- The amount of bread we waste every month would fill St Paul’s Cathedral
- TV baker Tom Herbert and Bishop say we should follow Jesus’ example in John 6:12 - ‘Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.’
- Supermarkets asked to halve their food waste and produce a plan to show how they’ll achieve this
TV baker Tom Herbert and Bishop of Islington Rt Revd Ric Thorpe have teamed up with charity Tearfund to highlight the scale of food waste in the UK, revealing that the bread we throw away every month from our homes could fill St Paul’s Cathedral.
Tom, one half of Channel 4’s Baker Brothers, is pictured outside the vast building with the Bishop Ric to launch international development charity Tearfund’s ‘Renew Our Food’ campaign, which aims to help people cut down on the amount of food they throw away.
Speaking outside St Paul’s, Tom Herbert said: “It’s incredible to think that we waste enough bread to fill this huge cathedral every month.
“I’m astonished that whilst so many people in the world are going hungry we’re throwing all of this perfectly edible food away. The UK wastes 10 million tonnes of food every year and we know that around 60% of this could be avoided.
“Jesus told us not to waste food. In John 6:12 he says ‘Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.’ He is lavishly generous in the feeding of the 5,000, and yet crucially concerned that nothing goes to waste.
“The leftovers were a vital part of the story, and they need to be part of our story too. Together we can gather up the pieces by pledging to reduce our food waste and asking our supermarkets to do the same.”
The campaign against food waste is part of Tearfund’s Renew Our World project which is tackling climate change.
Wasting food has a big carbon footprint, making climate change worse and leading to more droughts, floods and less reliable rain, leaving people in poorer countries struggling to feed themselves. The UN has set a global target to halve food waste by 2030.
Bishop of Islington Rt Revd Ric Thorpe said: “Every day Christians across the world pray for their daily bread.
“That’s why it’s so important that we’re not wasting the resources that we have.”
Tearfund’s Senior Campaigner Clare Lyons said: “Nobody likes seeing food go to waste - yet a third of all food grown in the world is never eaten. This can’t be right - particularly when producing food that we will not end up eating generates huge amounts of greenhouse gas, which makes life harder for people in poorer countries due to climate change. If everyone in the UK stopped throwing away food we could make a real difference - it would be the environmental equivalent of taking one in four cars off the road.
“Reducing our food waste is something simple we can all do to help people facing the impacts of climate change every single day.
“Apart from the environmental benefits and helping those in poverty if we stopped wasting food we could save £470 a year per household. It just makes so much sense.”
Tom Herbert added: “It’s not just about all of us wasting food - supermarkets have a responsibility too.
“That’s why I was so keen to get involved in Tearfund’s new campaign and ask our supermarkets to do a little bit more to tackle this problem.
“We want them to at least halve their food waste by 2030 and give us a plan as soon as possible to show how they’ll achieve that.”
Tearfund is asking people to take the Renew Our Food pledge to reduce their food waste and to call on supermarkets to do the same. They are also hosting a number of food waste feasts across the UK where people will come together to tuck into delicious meals cooked with produce that would have otherwise ended up in the bin.
Notes to editor
- For more information and interviews please contact Tearfund’s Antony Bushfield on 07929335146 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Pic captions: Bishop 1 (Bishop of Islington Rt Revd Ric Thrope), Tom 1 and Tom 2 (Celebrity baker Tom Herbert) and Tom and Bishop 1 & 2 (Bishop of Islington Rt Revd Ric Thorpe and baker Tom Herbert). Copyright Tearfund/Clive Mear
- The bread used for the photographs was donated by the Felix Project, a food waste redistribution charity, and was used afterwards.
- Stats on food waste are from WRAP - http://www.wrap.org.uk
- Goal 12 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all, calls for global food waste to be halved by 2030.
- Tearfund is a Christian relief and development agency and a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee www.tearfund.org