It started with a sundried tomato loaf. When Tristram Stuart was 15 years old he bought some pigs, and started feeding them food that was being thrown away by local shops, a farm and his school in Sussex.
“One morning when I was feeding my pigs I noticed a particularly tasty-looking sundried tomato loaf that used to crop up from time to time,” he recalled with relish. “I grabbed hold of it, sat down and ate my breakfast with my pigs.”
This was Stuart’s first act of what he later learned to call freeganism, the collection and eating of discarded food. It was suddenly obvious: the solution to food waste was simply to sit down and eat it rather than throwing it away.
More than 20 years on, he is now one of the world’s best known and most effective campaigners against food waste. He has written two acclaimed books, founded the campaign group, Feedback, and travelled to countries around the globe to research, publicise and sometimes solve gross examples of food waste.
He has met with ministers and key decision-makers in the UK and Europe, and is an expert adviser to the United Nations Committee on World Food Security. This month he was in to Glasgow to address the Scottish Resources Conference on his continuing crusade against the “global scandal” of food waste.