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Waste not: Leeds Indie Food Festival puts food waste and sustainability front and centre

Leeds Indie Food Festival is putting its focus on sustainability and zero food waste this year
Leeds Indie Food Festival is putting its focus on sustainability and zero food waste this year
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The fourth annual Leeds Indie Food Festival is putting its focus and sustainability and zero food waste this year, through a series of events, initiatives and the launch of their own reusable coffee cup.

In response to the recent 'latte levy' which threatened to introduce a 25p charge on disposable coffee cups, for the first time ever the festival has launched its very own Frank Green reusable cup and will offer a discount to anyone using a reusable cup, rather than charging an extra cost.

The annual festival will for the first time introduce its own branded reusable coffee cup

The annual festival will for the first time introduce its own branded reusable coffee cup

The aim to cut down on disposable cups extends to Leeds Indie Food and North Brewing Co.'s weekly street food fair, Eat North, where every Saturday all of the drinks are served in bio-degradable cups made from plant starch which are 100 per cent compostable.

Leeds Indie Food is also encouraging the independent businesses in the city to sign up to become part of the Refill App, which will officially launch in Leeds soon and features a map highlighting where water bottles can be re-filled for free, in a bid to reduce single-use water bottles.

A bid to combat food waste

The Leeds Indie Food schedule is also littered with independent food and drink business events focused on waste and sustainability.

Real Junk Food Emporium will be occupying 34 Boar Lane for the duration of May offering a pay-as-you feel supermarket to redistribute surplus, discarded food waste from around the city, with delicious food on offer from local businesses, supermarkets, restaurants and food banks.

The pay-as-you-feel element aims to place the value back into the food and put the power back into consumer's hands by allowing them to choose what they pay.

The supermarket will run every day during the festival, from 10 to 28 May, and the Boar Lane site will also host the Real Junk Food Emporium's own fine dining event (on 15, 22 and 28 May at 7pm) where diners can enjoy a five-course culinary journey which revitalises overlooked, undervalued and discarded ingredients to make them the star of the table.

Other waste and sustainability focused events include a Ramen Pop-Up on 20 May, which demonstrates the exciting potential of overlooked food, The Swine That Dines Roots To Shoots evening, featuring a plant-based sharing menu, as well as a host of ioneering vegan and vegetarian food events.

Leeds Indie Food will also be selling merchandise to continue the sustainability theme, with their branded reusable coffee cup available to purchase onsite.

Sustainability focussed events

In keeping with the effort to raise awareness of food waste and sustainability, Leeds Indie Food is hosting the following events:

Real Junk Food Emporium: Fine Dining

A five-course dinner by Helen Russell Brown (HRB Bakes), Caleb Elliot (Rainbow Junktion) and Andy Castle (Ox Club), with all of the proceeds going towards local projects associated with tackling food waste.

When: 15, 22 and 28 May at 7pm, 34-38 Boar Lane.

Food Waste Exposed - Ramen Pop-up

The event will demonstrate the exciting potential of overlooked food in the form of ramen, with all food being salvaged fresh from local supermarkets and businesses, and the proceeds reinvested into projects such as Rainbow Junktion Community Cafe and The Real Junk Food Project.

When: 20 May from 11am to 3pm, at Hyde Park Book Club.

RootsToShoot: Plant-based Menu

The Swine That Dines will work with local suppliers to produce a plant-based sharing menu which will have an emphasis on zero waste.

When: 23 May from 6.30pm to 10.30pm, at The Swine That Dines.

For more information about this year's festival visit: leedsindiefood.co.uk