Food waste

Celebrity chef José Andrés: 'We are a food planet'
World Central Kitchen founder José Andrés has been delivering meals to food-insecure areas during the pandemic.

Covid-19: The Food Waste Dimension.

Dan Saladino on how the crisis has resulted in vast amounts of food being lost and saved.
Dan Saladino investigates how the coronavirus crisis has not only resulted in vast amounts of food being wasted but also saved and redirected to feed people in need.

The global food system has been exposed to levels of disruption not seen since World War II. According to Andre Laperriere, of the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) Covid-19 has led to levels of food waste in developed economies increasing from around 30 per cent to 40 per cent of everything that's produced, distributed and consumed. Many farmers in Europe and north America have been unable to harvest their crops, supplies of food inside restaurants have been left uneaten and dairy farmers have had to dispose of millions of litres of milk. 

However, Covid-19 is also leading many people to rethink supply chains, reinvent national food systems and innovate. Dan hears about some of these ideas now being put into practice. He finds out how 'Disco Soups', online events that are taking place around the world combining cooking, music and dance is saving tonnes of food going to waste (and providing fun and social interaction). 

Meanwhile, specialist cheesemakers around the UK are exploring new ways of selling their cheese after restaurants, pubs and cafes were closed for the lockdown. One solution is a forthcoming British Cheese Weekender. This free online event will see cheese makers and experts present tastings and tutorials. The nation is being encouraged to buy cheese from small scale producers and eat along. This way it's hoped hundreds of cheesemakers at risk of going out of business can be saved. 

Dan also speaks to Tristram Stuart, the food campaigner and author of Waste: Uncovering The Global Food Scandal, about his efforts over two decades to stop good food being wasted and hears how some of the ideas and networks created during that time could provide answers to how we can create a more sustainable food system in the post Covid-19 world. 

Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.

For more information on the British Cheese Weekender go to the Academy of Cheese website:
and for information on setting up your own Disco Soup find out more from the Slow Food Youth Network: and look for the Step-by-Step guide.

Request for food larder 'sky rockets'

Food that could have ended up in the rubbish bin is currently being sent to about 600 people a week in Bedford.

Food4, a project run by YMCA Bedfordshire, offers free food supplies to people who are isolated, frail or on the breadline.

It includes fruit, vegetables, bakery and larder items donated directly from local suppliers, which would otherwise have ended up as waste.

People sorting food parcels

Many items have come from local stores and restaurants, that would have otherwise sat in their stores until lockdown ends, it said.

Rebecca Ireland, business operations manager, said: "We have seen requests for food sky rocket."

She estimated that 2.2 tonnes of food left the building last week.

"We usually serve that much food in a month," she added.

Food parcels
The Real Junk Food Project are using donations to help front line workers.
A project is using donations to help front line workers and people who are self-isolating.

What happens to your waste food

What happens when your waste food is taken away
Everyone throws food away - and some of it ends up being taken away by your council. See how unwanted food in Oxford goes on a long journey to eventually help produce electricity.