Waste not, want Notts
Words: Giselle Kennedy
Many of us strive to live and eat more sustainably, but it’s not always easy and for millions of people across the UK, something as simple as putting food on the table can be a challenge. But thanks to a group of entrepreneurial students at the University of Nottingham and generous donations to Cascade, eating ethically just got easier.
Just a stone’s throw from Nottingham city centre, in the suburb of Sneinton is Foodprint, a social supermarket run by students. Over the last three years, they’ve volunteered their time to develop an award-winning social enterprise which tackles food waste and provides sustainable food that is affordable and safe to eat.
We spoke to Foodprint’s marketing team, second year Industrial Economics student, Zareena Kapadia, and third year Human Geography student, Izzy Corlett, to find out how the team have been helping their local community during the pandemic.
Zareena explained how Foodprint got started, “Nottingham, and in particular, Sneinton is one of the most income deprived areas in the UK so we wanted to do our best to help the community. Foodprint started as a redistribution project where we would collect surplus food from supermarkets who would otherwise throw it away. From there, the supermarket started.”
Foodprint stocks items that you would normally find in a supermarket. Their reduced prices and environmentally friendly approach makes healthy eating sustainable and affordable.
For Izzy, who is writing her dissertation on food waste, Foodprint has been an opportunity to help reduce the gap between food waste and food poverty.
“It’s silly to have a gap where food is being wasted and people are struggling to eat. There’s so much waste, whether it’s in food growing, manufacturing or packaging. It’s ridiculous to waste food especially in the amounts we do as a society.”
When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the university switched to online learning and many of Foodprint’s student volunteers returned home. Although the team were scattered across the globe, they were determined to keep their service running.
“We decided that we were going to open the store under the new lockdown rules. We adjusted the layout to make it safe and served customers at the door. Volunteers would then pick things from the shelves for the customers.”
“With the help of the university’s student project fund Cascade, we renovated our Foodprint on Wheels van and redistributed food to local retirement villages. We wanted to provide food during the pandemic because people couldn’t access anything or go out. It was quite scary at first but we wanted to help, so we delivered free care packages containing treats and PPE to care homes and support staff. They were working hard to help others, so we wanted to help them.”
Foodprint’s 2020 highlights
Created 500 isolation parcels and 25 care packages for hospice staff through Foodprint on Wheels
Redistributed 9 tonnes of surplus food
Saved 37 tonnes of surplus food from landfill
Saved 126 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted
Inducted 70 volunteers
Risotto with a Foodprint twist!
If you’re interested in tackling food waste, try Foodprint’s tasty risotto recipe. This sustainable dish will keep your carbon footprint low and your taste buds tingling!
1 Garlic Clove
1 Stock Cube
Other veg of your choice!
- Fry the chopped onions and cherry tomatoes on a medium heat in oil until soft.
- Chop up the mushroom and any extra veg, and add with crushed garlic. Cook for approx. 3 mins.
- Add in the risotto rice and mix.
- Stir in the tin of chopped tomatoes.
- On the side, prepare a jug of stock; with boiling water and the stock cube.
- Slowly add the stock to the risotto bit by bit, until the rice has cooked.
- Add the sweetcorn and some lemon juice.
- Finish with salt & pepper and serve!
Ambition issue two is also available as a PDF.