FAQs

DO YOU FEED ‘HOMELESS PEOPLE’?

We feed everyone.
In our opinion, it devalues both humanity and food when surplus is only served to specific demographics of society. In order for us to respect each other and to prove the value & safety of food waste, we do not only feed ‘the homeless’, ‘the needy’, or any other social category. We believe that the majority of global food waste is absolutely fit for human consumption, so that’s who we feed – human beings.
If you eat, you’re in!


WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR FOOD?

Anywhere it’s being wasted.
We are starting afresh in Dumfries, but we will begin intercepting surplus produce from various sources, many of which are not featured in mainstream media. This includes local stores, restaurants, wholesalers, farms, food banks, allotments, schools, markets, university halls, events and food photographers.
We’re also not afraid to expose what gets thrown into bins!


DO YOU HANDLE FOOD PAST ITS EXPIRATION DATE?

Yes.
We adhere to Environmental Health regulations within the respective establishments that we occupy whilst handling food. This covers transporting, storing, cooking and re-heating food safely, as well as describing it accurately during service. However, Spill the Beans is a campaign for change. We advocate applying our own judgement on whether we believe food is good to eat or not – by smelling it, tasting it and visually inspecting it. We do not turn food away simply because it has ‘expired’, but we will never share food that we believe is unfit for human consumption.
Reclaim your senses!


ARE YOU BREAKING THE LAW?

We are challenging the law.
There are many grey areas within food legislation and regulation, so we are deliberately pushing these boundaries in order for common sense to prevail when dealing with food. Spill the Beans exists to prove that we send too much edible produce to landfill, so challenging the enforcement of such practices is inherent to our project.

  • UK law states that food past its ‘Expiration Date’ (Use By) cannot be sold to the general public. We do not sell our food, nor do we believe it’s fair to put a price tag on food waste.
  • Best Before, Sell By and Display Until dates are not legal requirements and do not have any effect on Spill the Beans, or the rest of TRJFP.
  • Strict food policy governs even the third sector, preventing nearly all UK charities and food banks from using food past its Best Before Date. This coincidentally means that organisations tackling food poverty are also generating masses of avoidable food waste too.
  • UK Legislation suggests that it’s legal for large corporations to throw hundreds of tonnes of edible food away, but illegal to rescue this food from their bins. What should be criminalised – catastrophic levels of food waste or dumpster diving?
    ‘When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty’

WHAT IS A ‘FOOD BOUTIQUE’?

  1. A ‘Pay As You Feel’ Shop
    Treat it as an opportunity to get your groceries through our Pay As You Feel concept. You can help yourself to fresh fruit & veg; packs of pasta, rice, lentils, grains; eggs, yoghurt, milk, desserts; ready-meals, sandwiches, pastries & prepared foods… whatever we have intercepted will be shared with you.
  2. A resistance of third sector food regulation
    Spill the Beans does not ask people to disclose their health, social or financial status, nor will we ever require proof of medical referral for access to our food. We believe it’s dehumanising to feed people in this manner and would like to inspire change in the way that UK Poverty Charities work. Sharing certain food, with certain people, a certain number of times is inefficient and out-of date. Take note that if all people in food poverty were fully fed with redistributed surplus, there’d STILL be mountains of food being wasted. That’s how bizarre and over-producing our world is! (more info)
  3. An alternative to supermarkets
    In a system where money is our vote, buying from large corporations who are responsible for ludicrous amounts of food waste, is unfortunately us saying ‘we support your practices’. Every time we purchase something from a supermarket shelf, that item is being reproduced, replenished and restocked. If we instead left it there, we’d oppose the reproduction of more. If this act was repeated over time & on mass, perhaps we’d see a behaviour change in our supermarket giants! By taking home groceries from our Food Boutique, you won’t need to support supermarkets as much and will simultaneously contribute to an International movement against food waste.
    Every bite of surplus is a Political Act!

HOW DO I JOIN IN?

Please email spillthebeanscampaign@gmail.com to be added to our mailing list.
We are currently in very early stages so we don’t need much help just yet, but when we run public events we’ll do a shout out for extra hands.

To get involved with your local branch, have a look on our growing list of projects and contact them from there.

To start your own cafe, contact therealjunkfoodproject@outlook.com.
The Real Junk Food Project can provide a Starter Pack which loosely guides you to initiating a Pay As You Feel cafe based on other peoples experiences. As long as you commit to using up food waste and operating on a Pay As You Feel basis, you can be as creative as you like – and this is the beauty of our network.
There’s no single way to reduce food waste!