Students from Lammas Secondary School in the London Borough of Waltham Forest won third prize in the Think.Eat.Save student challenge to tackle global food waste with their event ‘Eat My Words’. The United Nations and partner organisations, called on students to join the fight to reduce global food waste, estimated at one third annually. Around 470 schools from close to 80 countries took up the call.
The students, who had been selected to take part in the This is Rubbish Edible Education programme, wrote and performed slam poetry and spoken word to spread their message in an event open to parents, teachers and the wider public. This Is Rubbish utilised their contacts with food wholesalers and supermarkets to source surplus food for the event. Six large boxes of produce that would have been wasted was transformed into exotic, healthy snacks and juices. The students from different school years worked collaboratively to exchange ideas, create the invites and line up, make decorations and very importantly, learn new cookery skills using food that would have been wasted. Guests included Aisling Fahey, the Young Poet Laureate for London, who also performed a piece.
Edible Education takes students on a learning journey through the food supply chain and uses cross curricular, interactive learning to empower young people with a positive message for change. The pilot, which has just finished, toured to five schools and through performances, after school clubs and student assemblies reached an audience of 400+ pupils, teachers and parents. The response was fantastic. The broad range of learning activities revealed the values young people hold about food and the environment and the poetry written by the award winning Lammas students referred strongly to themes of social justice and food security. This seems particularly pertinent at a time when the rise and role of UK food banks is being debated. Waltham Forest is home to many families living in poverty and ranks 15th most deprived borough in the country. All the schools TiR Edible Education worked with have the highest proportion of students eligible for free school meals, roughly double the national average.
The TiR Edible Education team has been genuinely inspired by the passionate and thoughtful responses from all the young participants. This is powerful motivation to further these partnerships and we have big ambitions for growing the programme in 2015.
Here’s to a wonderful, wonky 2015!
Check out our new film on TiR’s Edible Education Programme.
Filmed and Edited by Matthew Barton
“Growing in soil, step into the sack, wrapped in plastic, factory packed. Chillin on a shelf, lookin scrummy on a plate. Eat it, reheat it, or give it to a mate”.
These have been the latest chants coming out of the mouths of TiR human fruits the past few months. Bert the Old Banana, Lady Land (A.K.A. Compostella), and Jessica the Californian Jazz Apple have been visiting theatres, after school clubs and community arts centres making noise and (literally) a ‘song and dance’ about how to prevent food waste in the UK.
And whilst they have been lamenting this terrible waste, extravagantly via pantomimic moments, they have equally been celebrating the great opportunities and offering real solutions for helping stop food waste.
These public events have been described using the theatre term of ‘scratch’ meaning they were part of a development process and we were keen for audience feedback. It has all been part of creating this interactive, edible foodie show for TiR’s Edible Education programme which seeks to communicate to kids about the realities behind food that is needlessly wasted in the UK, helping them to consider how as individuals and within their communities, they can take action to combat it.
Read on for the full story…
Bert, Jessica and Lady Land are the central characters, supported by Dot, Doris, Doreen and Deirdre – a gaggle of dinner ladies – some a little more outrageous than others! The show opens with Lady Land preparing for the Food Vision Song Contest, which she is desperate to win in order to communicate to the world about food waste and the life-cycle of vegetables, but not a natural musician, she needs some help to win. Bert and Jessica, as long-time song contest winners, step in to help, calling on the talents of the willing audience as choir and orchestra members. Together, Lady Land, Bert, Jess, dinner ladies, and audience come together to write lyrics, drum a beat (thanks to a selection of pots and pans, potato mashers and soup ladles) and create some dance moves of which the sternest of judges couldn’t resist! Once the song is ready for the competition, the audience is then broken up into smaller groups of peppers, carrots and broccoli and are whisked off on a whirlwind tour of the food system. Within these groups, they rotate around three stations learning about compost and its crucial role in continuing the food cycle with Lady Land, wonky veg (where over 20% of fruit is rejected by supermarkets simply due to cosmetic standards) with Jessica, and with Bert they learn about best before v. sell by dates and what to do with fruit that’s getting a little old. For some encouragement, Bert has a delicious selection of banana muffins made from surplus bananas, Jess has succulent apples canapés and Lady Land offers a super fruit juice.
TiR believes in communicating about food waste through feasting celebration in a way that inspires people to take action from feeling a sense of agency and empowerment as individuals and within their own communities. For more information on Edible Education, and if you would like to involve your school, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org