How would you feel if you go to a restaurant, and you suddenly find out that the food that you’ve been served comes from a near-by dumpster? To spare you the surprise, I’ll tell you that this is exactly what you will get if you decide to dine in Skipchen, in Bristol, England.
According to the owner and head-chef Dylan Rakhra, the restaurant is very popular. Each day the menu is different, and it depends on what is “found” in supermarket skips, farmlands and outside other restaurants. The people in charge of the “delivery” of the food supplies are a group of volunteers, who inspect and hunt for foods that have passed their sell-by date but not expiry date. Apparently, although the whole thing is slightly illegal, the food is perfectly safe.
The guys behind the idea think that such initiatives should be a lot more. In this difficult times when people around the world are dying of hunger, it is wrong to throw away perfectly good food. Dylan and his partner and a co-director of the Real Junk Food Project (which launched the restaurant), Sam Joseph, are very concerned about food safety and hygiene, and guarantee that the ingredients they use in the daily meals have not passed their best-before date (see an interview here).
The most surprising part of it all is that the menu is always plentiful and very even quite fancy. Often there is a lobster, Gorgonzola cheese, salmon, Belgian chocolate, and a huge selection of fruits and vegetables. It is actually quite hard to believe that such high quality produce that usually comes at quite a steep price, can be found in a supermarket skip.
Although many supermarkets and restaurants around the world are now trying to donate or recycle the left-over food instead of throwing it away, tones of perfectly good and nutritious products still end up on landfill sites. Maybe instead of questioning the legal status of Skipchen, someone should think again about more strict regulations on food waste.
Image (c) Skipchen