>> It's lunchtime at this cafe south of London but the food being served here you may have overlooked. I'm Reuters reporter Emily Wither at this pop-up cafe in Brighton. Everything on my plate was just going to be thrown in the garbage but instead, it's been turned into nearly 200 meals.
The Real Junk Food Project is part of a growing anti-food waste movement that's sprung up in recent years. The U.N. estimates globally consumers and businesses are tossing away a third of food produced for consumption. That's a staggering 1.3 billion tons a year. That's everything from a banana falling off the back of a truck to a supermarket throwing out the fruit if its skin has brown spots.
This project is turning donations into meals, served on a pay as you feel basis at cafes across the UK, and in parts of Europe and Australia.>> In the beginning, we used to wait until supermarkets closed their doors and then we'd go and take perfectly edible food out of their bins.
Whereas now, they put it aside for us. We have relationships with the store managers.>> But campaigners say there's still work to do. According to a new report, the UK alone wastes 1.9 million tons of food and drink a year. They say nearly all of it is avoidable.
Government funded research by the Charity Wrap found that just 18% of edible food was redistributed in 2015. Most of it was burnt or used to create energy. Just over 50% of food thrown away after farming comes from the home.>> As an example, I've got a lovely bit of fennel here, but this obviously wouldn't be sellable anymore because it has been starting to turn, it has been bruised slightly.
Likewise with this cabbage, it's still perfectly edible but just needs a layer taken off of it, and a slightly obscure one, oil, that's because it has been squashed so that would not sit on shelf very happily. And all of this was going to be just thrown away?>> Yeah, absolutely.
Everything you see being used today, would have been in the bin.