“Feeding the 5000” gives 5000 curries away

November 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Cooking Curry (photo credited to Anca Toma)

Five thousand free vegetable curries were given to the people of London yesterday at Feeding the 5000 in Trafalgar Square.

All the curries were made from vegetables that, although edible, did not meet the ‘cosmetic standards’ of British supermarkets.

Event organiser and food waste campaigner, Tristram Stuart said, “Supermarkets are very, very strict about how fruit and vegetables look. We need to all respond to this – the global food-waste scandal.

We waste a third of the entire food supply… its causing environmental destruction, it’s contributing to global hunger.”

The event was organised to highlight how easy it is for people to reduce the amount of food they waste.

“The aim of our lunchtime feast is to highlight how food waste can be avoided by putting food to good use – feeding people,” Stuart said.

Both the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and the Bishop of London spoke at the event.

Johnson said, “Throwing away mountains of perfectly edible food is crazy at a time when all Londoners are feeling the pinch. I want to do all I can to help people to cut waste, save cash by doing so and improve our great city.”

Activities for the public

Over the two-hour event members of the public were invited to participate in a number of activities designed to show how food waste can be reduced.

Activities included apple pressing to produce freshly squeezed apple juice, feeding the four, kune kune pigs on site and bagging ‘wonky’ vegetables to deliver to London charities.

Kune kune pigs (photo credited to Anca Toma)

Abby Brindley, from The Mobile Farm Company who provided the kune kune pigs for the event said they had come to show people how easy it is to give leftover food to farm animals. She pointed out that it is currently illegal to give leftover food from restaurant kitchens to livestock:

“It is illegal to feed waste food from restaurants to pigs because of cross-contamination and fear of foot and mouth”

She continued saying that importing the pig food is “very expensive” and the cost of buying it is putting many pig farmers out of business.

Live cooking on display

Chef Arthur Potts Dawson (photo credited to Anca Toma)

Throughout the day cooking demonstrations by professional chefs, including Arthur Potts Dawson and Valentine Warner took place. Potts Dawson said that the UK had become slightly “health and safety mad.”

“We throw away food to be better safe than sorry… just use your common sense and you’ll be fine.”

Free food is good

While the queue for the free curry stretched around Trafalgar Square it didn’t seem to put people off.

One member of the public, Jeff said that the food was “delicious” and the queue was “very short… it took less time than buying a coffee from Starbucks in the morning.”

Lucy, another member of the public, said that it was “very tasty, very delicious, it’s always good to have free food.” She added that the event had a “good buzz, a good atmosphere to it.”

Feeding the 5000 returned to Trafalgar Square this year after a successful first event in 2009.

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