The Real Junk Food Project is an idea that was started by one man, a chef called Adam Smith, that was set up in December 2013 in Armley in Leeds and has grown into a “global, organic network of pay as you feel concepts” which divert surplus edible food destined for waste and make it accessible for human consumption. The organisations’s mission is to “Feed bellies, not Bins”, and there are now over 100 projects all over the world.

In this episode I’m chatting to Corin Bell, who is the founder of Real Junk Food Manchester, who I met last year when I was speaking at an event in Manchester. The Real Junk Food Project is an amazing concept, and after hearing about the work that Adam was doing in Leeds, Corin met up with him to find out more, and went on to set up the first Real Junk Food project away from Leeds. Not only that, but Corin and the team at Real Junk Food Manchester have this year opened the very first Real Junk Food restaurant.

Corin’s passion and enthusiasm and desire to do ‘what’s right’ is hugely evident, and it is so inspiring to hear her talk about the very real changes that she is making, both locally on the ground, and also on a much wider scale too.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • What the Real Junk Food Project is all about, and how it is working on so many different levels to make good stuff happen
  • What “pay as you feel” means and how that works in reality
  • Why the Real Junk Food Project doesn’t specifically target people in food poverty, and concentrates on making amazing meals from food that would otherwise have gone to waste, and makes them available to everyone
  • How Corin and the team have been able to create a very hip, city centre venue, serving amazing meals from food waste, that is genuinely inclusive and welcoming to everyone
  • The phrase Corin uses to help her to move forwards when she’s feeling stuck
  • Corin’s plans to build an ‘ethical empire’ doing great things with food and including as many people as she can
  • Why Corin has chosen to make their running costs higher than they might be, to make the most ethical choices she can
  • Why we shouldn’t be afraid to fail, and to fail publicly

Useful Links:

The Real Junk Food Project

Real Junk Food Manchester