LONDON (Xinhua) – A cafe opened recently in the English city of Bristol, dishing up meals made from thrown-away supermarket food rescued from waste skips.
Discarded food from some of the city’s restaurants is also being recycled at Bristol’s newest eatery, Skipchen, a play on the word, kitchen.
Eager diners are happy to munch their way through thrown-away food, especially as they themselves will decide how much, if anything, they should pay for their meals.
Skipchen is being run as a not-for-profit cafe by campaigners who want to highlight the amount of edible food thrown away every day. The menu, which changes daily, has already included lobster, gorgonzola omeletes and seafood platters.
Cafe manager Sam Joseph said: “We have a real mix of people coming to the cafe and they sit on two long tables. You could have a businessman sitting next to someone who is a homeless person.”
“People sometimes think they will be taking food from the needy when they come to us but the truth is there is so much to go round. People used to share food in the past with their neighbours, but there’s now embarrassment around it. We’re offering a way to stop it going to waste.”
The cafe has already made a deal with a leading restaurant chain to take surplus chicken from its branches in the local area.
Joseph said: “The ultimate aim is to put ourselves out of business, if we get to the stage where there is no surplus food then there will be no need for us to be here.”
“We go around the supermarkets when they are closing for the night and the unwanted stock is being thrown out. I think there is nothing wrong with taking food that would be thrown out and serving it to people who cannot afford to eat. I think it would be immoral and unethical to make a profit from the cafe, what we are trying to do is make a statement,” he added.
Food health officials say as the cafe is not charging diners for their meals, no laws are being broken.
Food and welfare charities have highlighted the mountain of fit-to-eat food thrown away every year by supermarkets and the food industry, usually because the food is perishable.