For this month’s food blog, we look just over the border at a food waste initiative in Tunbridge Wells. You may have seen CAK at our Eco Fair in February. We end as usual with some seasonal food recipes – this month these have kindly been suggested by Charlie.
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Reducing food waste and repurposing surplus while enhancing unity in our community.
Over a third of food produced globally goes to waste. If food waste were a country, it would be the third biggest producer of greenhouse gasses after the US and China, simply put, food waste is responsible for more greenhouse gasses than aviation!
In November 2021 I set up a go fund me, to friends and family on Facebook with the hope of making a difference. It raised £750, I used that to register a community interest company, purchase some basic equipment, insurance, food hygiene training and jumped in with both feet to launch Charlie’s Angels Kitchens.
With an ever increasing army of ‘ANGELS’ (volunteers) we collect supermarket surplus, allotment gluts and surplus food delivered to us by Fareshare using these ingredients to create an eclectic menu, usually a three course lunch, which we deliver to our community at pop up stalls. Our regular pop-up locations are in Southborough on Monday and Rusthall on Wednesday, we also pop up at local events and offer private catering.
Our food is available to all who are concerned about food waste, we operate a ‘pay as you feel’ system which allows users who might be struggling financially to join us in the fight against food waste and those who are more fortunate have the opportunity to ‘pay it forwards’ covering the cost of a meal for someone else.
As the cost-of-living crisis has been gripping our community I increasingly hear how helpful having a cooked meal is as it saves families the cost of using their oven, now more than ever it’s vital that we unite in using the surplus food which is perfectly edible and has no place in landfill.
If you would like to join is in our mission please drop us a line, firstname.lastname@example.org if Tunbridge Wells is too far away you might consider signing up to Sussex Gleaning Network who harvest food that might be left to rot in fields and distribute it to organisations like ours.
And if you are near to one of our pop-ups why not pop in for some ethical eats for the conscious consumer!
What’s in season?
Courgettes (also known as zucchini) are extremely versatile. If you are looking for inspiration one of Charlie’s favourite recipes is for Courgette & Lemon Salad. If you want other ideas BBC Good Food have 82 recipes including cake and brownies.
Charlie is also slow roasting tomatoes and making a cold fusilli salad with a little raw garlic and dried thyme. She says this is going down a storm. Roasting tomatoes makes the flavour more intense.
Finally she suggests pairing strawberries with … black pepper. She did strawberries sliced, on skewers with black pepper for a canape. Strawberries also work tell with balsamic vinegar.