OzHarvest: The great food rescue

Bananas, nuts, canned tuna and corn chips…walk into the OzHarvest Market in Kensington NSW, and you’d be forgiven for assuming this is your run-of-the-mill Woolies or Coles. But OzHarvest is different, because rather than being based on the value of a buck, it’s all about love. Yes, I know it sounds corny (and they stock that too), but there are no flashy sales signs at OzHarvest, just the promise of good-quality, healthy food for people who need it most—and a sure-fire way to
benefit the environment. 

Created in 2004 by Ronni Kahn, OzHarvest is Australia’s leading food-rescue organisation. It’s not your typical up-cycling operation—there’s no fancy recipes, how-to tutorials or style guides to accompany OzHarvest. But they do save perfectly good food from being thrown away by collecting the excess stock from supermarkets and other suppliers, and delivering it to charity.

It is estimated that Australians throw away between $8–10 million worth of food every year. And, given that our country produces enough food to feed 60 million people—yet two million still need food relief—it’s fair to say that our use and consumption of food is out of whack. Plus, every time we throw away food, we contribute to a myriad of factors that increase our carbon footprint and damage the environment. 

Who knew grocery shopping was so complicated?

OzHarvest break this cycle, not only by rescuing food and supplying it to people, but by educating people on food waste and its environmental impact. Naturally, the best way to do this is over a hot meal, so the new OzHarvest food truck is on the streets of Sydney, conducting healthy eating workshops  and giving out free food. 

All up, OzHarvest has delivered more than 60 million meals to people and provided food to more than 900 charities. In fact, they’ve saved 20,000 tonnes of food from landfill.

We’re all in a race to save the Earth, and OzHarvest’s commitment to rescuing food is the first step in teaching us to value what we consume. One practical way OzHarvest does this is by holding their annual Great Food Rescue Race in Adelaide on 3 November. Teams of five are encouraged to sign up for a day racing across the city CBD, participating in cooking, nutrition and food rescue, all the while raising funds for
OzHarvest in South Australia.

We can’t all rescue tonnes of food from becoming waste, but by being a little more mindful of what we buy, how we use it and what we store, we can make a difference in our corner of the world. If you’re looking for a helping hand or want to make a difference, find your nearest OzHarvest and you can leave with a full belly and a happy heart knowing you just helped save the planet.

To find your closest OzHarvest or sign up for the Great Food Rescue Race, visit ozharvest.org.