We continue a full national operation to get food to vulnerable people during the Covid-19 crisis.

Re-fuelling the UK: Volkswagen partners with FareShare to help feed the nation and reduce food waste

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20 November 2020

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has partnered with fleet customer and food redistribution charity, FareShare, as well as chef and sustainability expert, Tom Hunt, to create a series of delicious, zero-waste recipes all prepared in a Volkswagen California.

“Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of good food is unnecessarily wasted in the UK every year and in light of the pandemic we are even more determined than ever to raise awareness and educate the food industry and public about the easy ways to avoid excess food waste, whether it’s using simpler ingredients or utilising store-cupboard staples.”

James Persad, Head of Marketing and Communications at FareShare

Of the 1.9 million tonnes of food wasted by the food industry every year in the UK, an estimated 250,000 tonnes is still edible - the equivalent of 650 million meals.*

The issue of food waste has become even more topical in a year when everyone has struggled with the impact of COVID-19 and tightening of budgets.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has teamed up with fleet customer, FareShare and award-winning chef and sustainability expert, Tom Hunt, to create affordable, zero-waste recipes that are simple enough to be cooked in the kitchen of a Volkswagen California.

Rising to the California Cooking Challenge and keen to demonstrate some of his zero food waste hacks, Tom was able to rustle up two delicious recipes, taken from his debut sustainable cookbook, Eating for Pleasure, People and Planet. Using the two hobs, fridge, and running tap that all come as standard in the California, Tom showed just how achievable sustainable cooking can be.

Using store-cupboard staples like tinned lentils and kidney beans, Tom started with a ‘Five minute lentil dal’. Tinned foods not only help reduce food waste but also have long-lasting best-before dates and are easily recyclable. Adding some common spices, an onion, chopped tomatoes and rice to serve, this recipe could not be simpler to make.

James Persad, Head of Marketing and Communications at FareShare commented: “Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of good food is unnecessarily wasted in the UK every year and in light of the pandemic we are even more determined than ever to raise awareness and educate the food industry and public about the easy ways to avoid excess food waste, whether it’s using simpler ingredients or utilising store-cupboard staples. The partnership with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Tom shows just how easy it is to cook delicious meals that are affordable and reduce food waste without the need for loads of equipment.”

Continuing his masterclass in sustainable cooking, Tom recreated a breakfast classic, ‘Not Avocado on Toast’, a delicious broad bean guacamole with coriander and chilli. Mashing broad beans, similarly to avocados, produces a vivid green, creamy guacamole but at a fraction of the price. Broad beans are much easier to grow and source in the UK, making this recipe a more local and sustainable option.

Chef Tom said: “Sustainable and zero-waste waste cooking is extremely important to me. I love creating amazing recipes that are locally-sourced, seasonal and create as little waste as possible so this challenge was the perfect opportunity for me. The two recipes I created in the Volkswagen California are quick and easy to make, taste delicious and crucially leave zero waste at the end."

“Small changes such as using up store-cupboard staples like tinned food or swapping avocados for broad beans can make a huge difference and I’m delighted I was able to share some of my popular hacks with FareShare and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.”

Kate Thompson, Head of Marketing  at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, added: “We were delighted to be in a position to help FareShare during the height of COVID-19 crisis, providing them with additional vans to help transport food to where it was needed most across the country. The charity carries out vital work, and we were only too happy to help, in any small way we could, as staff and volunteers set out helping those hardest hit by the pandemic.

“The California Cooking Challenge with Tom was a great opportunity to continue our support of a valued fleet customer and help to raise further awareness around the issues of food waste and sustainable cooking in the UK.”

To help customers make small changes in day-to-day life, FareShare has also shared a list of top tips to help reduce food waste in the UK:

  1. Don’t buy more than you need and keep track of what’s in your fridge. It won’t just help you reduce your food waste – it will save you money too
  2. Always check the use-by dates of food when you buy it. Use-by dates are about food safety, so these are the dates to pay attention to. Only buy something if you know you’ll have the time to eat it before it goes off
  3. Planning is key! Plan your meals for the week ahead, and don’t forget to think about how you’re going to use up the leftovers
  4. Check your fridge temperature. It should be between 0-5°C. Some foods, especially dairy products, will go off much quicker if it’s warmer
  5. Use your leftovers. Not sure how to use your leftover food? Try looking up new recipes online
  6. Freeze it! Parboil and freeze left over vegetables or spend a bit of time batch cooking meals to freeze in individual portions at the weekends. That way you’ll always have something delicious to eat, and nothing gets wasted

Download Tom's recipes here

*https://fareshare.org.uk/what-we-do/hunger-food-waste/