Frequently Asked Questions

DO YOU FEED ‘HOMELESS PEOPLE’?

We feed everyone.
In our opinion, it devalues both humanity and food when surplus is only served to specific demographics of society. In order for us to respect each other and to prove the value & safety of food waste, we do not only feed ‘the homeless’, ‘the needy’, or any other social category.
We believe that the majority of global food waste is absolutely fit for human consumption, so that’s who we feed – human beings.
If you eat, you’re in!

 

Where do you get your food?

Anywhere it’s being wasted.
We intercept surplus produce from various sources, many of which are not featured in mainstream media. This includes local stores, restaurants, wholesalers, food banks, allotments, schools, markets, university halls,  farms, events, food photographers and supermarket bins.

The trustees of The Real Junk Food Project Charitable Foundation have spent many hours in meetings with managers of various supermarkets, but at this point no supermarkets supply food to the entire Real Junk Food Project network. There are, however, some local success stories of individual Pay As You Feel café’s having access to supermarket waste across the UK, and collectively we hope to role this out nationally as soon as possible.
We’re not afraid to unofficially expose what is thrown into bins!

 

Do you take/serve food past its expiration date?

Yes.
Curb adheres to Environmental Health regulations within the respective establishments that we occupy. This includes transporting, storing, cooking and re-heating food safely, as well as describing it accurately during service.

However, we are campaigning for change to our food system so we definitely do accept food that is past its expiration date. We use our own judgement on whether we believe the food is fit for human consumption or not – by smelling it, tasting it and visually inspecting it. We do not turn food away simply because it has ‘expired’, but we will never serve food that we believe is unfit for human consumption.
The focus isn’t the date… it’s what’s on your plate!

 

Are you breaking the law?

We are challenging the law.
There are so many grey areas within food legislation and regulation, so we are deliberately pushing these boundaries in order for common sense to prevail when dealing with food. Curb exists to prove that we send too much edible produce to landfill, so challenging enforcement of such practices is inherent to our project.

  • UK law states that food past its ‘Expiration Date’ (Use By) cannot be sold to the general public. We do not sell our food, nor do we believe it’s fair to put a price tag on food waste.
  • Best Before, Sell By and Display Until dates are not legal requirements and do not have any effect on Curb or the rest of our network.
  • Strict Food Policy governs even the third sector, preventing nearly all UK charities and food banks from using food past its Best Before Date. This coincidentally means that organizations tackling food poverty are also generating masses of avoidable food waste.
  • UK Legislation suggests that it’s legal for large corporations to throw hundreds of tonnes of edible food away, but illegal to rescue this food from their bins. What’s criminal – food waste or dumpster diving?
    ‘When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.’

 

What is a ‘Food Boutique’?

  1. A ‘Pay As You Feel’ Shop…
    At every Curb event we share packaged groceries through our Pay As You Feel concept. You can help yourself to fresh fruit and veg… packs of pasta, rice, lentils, grains… eggs, yoghurt, milk, desserts… ready-meals, sandwiches, pastries, and prepared foods… whatever we have intercepted!
  2. Without any restrictions…
    Curb does not ask its guests to disclose their health, social or financial status, nor will we ever need proof of medical referral. As our focus is global food waste and we understand how much is being discarded on a daily basis, we believe it is dehumanizing to feed people in this manner and would like to inspire change in the way that UK Poverty Charities work. If all surplus food was redistributed to all people in need, there would STILL be tonnes and tonnes of food being wasted. This is because we produce too much in the first place, so we believe we need to share this food with anyone and everyone.
    There is a massive need for Food Banks in the UK, which use referral systems to manage how food donations are shared with those in need. This is not about restriction, but about preventing dependency, ensuring there is enough stock for hungry families and working within the boundaries of EU legislation. As Curb is not a food poverty charity, we are not bound by the same policies and have a different framework entirely. One example of this is that Curb guests chose their groceries at a Food Boutique themselves, meaning we can share food that is short-dated as we give individuals the choice to take it or not. Food banks allow choice to a certain extent (dietary needs/religious beliefs etc.) but cannot be open access. They often make up the food parcels for their recipients, so they have to abide strictly to EU legislation that governs the majority of food businesses and can only share food before its suggested date.
    Let’s not forget that Food Banks feed millions of hungry people and do masses of gracious work to help fill empty plates… But what Curb resists is the governing systems that put the restrictions in place. Simply put – policies very often only allow charitable organizations to serve certain food to certain people, and only a certain number of times. With the co-existence of both enormous food poverty and enormous food waste, we act to challenge and change this behaviour.
  3. Inviting you to NOT shop at Supermarkets…
    Every time we purchase something from a supermarket shelf, that item is being reproduced, replenished and restocked. If we left it on the shelf, we would therefore avoid promoting the production of more.
    In a system where money is our vote, buying from large corporations who are responsible for ludicrous amounts of food waste, is unfortunately us saying ‘we support your practices’. By taking home Curb groceries from our Food Boutique, you do not need to shop as much (or even at all!) and are contributing to the International movement against food waste instead.
    Every bite of surplus is a Political Act!

 

How do I join in?

To participate in Curb, contact us at curbkitchen@hotmail.co.uk or send a message on Facebook.

To get involved with your local cafe, have a look on our growing list of Projects and contact them from there.

To start your own cafe, contact Adam Smith at therealjunkfoodproject@outlook.com or 07850143735.
The Real Junk Food Project can provide a Starter Pack which guides those inquiring about starting a Pay As You Feel cafe through chronological examples of how others have started theirs. As long as you commit to using food waste and operating on a Pay As You Feel basis, you can be as creative as you like – and this is the beauty of our network.
There is no single way to reduce food waste!