Hold on there, as you head to the bin with those overripe bananas and unwanted tins of tuna. There’s a way forwards here. Talk yourself back from the brink, and have a look at what you could do to make that unwanted waste a generous resource for your neighbour, for the street, and even the community. 

 Choose how you’ll complete today’s act:
Educate yourself on a few local food-waste initiatives (lovefoodhatewaste.com or fareshare.org.uk are good places to start). 

Make a banana cake and gift it to a neighbour or friend. Or, if you’re not a banana eater, find something else that’s going off (going-off avocados make a great chocolate cake – google ‘avocado mug cake’!).

Make an event out of it. Invite friends over for a green dinner. Explain the premise: not salad, but a dinner made up of leftover bits and pieces. If they’re stuck for ideas, googling ‘what to do with gone-off _____’ is a good place to start, and it’ll inspire creativity, too.

“They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.”
(Matthew 14:20 NIV)

Your thought for today:

The story of the feeding of the 5000 is one of the most well known in the Bible. It is a story of incredible and miraculous provision. A story that characterises God’s generosity and the obedience of a small boy willing to give up his picnic. But have you ever stopped to ask the question ‘What happened to the twelve baskets of leftovers?’

There are inevitably a bunch of really smart theological answers and interpretations that answer this question. But for a moment let’s just imagine the disciples getting a little bit creative. Maybe they made fish soup and bread and butter pudding? Maybe they redistributed bread to those in need? Maybe they fed the ducks and birds?

What do you do with your leftovers?

Thanks in part to campaigns such as ‘LoveFoodHateWaste’, activists such as ‘The Real Junk Food Project’ and TV programmes such as ‘Hugh’s War on Waste’, the issue of food waste has become a hot topic in the UK. Statistics from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) show households in the UK waste 7.3 million tonnes of edible food each year – that’s £13 billion worth of food!

So what can I do? To borrow a phrase from a well-known supermarket, ‘every little helps’. Millions of people are already doing their bit to use more of the food they buy each week. Preserving, freezing, composting and gleaning are becoming popular pastimes.

Back to those overripe bananas… there’s something about the process of transforming waste food into tasty meals or mushy brown bananas into a moist loaf of bread or leftovers being given new life that speaks of God’s upside-down kingdom. A kingdom where nothing is wasted, the left out are included and all things find their proper place in God – wonky veg included!

Written by Matt Long
Matt is passionate about planting places of prayer and seeing the scraps of the empire used to reveal beauty in broken places. He does this through Forest School, edible gardens, outdoor cooking, micro poetry and Long life.


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