This Couple Fed 140 Wedding Guests With Food They Saved From the Bin

Gregg's donut tower for dessert on offer to the wedding guests. See Ross Parry story RPYJUNK; Couple from Leeds who used food destined for landfill as their wedding buffet recycled enough to feed a staggering 140 guests. A couple tying the knot who used food destined for landfill as their wedding buffet recycled enough surplus to feed a staggering 140 guests. Cherie Harris and James Mainwaring enlisted the help of food waste charity The Real Junk Food Project to create a menu made up entirely food heading for the bin. The green couple wanted their wedding to have as little mark on the environment as possible - and they did this by leaving no food waste. The pair did not tell their guests who provided the catering for their wedding last Saturday, at their reception at the pretty East Keswick Village Hall, Leeds, West Yorks. Cherie, who worked as a carer until she went on maternity leave after the birth of their little girl, Iona, 15 weeks ago, said: "We wanted the food to speak for itself. "We did not tell our guests what they were eating until the speeches. "They were very surprised but also very impressed. The food was absolutely beautiful and really made our day. We could not have asked for anything better." In fact, the beauty of a spread delivered by the Real Junk Food Project (RJFP) is that the customer never really knows what they are going to get. It is all down to the luck of what comes into the warehouse. The RJFP food is collected from supermarkets, sandwich chains and fast food outlets, using food they would have to throw out because of their own health and safety regulations.

A UK couple have fed their 140 wedding guests with a banquet of food that would have otherwise ended up in landfill.

Newlyweds Cherie Harris and Jaimes Mainwaring brought in food waste charity the Real Junk Food Project (RJFP) to cater their wedding reception, held last Saturday in Leeds.

“We wanted the food to speak for itself,” said Harris, who wanted her wedding to have as little environmental impact as possible. “We didn’t tell our guests what they were eating until the speeches.”

“They were very surprised but also very impressed,” she told Metro. “The food was absolutely beautiful and really made our day. We could not have asked for anything better.”

And, as well as saving food from the bin, the couple also saved themselves money, with their wedding feast reportedly costing just £5 a head for breakfast, and £3 a head for dinner.

The menus reportedly included vegetable curries, pies, ratatouille, cold meats and pickles, a cheese board, oven-roasted thyme and lemon chicken, pasta dishes and, for pudding, cakes, and a tower of Gregg’s doughnuts.

Just some of the food on offer to the wedding guests. See Ross Parry story RPYJUNK; Couple from Leeds who used food destined for landfill as their wedding buffet recycled enough to feed a staggering 140 guests. A couple tying the knot who used food destined for landfill as their wedding buffet recycled enough surplus to feed a staggering 140 guests. Cherie Harris and James Mainwaring enlisted the help of food waste charity The Real Junk Food Project to create a menu made up entirely food heading for the bin. The green couple wanted their wedding to have as little mark on the environment as possible - and they did this by leaving no food waste. The pair did not tell their guests who provided the catering for their wedding last Saturday, at their reception at the pretty East Keswick Village Hall, Leeds, West Yorks. Cherie, who worked as a carer until she went on maternity leave after the birth of their little girl, Iona, 15 weeks ago, said: "We wanted the food to speak for itself. "We did not tell our guests what they were eating until the speeches. "They were very surprised but also very impressed. The food was absolutely beautiful and really made our day. We could not have asked for anything better." In fact, the beauty of a spread delivered by the Real Junk Food Project (RJFP) is that the customer never really knows what they are going to get. It is all down to the luck of what comes into the warehouse. The RJFP food is collected from supermarkets, sandwich chains and fast food outlets, using food they would have to throw out because of their own health and safety regulations.

“What is wonderful is that we were able to use our wedding to spread the word about food waste and make people think about using up their own leftovers,” Cherie added.

It’s a very important message to share. One of the greatest paradoxes facing the global food industry is that of waste versus starvation.

In the UK alone, while the average household throws away £700 worth of edible food every year, 1 in 8 people go hungry every day . The Trussell Trust, the UK’s biggest food bank network, reported in November 2017 that it had seen a 30% rise in demand in some parts of the UK in the seven months since April.

Globally, a UN report released in 2017 found that world hunger rose between 2015 and 2016 for the first time since 2000 — with the number of chronically undernourished people rising from 777 million to 815 million in just one year.

And yet, roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — around 1.3 billion tonnes — is lost or wasted. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation , food losses and waste amounts to around $680 billion in industralised countries, and $310 billion in developing countries.

Harris and Mainwaring’s wedding is reported to have saved around 80lbs (36kg) of food from being wasted. On a global scale, yes, it’s a tiny amount. But it’s a start, and the RJFP’s work is building up. So far, the charity has saved over 1.1 million kgs of food and it’s fed over 44,000 people since December 2013.

Just some of the food on offer to the wedding guests. See Ross Parry story RPYJUNK; Couple from Leeds who used food destined for landfill as their wedding buffet recycled enough to feed a staggering 140 guests. A couple tying the knot who used food destined for landfill as their wedding buffet recycled enough surplus to feed a staggering 140 guests. Cherie Harris and James Mainwaring enlisted the help of food waste charity The Real Junk Food Project to create a menu made up entirely food heading for the bin. The green couple wanted their wedding to have as little mark on the environment as possible - and they did this by leaving no food waste. The pair did not tell their guests who provided the catering for their wedding last Saturday, at their reception at the pretty East Keswick Village Hall, Leeds, West Yorks. Cherie, who worked as a carer until she went on maternity leave after the birth of their little girl, Iona, 15 weeks ago, said: "We wanted the food to speak for itself. "We did not tell our guests what they were eating until the speeches. "They were very surprised but also very impressed. The food was absolutely beautiful and really made our day. We could not have asked for anything better." In fact, the beauty of a spread delivered by the Real Junk Food Project (RJFP) is that the customer never really knows what they are going to get. It is all down to the luck of what comes into the warehouse. The RJFP food is collected from supermarkets, sandwich chains and fast food outlets, using food they would have to throw out because of their own health and safety regulations.

“[We want] to feed the world,” Project founder Adam Smith told Global Citizen in 2016, when the organisation celebrated the opening of the UK’s first food waste supermarket. “I hope that we’ll take more responsibility over our actions in regard to the production [of food]. I hope there will be a local food economy that’s sustainable, that doesn’t depend on mass concentration of supermarkets that exploit people.”

“That’s where I’d ideally want to be,” he said. “I don’t know if it will be around in my lifetime. But hopefully we’ll be the catalyst to change so that it will happen in [my son’s] lifetime.”

As well as food waste supermarkets, the Project also does event catering, runs “pay-as-you-feel” cafes, and supplies food for schools. The menus for the various outlets depend entirely on what turns up in the Project’s warehouses.

The food is collected from mainstream supermarkets, cafes, restaurant chains, and fast food outlets, and, despite still being perfectly edible, it all would have been thrown away.

SOURCE: Global Citizen

IMAGES: Metro UK