5 things we learnt from our trip to the UK’s first food waste supermarket
The UK’s first food waste supermarket opened last month in Pudsey, Leeds.
In the same vain as their organic network of pay-as-you-feel cafes, The Real Junk Food Project’s ‘anti-supermarket’ intercepts supermarket stock that would have otherwise been thrown away – and invites the public to come into the warehouse, take their pick from what’s on offer and pay what they feel the items are worth.
Pretty neat, huh?
Founder Adam Smith explains that the variety of stock is dependent on what has been obtained from supermarkets, retailers or suppliers, meaning the range of goods available could change from day to day.
As an advocate of sustainable solutions, The Real Junk Food Project stresses that their produce is not for sale. They only ask that “you pay what you feel in time, money and skills”.
We took a peep around the supermarket and were truly amazed by the sheer volume of quality food items available – even as no strangers to food waste ourselves. Shelves were lined with baguettes, sliced bread, mayo, peanut butter, cereal, beans, pasta, and even fruits and vegetables. There was enough to feed families, friends and loved ones for days.
Here are five things we learned from our visit to the TRJFP’s anti-supermarket.
1. The food waste supermarket is for everyone!
Anyone can join the war on waste. Irrespective of income and job status, the community-based anti-supermarket opens its doors to absolutely everyone.
2. The food is fit for human consumption
While some of the products may have past their sell by date, it’s all perfectly good food that should be feeding bellies and not bins. Each item is vetted by a TRJFP volunteer before being placed on the shelves ready for you to take home.
3. There’s lots more in store besides food
Fancy some new pans, crockery, books or clothes? The anti-supermarket is also stocked with handy household items that are too good to go. We just couldn’t resist this lovely bunch of fresh flowers!
4. It’s not too late to start fighting food waste
Just think of all the good food that would have been sent to landfill if organisations like The Real Junk Food Project, Too Good To Go and many others did not exist. Food waste is a global issue, but we can put an end to it by collaborating to change the even the littlest of things. If you’re in Leeds, you can make a huge difference simply by doing your weekly shop at this supermarket!
5. Why not get involved?
The Real Junk Food Project is run by volunteers – and they will always appreciate a helping hand. If you’ve got a couple of hours free then head down, have a chat and get behind one of the most important and worthy causes of our time.
Kudos to Adam Smith and the team behind TRJFP. It’s a real eye-opener, and we can’t wait to see more anti-supermarkets pop up around the country.
Written by Chris Wilson