There IS such a thing as a free lunch – thanks to BLUEPRINT

A free lunch made entirely from surplus food was among the good things on offer at the Communities, Food and the Circular Economy Event held at The Old Boat Corner Community Centre, Hollingbury.

Soul Food

Created especially for the day by local social enterprise Sussex Surplus, the free lunch was a vegan curry made using 21 kg of fresh ingredients, which otherwise would have been thrown away.

In addition, community project SoulFood, which runs food workshops, ran a pop-up salad bar with DIY, locally grown produce.

Tips and demonstrations

People of all ages were treated to money-saving, food waste-busting tips and practical demonstrations from a range of local organisations at the free-to-attend event.

These included ‘growing your own’ at home and in shared community spaces, cooking without waste and composting kitchen waste.

How to get low cost and surplus food

Details of local projects such as BrightStore, where residents can access low cost and surplus foods, were also shared.

Power to change is in our hands

Councillor Jamie Lloyd said: “Food waste is a major threat to the environment. If it was a country, it would be the third biggest contributor of greenhouse gases after China and the USA.

“The power to change this lies in our own hands, and it’s great that people came to hear from local experts how they can play their own part in the fight against climate change – by making small changes in their daily lives that, together, add up to a huge difference.

“We are very grateful to the organisations who took part, as well as to the citizens who attended – most of whom spent several hours at the event and took part in the various activities with enthusiasm. It is their commitment that will enable Brighton & Hove to achieve our ambition to become a circular city.”

Represented at the event were:

The GreenCuisine Trust, with support from The Real Junk Food Project, explained how drying foods can be used to maximise nutrition and avoid waste.

They also showed how easy-to-grow, cheap vegetables such as cabbage can be preserved and transformed into delicious and nutritious fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi, with health benefits too.

FareShare Sussex, part of the city’s Surplus Food Network, revealed what happens to surplus food from places such as farms, wholesalers, supermarkets and restaurants.

Thanks to organisations like FareShare, some of this food is saved and redistributed to where it is needed most.

Compost Club, a social enterprise offering domestic and commercial food waste collection services, showed how both cooked and uncooked food waste can improve soil health and reduce carbon emissions when composted instead of being binned.

Local community growers Fork & Dig It introduced agroecological practice – a form of sustainable growing which helps to mitigate climate change.

One Garden Brighton spoke about growing food using more futuristic methods, without the need for soil and in a vertical way, using aeroponic techniques.

And Brighton Permaculture Trust led a tour of the small community orchard which has been planted at the Old Boat Corner.

More information

Short films were shown at the event. They can be viewed here:

Compost Club - YouTube

Brighton & Hove - Brighton & Hove Affordable Food - YouTube

Bevendean Community Garden - YouTube

Albion Community Garden - YouTube

FareShare Sussex 'fighting hunger, tackling food waste' - YouTube

About BLUEPRINT

This circular economy event is the second in a small series and forms part of the larger ‘BLUEPRINT to a circular economy’ project, being run by Brighton & Hove City Council. The aim of the wider BLUEPRINT project is to provide practical solutions for designing out waste and pollution by reusing, repairing and recycling existing resources and bringing this information direct to the community.

Future events will focus on Electronics and General Recycling.

Find out more about BLUEPRINT here:

BLUEPRINT to a circular economy (brighton-hove.gov.uk)

Become a Circular Economy Champion (brighton-hove.gov.uk)

Brighton BLUEPRINT Champions | Project Blueprint