Students at Bradford College and the University of Bradford enjoyed a feast of free food destined for landfill to highlight the problem of food waste in the UK.
In the run up to National Climate Week, the regional Love Food Hate Waste Project has teamed up with Bradford College, the University of Bradford, Bradford Council’s Recycling Team and Markets Service and Jamie’s Ministry of Food Bradford, to feed 1,000 hungry students with the same volume of food wasted by a typical UK household every year.
The University of Bradford hosted the delicious event and Bradford College, in return, have donated their students to the cause, who prepared, cooked and served a delicious menu designed to show the range of food wasted daily.
Speaking at the event, Bradford College Catering Tutor Colin Burt said: “I think it’s brilliant and a great idea! The students are getting quite a lot out of it from an ‘industrial catering point of view’ and also because we’re using up food that would otherwise go to waste.”
Bradford College NVQ Professional Cookery Course Students Chris Godding and Nicola Hill served up great food with passion and heart. Nicola said: “I just find that in this country we do waste a lot of food and produce that could go to a good cause. I think with us doing this, it shows that you don’t need to use top notch produce to come out with top notch food!”
Chris added: “I think it’s a good idea. Obviously there’s a lot of food waste in the country. If we can raise awareness on what you can do with the leftovers - then everyone will be better off!”
Bradford Councils Markets Service also jumped on board, generously donating all the ingredients for the giant cook off. Cash-strapped students had the chance to tuck into dishes such as; Herby tomato and vegetable pasta, curry and rice or a poached fruit dessert.
Alongside the free grub, students were treated to cookery demonstrations throughout the day from TV Chef Richard Fox, who transformed everyday leftovers into new and exciting dishes – from fish finger-fish cakes to baked bean salsas. Students were shown how these tasty treats reduce kitchen waste and are simple to make, so even the most novice cooks can try them at home.
And for students who had not yet tried their hand at cooking, Jamie’s Ministry of Food delivered drop-in skill sessions to the more culinary challenged students. Easy Omelettes and tasty soups were the order of the day. These simple dishes are a great way to use up fridge items and keep down the cost.
Bradford College’s Healthy College Manager, Jane Marshall backed the campaign saying: “Events like this are excellent at raising awareness on how to cook and eat healthily. The students can find out how to cook and eat properly and look after themselves. Sometime you just need to be shown by demonstration – it can be really inspiring!”
The Bradford Councils Recycling Team, Food Aware, NHS Bradford and BCEP were also on hand to offer expert advice and guidance. Students gained essential food preparation, cooking and storage knowledge to stand them in good stead for life.
The average British household unnecessarily throws away food worth £480 every year (this increases to £680 for families with children). And it’s not just peelings and bones. Most of this is good food, like bread, meat, cheese and vegetables that we buy but simply don’t get round to eating.
Briony Pete, Regional Coordinator for the Love Food Hate Waste Campaign, said: “It’s shocking the amount of food we waste as a nation and it’s often difficult to visualise, but try and look at it this way – imagine 10 Wembley stadiums filled to the brim with food, that’s how much food is bought but never enjoyed.”
“But we’re not just focussing on the problem here; simple, positive solutions are the essence of the campaign and we want to show everybody how easy, cost effective and tasty it can be to cook, eat and live the Love Food Hate Waste way.”
“And it’s not just students that can benefit from this great advice. With a little bit of planning and confidence in the kitchen, you too can banish food waste; saving yourself time and money and helping the environment.”
Commenting on the success of the event, Bradford College Catering Tutor, Dominic Hirst added: "The events been a huge success, it’s been really good for the students, they’ve enjoyed it and learnt about recycling and what food goes to waste.”