An event where the community gathers to chop and cook a feast together using surplus vegetables and fruits gleaned from local farms. Music blasting and dancing fun is compulsory.
While I was working in the UK, I attended a few Disco Soup events put on by a coalition of food waste recovery initiatives in London. One of which was Feedback Global and Tristram Stuart (TED talk speaker, founder of the Feeding the 5000 Global campaign). As I listened to each speaker’s inspiring project work on food recovery initiatives being done in the UK and around Europe, I hope in anticipation that Canada can eventually adopt some of these programs.
Crates and boxes of fresh delicious colourful vegetables were collected off the local farms yesterday. We gathered together in the borough of Brixton, inside a warehouse looking space and courtyard covered with walls of street art, and a fire pit outside ready to roast up some vegetables. Over 60 volunteers showed up ready to chop, dance, and cook. Building community while mingling and sharing excitement over the common topic of food sustainability, these people are foodies, but in a different way. I was probably the only foreigner there who came alone; yet, I met so many friendly and generous people, all wanting to change the world through food awareness and compassion. We’re all working for little charities or start up projects, but all doing similar things.
1 week later, I found myself walking into a deserted backyard garden space, newly transformed into an outdoor food hub cafe. This cafe features only surplus vegetables recovered from farms and suppliers. The atmosphere was lively, as music was blasting, people mingling and huddled around benches waiting for their orders to come. We had vegetable tempura, a delicious carrot & beet soup, chicken parmesan, and some roasted green baby tomatoes. Everything was “Pay As You Feel” style, except for the £2 glass of wine or beer. As I dined and chatted with other like-minded individuals also attending the party, I was told that this model allowed individuals to be more inclusive of the community around them – people who cannot afford to pay can still drop by and have a meal and perhaps help out here and there. It was great and we had a blast that night!
After attending a few of these pop-up restaurant parties, I returned home to Vancouver last week, fueled with ideas of the ideal. Our city has a lot of space to grow in this area of food waste recovery and community building. It’s just a matter of joining forces and putting things into action. Thankful for my team of committee members as we gear up for the first ever food waste campaign in Canada.
Feeding the 5000 Vancouver @ Robson Square | May 27th |