From the mouths of babes: Kids’ pop-up on mission to reduce food waste

The average British family throws away 40 per cent of the bagged salad leaves they buy each year, so says waste advisory body Wrap. The findings were published on Wednesday by the supermarket giant Tesco, who shrewdly used the opportunity to unveil their own brand, sliding zip-lock salad bags.

Clearly not enough people know this simple life hack – but Harden’s hates waste as much as the next industry expert so we’re willing to share our secret. Put a piece of kitchen roll in the bag with your salad leaves. Seriously do it! It soaks up all the moisture, stops the leaves getting that vomit-inducing sliminess that sends shivers down your spine, and keeps the leaves fresh for a week.

Right, now that we’ve saved another small part of the world on to more food waste business, because it’s a hot topic this week. As Wrap announced its findings two new zero waste-focused pop-ups landed in Harden’s inbox.

The first is run by a group of entrepreneurial west London children, who go by the collective name Bubble & Squeak. The kids launched their zero waste pop-up in Hackney (where else?) on 1 June after winning a competition for a month’s free shop space from Fount London.

These mini eco-warriors want to show us that we can dramatically reduce the amount of rubbish we create on a daily basis and live in a society where resources are valued. The shop will sell wonky fruit and veg artwork and homewares, as well as surplus food brands like Rubies in the Rubble, Dash Water, Fruit Magpie, Snact fruit jerky and Spare Fruit Crisps.

Also available upcycled kids dungarees in retro fabrics from Erin & Arthur. Can’t you just imagine the Hackney hipsters wishing they made these for adults?

The shop will be staffed by adult volunteers with all profits will go back into the Bubble & Squeak social enterprise. Find them at Fount London, Arches 358-360, Westgate Street, London E8 3RN, 1 June-2 July, Tue-Fri 10 am-6 pm, Sat & Sun 10 am-5 pm.

Speaking of Rubies in the Rubble (Diamonds in the Rough was presumably taken?) they’ve got their own pop-up happening at Selfridges throughout June. The temporary open sandwich station will serve up a range of food, all rescued from surplus, alongside the brand’s handmade range of condiments.

On the menu: Pulled Beef & Pickle slow cooked chipotle beef with pickled cucumbers & aquafaba mayo, served on a beetroot and ginger cracker with Rubies in the Rubble’s brand new Chipotle Ketchup; Spring Veg & Blue Cheese – brown butter with spring root veg and crumbled blue cheese, served on a kale and spinach cracker with Rubies in the Rubble’s Piccalilli Relish; Avo & Beet Houmous – beetroot houmous, avocado and nigella seeds, served on a beetroot and ginger cracker with Rubies in the Rubble’s Pink Onion Relish; and Nut Butter & Banana – a blend of almond and peanut butter, bananas and berries with toasted coconut and cinnamon seeds, served on a turmeric and carrot cracker with Rubies in the Rubble’s awesome new Banana and Chilli Ketchup.

Everything on the menu is £5 (pretty good for lunch at Selfridges). The range is handmade in the UK from fresh fruit and veg that would otherwise go to waste. Whether it’s too big, too ripe, or just plain pear-shaped, any fresh and tasty produce can be used for Rubies’ delicious creations.


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