Australians and New Zealanders are some of the worst offenders of food waste in the world. According to the World Resources Institute, both countries, combined with the USA, throw out more than 1500 calories of food for each of us every day. In Australia, this equates to four million tonnes of perfectly good food a year being thrown away and ending up in landfill.
Meanwhile one in six Australians report having experienced food insecurity at least once in the last 12 months, (meaning they have run out of food and not been able to buy more).
In an effort to address both of these problems, food rescue group OzHarvest has opened Australia’s first food rescue supermarket. The trial grocery store is using produce and food items that would have otherwise been thrown away. All items are free for those who cannot afford to pay, otherwise donations are also accepted. Customers are also encouraged to donate food items that they no longer need or want.
The supermarket has opened beneath The Addison Project in Kensington, which offers pop-up accommodation for vulnerable youth. Ronni Kahn is the entrepreneur behind OzHarvest, and says the supermarket follows the same commitment to excellence that the OzHarvest charity adopts. “We rescue food that can’t be sold by supermarkets and food retailers due to it being past its use-by date, but which is still perfectly good to eat,” she says. “We only take food that is absolutely edible.”
It is hoped that the supermarket will help change the way consumers think about and buy their food, as well as help combat issues of food wastage and food insecurity.
You can visit the OzHarvest Market at 147 Anzac Parade, Kensington. For more information, see ozharvest.org/market