The leftover revolution: 5 of our favourite food waste projects

From putting sagging pumpkins to good use to salvaging vegetables languishing in farmers’ fields, we profile 5 tasty food waste projects

1. Cool run-ins
The People’s Fridge

Literally a fridge on a street. Businesses with spare edible produce leave it inside for those who can’t afford to buy good food. The first People’s Fridge was crowdfunded by 127 backers and is soon to open in Brixton, south London, with more to follow. Chillingly brilliant.

2. Gourd-geous gourmet 
The Pumpkin Rescue

18,000 tonnes of pumpkins are binned in the UK at Halloween each year: the gourmet equivalent of 1,500 double-decker buses. Via recipes, workshops and on social media, the Pumpkin Rescue puts a fire in the belly of squash-lovers everywhere. When the bin beckons, eat or compost these fearsome fruits instead they say.


‘Tis the season: the team at The Pumpkin Rescue encourage more composting and less dumping of pumpkins. Image: Hubbub

3. Eating the neighbour’s

From spare home-grown veg to groceries left lonely when you go on holiday, surplus food can be listed on the free OLIO app. Eagle-eyed users then request the item and arrange a pick-up. It connects neighbours, as well as individuals to shops. That’s some tasty technology.

4. Fieldwork
The Gleaning Network

The Gleaning Network coordinates volunteers, farmers and food redistribution charities to salvage thousands of tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables from farm fields. Apples, pears, strawberries, cabbages and parsnips have been put to good use so far: the lip-smacking equivalent of more than 2m portions of food.


From field to plate: Gleaning Network volunteers salvage food languishing in the field. Image: Feedback

5. Snorting out the rubbish
The Pig Idea

Where there’s swill, there’s a way, goes the mantra at The Pig Idea. Why spend resources, time and money growing crops to feed to pigs when they could be fed food waste instead? High-profile ham-bassadors include Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nigella Lawson.

Main image: Sebastian Wood/The People’s Fridge

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