food waste, and feeding more people.

    • 10:02

      IMOGEN RICHMOND-BISHOP: There needsto be a massive change in food packaging,there needs to be change in legislation.Supermarkets shouldn't be allowedto throw away the quantities of food that they throw away.And it's thousands and thousands of tons,it's not small amounts.This all really needs to be changed.

    • 10:18

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM: It's a massive problemthat we're having to do this, and that really wedon't want to be doing this.We want to be putting ourselves out business,and we want to be changing legislation.We want to be getting to the core of the problemand stopping this from happening.We don't want to be around in five years, in ten years,

    • 10:41

      ADAM BUCKINGHAM [continued]: however long it takes to abolish food waste completely.That is the end goal.[MUSIC PLAYING]

Environmental Sociology: The Real Junk Food Project

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The Real Junk Food Project collects fresh produce labeled as waste by supermarkets and others and serves it in community café in Brighton, England. The organization aims to reform the food industry and prevent half the produce grown in England from ending up in landfills.

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Environmental Sociology: The Real Junk Food Project

The Real Junk Food Project collects fresh produce labeled as waste by supermarkets and others and serves it in community café in Brighton, England. The organization aims to reform the food industry and prevent half the produce grown in England from ending up in landfills.

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