You are invited to a free food giveaway day this Friday. Get yourself to the Best Before Project warehouse in Tottenham between 10am and 1pm and take away as much as you can carry.
The Best Before Project collects good-to-eat food which is about to be thrown away and passes it to those who need it. Their aim is to set up and maintain a distribution network of food that is approaching or has passed the best before date and is otherwise sent to the landfill. To do this, they need to raise awareness of the issue.
'Best Before paranoia' sees us chuck out stacks of edible food every day, having no faith in our senses or judgment. No wonder when we're fed a regular diet of food scare stories. Unconvinced? Check the NHS guidance about food labelling:
Except in the case of eggs, "best before" dates are about quality, not safety. When the date is passed, it doesn't mean that the food will be harmful, but it might begin to lose its flavour and texture.
And get this. Usually the sort of paper that thrives on food scares, a month ago, the Daily Mail got one of its journalists to test food past its sell by date, in cahoots with a food safety expert and independent laboratory to ensure he didn't kill himself. The results are surprising. The fact that the piece is spliced midway with a link to a story about fatal food poisoning from organic cucumbers reassures us that the Mail hasn't lost its way.
Waste not, want not is an old adage but one worth repeating.
The address of the Best Before Project warehouse is : Tottenham Hale, Fenman Court, (side of the Shelbourne Road) N17. It will be open between 10am-1pm on Friday. Parking is available.