Wednesday 12th October at 5.30pm the MRC (Medical Research Council) Centre for Environment and Health Sustainability Working Group opened Imperial’s Invention Room doors to their first-ever World Food Day celebration.
The evening put together to highlight sustainability issues within our food systems, and discuss solutions to these issues, was well-attended from both members of Imperial’s community and the general public. Over 90 attendees joined the event to learn, network and nibble, all in the name of sustainable food.
Event attendees were welcomed with delicious, plant-based food from two local food establishments: Nourish Hub and Delina. Nourish Hub has community meals available Monday-Friday at lunchtimes, which are offered on a ‘donate as you dine’ basis. They’re always vegan or vegetarian and utilise ‘rescued’ food that would otherwise be thrown out. They also provide amazing opportunities for the community to learn to minimise food waste and create nutritious meals. Delina provides an array of delectable Ethiopian foods from their Shepherd’s Bush kitchen, and have won awards for their plant-rich, allergen-friendly dishes.
After brief introductions from the Sustainability Working Group’s Chair, Stav Friedman, and Imperial’s Community Engagement Team, who co-sponsored the event, attendees listened to three talks on sustainable food solutions:
Sally Musungu a PhD student at the Centre for Environmental Policy and an affiliate of the Grantham Institute at the Imperial College London, gave a talk on adaptation pathways for a sustainable food system. She introduced the concept of ‘anti-fragility’ and how we need to create food systems that are more diverse, hardier and healthier in order to take on the challenges that come with climate change.
City Harvest’s Volunteer Engagement Coordinator, Izzy Glaisher, gave an eye-opening talk on London’s food waste and food poverty crises and detailed what City Harvest is doing to help. In London, about 500,000 tonnes of edible food are wasted each year – City Harvest helps to save that food and sends it to community groups, charities, food banks and organisations serving people who need it. As of October 3rd, 2022, since they opened their doors in 2014, City Harvest has rescued over 15,800 tonnes of food, fed over 37 million meals to London communities and saved over 60,000 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions – what a feat! Izzy also shared wonderful photos and videos from their food distribution warehouse, just down the road from Imperial’s White City campus in Acton, where anyone can sign up to volunteer!
The last talk of the evening came from Multus Media co-founder and CEO, Cai, who’s innovative business has created a way for lab-grown meat to be grown more affordably and sustainably! Nestled within White City campus’ Scale Space, the Multus team has developed a growth media that can help scale up the lab-grown meat industry, a valuable tool in tackling the high-emitting landscape of animal agriculture. This thought-provoking talk sparked lots of questions and curiosity from the audience, which continued into the networking session.
Guests and speakers ended the night with scrumptious vegan ice cream from Turmeric and Honey, a health foods store on North Pole Road.
World Food Day was a fantastic success, thanks to the wonderful speakers and food vendors, but also to an amazing, interested and engaged community. This event was co-sponsored by the Medical Research Council’s Centre for Environment and Health (MRC CEH) and Imperial’s Community Engagement Team. It was also made possible thanks to Imperial’s Invention Rooms, the College’s dedicated hub for local community engagement at White City.
For more events from the MRC CEH Sustainability Working Group, follow the Centre on Twitter @CentreEnvHealth and check out their website here. Other great events and resources can be found by following the Environmental Research Group @ERGImperial.
About us | The MRC CEH Sustainability Working Group is a student-led group at Imperial College London with a drive for positive change and a passion for sustainability. Interested in learning more about what we do? Check out their website and twitter account (@MRC_ReSoc) for the latest news!