Couple Serve “Recycled” Wedding Breakfast to Guests
When it comes to getting married, there are a number of approaches that couples can take.
For example, there are those who like things traditional and “just so”. And what about those for whom money is no object, something they like to share as they proclaim their wedding vows before their loved ones.
Let’s not forget the couples who try and get married while spending as little money as possible. After all, it shouldn’t cost anything to tell the world how much you’re in love with your spouse-to-be, right?
And finally, we have those who want to do something “a little different” for their wedding. We’re talking zip-lining into the vows, a wedding breakfast in a fast-food restaurant, trying to break as Guinness World Record, or simply trying to give something back to the community.
Zoe and Charles Loughlin from Cambridgeshire fall into this last category. The newlyweds are passionate food waste campaigners who decided to treat their guests to a wedding breakfast with a difference: “recycled” food.
Now, any freegans reading this will know all about recycled food, but we’ll clear it up for anyone else who might be getting the wrong idea. Recycled food is produce that is perfectly fine for eating, but has to be thrown away for whatever reason.
Perhaps the food is right on the cusp of its use-by date, or there is too much of it for the supermarket to sell, or maybe even the packaging is damaged in some way. The food might be fine, but the supermarkets have rules on what they can sell, and so some of the food gets thrown away.
This is where freegans and organisations such as FoodCycle come in, wanting as little food as possible to go to waste. FoodCycle is a national charity in the UK that collects some of this food and uses it to give back to the community.
Zoe explained that every Saturday a meal is provided for members of the community who are at risk of food poverty or social isolation.
The ingredients for this meal are collected from supermarkets the night before, stuff that would otherwise have been thrown away. And as you can see from the photos, the food is absolutely fit for consumption, and had we not informed you of its “recycled” status, you wouldn’t think anything of it.
As a volunteer for FoodCycle, Zoe knows what happens behind the scenes and thought it would be a wonderful way of providing publicity for the charity.
“We thought long and hard about the food and looked into different catering options, but just kept coming back to FoodCycle,” she explained. “We thought it would be wonderful to practise what we preach.”
The food would be collected and prepared by FoodCycle, but Zoe and Charles wouldn’t know what that would be until it was dished up on the actual day.
And so, a couple of Saturday ago, their wedding day came along and the charity’s volunteers helped prepare Morrocan roasted vegetables that would make up some of the main course, and Panzanella salad.
As meat can’t be donated to the charity, the couple supplemented their main course with cold beef they bought from a local pub.
Zoe admitted that serving up such a meal to their 150 guests was a risk, and not something that everyone would want to be involved in, but it all went surprisingly well. Some people even went back for seconds!
During her bride’s speech, Zoe talked about the charity and explained that there were collection boxes dotted around the grounds for people to donate to the charity. She added that they had already paid a cash donation in exchange for the food and wonderful service.
Charles, the groom, revealed that the food wasn’t the only thing that was recycled for the wedding. For example, little jam jars held tea light candles and old bean cans were used as flower vases for the table decorations.
“The wedding was entirely designed ourselves,” Charles said, explaining that they had agreed that if they were going to pay someone to cater for their wedding, FoodCycle was the perfect choice.
Alex Collis, a hub leader for FoodCycle Cambridge and who works alongside Zoe, said that this was the first wedding that FoodCycle had catered for. She said although it had certainly been a challenge, it was all really good fun, too.
“Zoe and Charles were very relaxed about it and knew exactly what they were getting themselves into,” she added. “It was a really lovely day and shows what FoodCycle is all about.”
Image Source: FoodCycle Cambridge’s Facebook