Food & Drink

Breaking: The Secret Melbourne Food Crisis You Need To Know About

By Sophie Colvin
4th Aug 2016

I don’t know about you, but I’m often totally ashamed at the amount of food I waste. You know how it goes—you think you’ve got your life together so do a grocery shop for the week, but then your plans change and you end up having dinner with your parents on Tuesday, friends on Thursday, and Friday calls for takeaway. And before you know it, there’s a whole heap of soggy veggies and half used containers of god-knows-what sitting in the bottom of your fridge. Liquefied herbs? We’ve been there. And if I’m wasting all this food, it’s scary to think how much gets wasted on a commercial level.

It turns out 3.9 million tonnes of food are wasted commercially every year. To put it in to perspective, that’s nearly four billion kilograms (!!). ‘But hooooow?!’ I hear you wail?

Imagine this: There’s a huge event on and the caterers have ordered all the produce—let’s say, 2,500 KGs of salmon fillets. The event was then cancelled, but only after all the produce had already arrived in Australia. That’s a LOT of flippin’ fish that no one’s planning on eating.

Or think of the tonnes of undersize produce that’s harvested at the end of the season—this is produce that has perfect taste and quality, but is not appealing to a commercial market.

Or lobsters that have wonky tails and won’t be bought by their regular buyers, even though they’re fresh and taste top-notch?

So what happens to all of this perfectly good produce? In the past it often would’ve simply been thrown away—a tragic waste of good food. But, thankfully, there’s now another option for growers, producers, and suppliers.

Online market place, Yume is saving our would-be-wasted produce, and we’re big fans of this nifty little concept. Yume recognized that those salmon fillets are perfectly edible, and the lobsters would’ve been perfect for caterers or restaurants, if only businesses had access to all this unloved produce. This is where Yume comes in.

Yume connects suppliers with restaurants, cafes and caterers—a simple concept that means reduced food wastage, partial income recovery for the producers, and quality produce at a much cheaper price for food businesses. Win, win, win!

Yume isn’t exactly new. Some of our absolute favourite venues, including Top Paddock, Pope Joan, San Telmo, Pastuso, Grub Food Van, Aunt Maggies, Bomba, Peter Rowlands Catering, The Big Group, and Guy Grossi, are all users and supporters of Yume. Sourcing from Yume, they have access to quality produce from respected brands such as Pacific West, Flinders Island Meat, Bertocchi, Clamms Seafood and a whole heap more at crazy, rock-bottom prices. We say, hats off to you, Yume!

Now you’re thinking, that’s all well and good, but how can I, as a lone little person, help reduce food wastage? Well, we’ve put together a handy four-step personalized program for you:

1. Plan your week better. Plan your nightly meals in advance and create shopping lists so you don’t go nuts at the market.

2. When you hit the shops, buy less than you think you’ll need, you absolute pelican.

3. Spread the word about Yume to every hospo’ frand you have. Tell them about it. Show them this article. Tell your local barista. Use it as a pick up line with the next hot waiter you encounter. It’s not just good for the planet—they’ll be loving the ridiculously low prices.

4. Support businesses that use Yume—they’re obviously good people who deserve your hard earned cash.

For more info, head to Yume.  

Image credit: Supplied by Yume

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