Thousands of members of the public savoured more than 22,000 delicious free meals, all made from produce that would have otherwise ended up in landfill at OzHarvest’s Think.Eat.Save events across the country on Monday, 25 July 2016.
The national effort to minimise food waste which costs Australia $8 billion annually, was supported by top chefs including George Calombaris, Neil Perry, Maggie Beer, Matt Moran, Maeve O’Meara, Kumar Mahadevan, Paul West as well as local, state and federal politicians and business leaders.
This is the fourth year OzHarvest has teamed up with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to tackle the global issue of food waste where a third of the world’s produce is lost or wasted. The Think.Eat.Save campaign aims to show that every individual can make a difference through simple measures to reduce food waste at home, which could save every Australian household up to $1,000 each year.
Curious masses queued up to sample the culinary delights created with rescued or saved ingredients – from beef and lemongrass meatballs, to pork hotdogs with bacon jam, veggie curries, sumptuous soups, bread and butter puddings and even berry meringue trifles made from cake cut-offs!
Panel discussions were hosted around the country where passionate sustainability experts debated issues around food waste, food security and food sustainability. At the same time bicycle-smoothie machines powered by pedalling volunteers utilised wonky fruit and vegetables from the Woolworths’ ‘Odd Bunch’ range to create nutritious beverages for lunch guests.
Founder and CEO of OzHarvest, Ronni Kahn, said she was overwhelmed at the support and attendance at all 11 events including Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Armidale, Cairns and Sapphire Coast where thousands of people united to take a stance against food waste, pledging to change their own behaviour.
“The current local and global food waste statistics are alarming,” Ms Kahn said. “We urgently need change to happen now to ensure a sustainable food system for future generations. Think.Eat.Save events showcased the public’s enthusiasm to make a difference and OzHarvest is committed to helping them along the journey. Together, we can make a real positive impact on our food system.”
Enough funds were raised at the events from generous donations from the public that will allow OzHarvest to deliver a further 40,000 meals to people in need.