Tackling North East food poverty with innovation

ediblegivingIt’s often said that hardship provides the spark for innovation so maybe that’s why these two food developments have come about in the North East just now.

During tough times, taking a fresh approach to people getting fed is something that has become as necessary as it is shameful for the UK in 2015.

I came across these two initiatives at an event held in County Durham to showcase local social entrepreneurs and they both attempt to answer that very real need in their local communities.

The first is EdibleGiving.org. The idea is to map all the places that those of us fortunate to have enough food can go to donate some of it for people who haven’t.

Developer Gregory Marler explains his thinking on the site.

I know a few local charities, but if I’m away from home where do I give the food, and what if local details change? I wanted to solve this by creating a UK-wide or international map, and I wanted different organisations to be able to use their own systems to keep the shared map updated.

It’s up and running and people are invited to help add more locations.

Logo-transparent1-e1428586248839Second is The Magic Hat Cafe, a series of pop-up eateries with a difference – the difference being that all the food served up would otherwise have been destined for the rubbish dump.

As well as helping cut down on food waste, the resulting food has to be an ever-changing menu to be able to cope with the available produce and the cafe leaves it up to the diner to decide how much to pay for the meal.

You can find out where Newcastle’s Magic Hat Cafe will be popping up next in the city at the events section of its website here.

Dinner from the bin?

In a quest to cut down on food waste, one (soon to be relocating) Manchester blogger believes he has found the answer – eat for free from bins.

At the blog PhillyHarper.com he reveals details about raids on supermarket bins: “In one night we bagged hot cross buns, luxury waffles, hot chocolate, 7 pizzas (out of around 30 available), loaves of bread, orange juice, crumpets, biscuits, yoghurt bars and chocolate. There was more food available than we could comfortably carry but it was clear that we weren’t the only people taking free food from the supermarkets, so we left some for others to take home too.

“We got straight home and a vegetable pizza with taste the difference orange juice then onto hot chocolate for dessert. Remember, these aren’t bins we’re taking food from, they’re clearance isles where everything is free.”

An extreme solution or common sense?

You can read the full blog post here.