Real Junk Food Project that uses waste food to create delicious and healthy meals opened a 'people's market' on the Grangefield Industrial Estate in Leeds. There, customers can shop for food that supermarkets and retailers have thrown away and pay for it as much as they can afford.

With the market, struggling families can buy groceries and provide healthy meals for their children. Available is everything from various fruits and vegetables, pasta, juices, sauces, and desserts. Payment is accepted in the form of either money, time or skills.

The global initiative The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP) was set up in December 2013 by Adam Smith, a founder and co-director, to "feed bellies, not bins". Known for their Pay As You Feel cafes (there are 125 of them worldwide now), TRJFP's goal is to raise awareness and reduce food waste.

They wish to see 'people's markets' in every British city. And not only that - every city, Smith states in his interview for the Independent, should also run Fuel for School that helps feed hungry schoolchildren by providing schools with surplus bread, dairy products, fruit and vegetables. What the project needs now, he says, are volunteers to help manage the markets, thus giving something back to the community.

Enormous amounts of perfectly good food are thrown away every day - not only in our households, as the largest quantities of waste food come from various businesses and supermarkets. With so many people barely making it through the day and so many starving, when in reality there is so much food available, with fruits and vegetables, plus roots and tubers having the highest wastage rates of any food. TRJFP's initiative is an examplary way of tackling the waste food problem head on, with the local communities actively involved.

According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. Per capita waste by consumers is between 95-115 kg a year in Europe and North America, while consumers in sub-Saharan Africa, south and south-eastern Asia, each throw away only 6-11 kg a year.

And did you know? The food currently lost or wasted in Latin America could feed 300 million people, the food wasted in Europe could feed 200 million people and the food currently lost in Africa could feed 300 million people. 

And what can you do to reduce food waste in your home? For starters, become a smart shopper and a smart eater. Buy only what you need. Store food better and use everything that can be used. 

Jan. 4, 2017 Living photo: Profimedia

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