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Every year, Londoners throw away 900,000 tonnes of food, at a cost to the average person of £200, and a far greater toll on the environment. As part of our City Now City Future season, we're trying to help citizens change London for the better by reducing the food they throw away: Taste, not Waste.
We've partnered with Pop Brixton and environmental charity Hubbub to create a set of recipes that will use up your leftovers.
These hearty dishes are a great reminder that meals assembled from kitchen scraps don't have to be paltry or leave you feeling hungry. You'll probably need to pick up some extra ingredients to finish off these recipes, but often you'll find overlooked veg, cheap cuts of meat or waste ingredients like stalks lurking in the back of your fridge looking in need of a little attention.
Okay, so not many people have leftover ox hearts lying around the kitchen- but organ meats and other less prestigious cuts are available for cheaper. Get to know your local butcher and ask them for advice. By expanding the range of ingredients you consider, you'll be able to reduce the amount of food that grocers and supermarkets throw away.
Maybe you're not ready to commit to a feast of leftover pie and juice pulp burgers. These smaller recipes, ideal as side dishes, will ease you into the wonderful world of food waste fine dining. We particularly love the recipes for sourdough crisps and steamed bread pudding, both perfect for using up the stale ends of that loaf you never got round to eating.
We keep on going on about leftover fruit and vegetables, but that's because, as a city, we throw so much of it away. These recipes will sweep clear the bottom of your salad drawer and turn it into a fresh, tasty meal. There's a big focus in these recipes from using the parts of the plant that you'd usually throw away, from beetroot leaves to carrot tops.
Potting and preserving seasonal fruits and vegetables used to be something done in almost every kitchen in London: in the days before freezers or lettuce with air miles, it was the only way you could plants to eat in the winter. Nowadays, this skill is mostly done as a hobby rather than a necessity. But fresh veg is still cheaper at harvest time and these recipes, from pear butter to preserved lemons, are a fantastic way to store your leftover perishables to polish off later.
From mashed potato cakes to dairy-free "nice cream" made with bruised bananas, these tasty treats are a great way to clear your cupboards and indulge your sweet tooth.
Learn how to reduce food waste with top chefs and foodies in collaboration with the Museum of London, Hubbub and Pop Brixton. Pick up your free booklet and meet the chefs at Pop Brixton 13 +14 January.
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