Every person has a part to play in reducing food waste and looking after the planet.
Food waste happens when edible food is lost throughout the food value chain. Surviving the journey from farm to fork is a complicated process with many hurdles along the way. Some produce is discarded before it even leaves the farm, some are rejected when it arrives at the supermarket or restaurant and some simply ends up in a household bin.
Produce can be rejected for several reasons from curly cucumbers to overly ripe bananas.
When an ingredient isn’t the standard size, it becomes tricky to process. A tiny onion for example doesn’t fit in the peeling machine so has to be processed by hand.
A pear-shaped pear or curly cucumber may not fit in regular supermarket packaging so often get rejected before leaving the farm.
A gnarly carrot or speckled banana can often be rejected due to poor consumer demand as customers are more likely to pick up perfect-looking produce.
Produce going to supermarkets must have a certain amount of shelf life to be accepted. If an ingredient is too ripe then it will not meet these criteria and will be rejected.
An abundant harvest or a seasonal store promotion can mean the regular supply chain gets disrupted. And therefore, the surplus can occur at this stage
A staggering 7.2 million tons of food and drink are thrown away each year. a third of all food produced globally is wasted. By reducing food loss and waste, it will bring numerous benefits to the planet and can result in:
Increased food availability to the most vulnerable
A reduction in GHG emissions
Reduced pressure on land and water resources
An increase in productivity and economic growth
Jenny Costa founder of Rubies in the Rubble noticed the huge quantities of perfectly edible produce being thrown away if not sold after visiting New Covent Garden Market. Jenny became passionate about encouraging sustainable consumption and preventing good food from going to waste.
Having grown up on a farm in Scotland with a close-knit family of keen environmentalists Jenny understood the value of each painstakingly grown piece of fruit and vegetable, she learned the art of preserving seasonal fruit and veg in chutneys and jams ensuring nothing was ever to go to waste.
After graduating with an MA in Mathematics and Economics in 2008 Jenny worked in Finance for two years. However, having always been passionate about sustainability, entrepreneurism, and good food, she left to launch ‘Rubies in the Rubble’. She started making her first batches of relishes with surplus fruit and veg from Borough Market, where she had her first stall. Since then, the brand has grown to include award-winning condiments, a range of plant-based mayos and ketchup, with nationwide stockists and now, a London-wide advertising campaign.
Every jar and bottle are still packed with delicious ingredients that would otherwise have gone to waste, not because they taste any different, but often because they’re the wrong shape, size, or colour. Jenny comments, “our ketchup and relishes are made with fresh fruit & veg sourced directly from farms, whilst our mayos are made with aquafaba, a plant-based alternative to eggs that are usually thrown away. Condiments are a fantastic way of preserving produce by extending their shelf-life with vinegar and sugars. In other words, less waste, more taste. “
“I knew it was about much more than just making delicious-tasting preserves, I wanted to create a solution to food waste and, with every jar I made, raise awareness about the need to value our food supply. At Rubies in the Rubble, we are on a mission to encourage people to waste less, treasure their resources and live more sustainably. We want to save the planet one jar at a time by providing a delicious and practical solution to food waste. Ask any of our customers, and they’ll tell you that our range of condiments is too good to refuse”.
Rubies in the Rubble Tomato Ketchup has become a firm favourite in the Women Talking household, A great-tasting, sustainably sourced, 100% natural ketchup that contains twice the fruit and half the refined sugar than other leading brands. If you are enjoying alfresco dining, try the BBQ Bundle where you can sample one of each of their ranges from the iconic ketchup to their spicy mayo and customer-favourite Chilli Onion.
For more information visit Rubies in The Rubble here