My parents are farmers and so I know how much hard work goes into producing the food we all eat, and absolutely *hate* throwing it away! Fast forward to 2014, I was moving country and the removal men said I had to bin our food – I couldn’t do it and that was the light bulb moment when OLIO was born.
Growing up in the countryside and watching my mum and grandma growing their own food and use up every part of it, including the scraps, I was completely unfamiliar with food waste. After coming to uni I was shocked by the amount of food that landed in bins every week so when looking for summer internships I was more than happy to discover there is a start-up with a mission to end it.
I always knew I wanted to work for an environmental cause but after so long worrying about what exactly I wanted to do, I finally realised that the answer wasn’t even on my doorstep – it was closer than that! The majority of food waste happens right within our homes. With OLIO, we are making changes with real, tangible environmental impact and also forming an amazing, passionate community.
I have been passionate about reducing food waste since my university days – I even wrote my dissertation on food surplus redistribution. My ambition in making the food industry better has been realised since working at OLIO.
I first became aware of the issue of food waste during my uni days, feeling frustrated at how much good food supermarkets threw away. Learning that most of UK food waste actually comes from the home, I made a commitment to live more sustainably and was thrilled to learn about OLIO.
I am always looking for ways to live more sustainably. I grow my own vegetables and avoid waste by not buying things I don’t need (tip of the day: make a shopping list before you go to the supermarket). The amazing thing about working at OLIO is that I am now making it easier for people all over the world to reduce waste in their lives too.
I’m originally from South Africa, where food waste is not a big problem, specifically due to the extreme poverty levels. Someone would gladly to take any spare food you may have. I was shocked to see the levels of food waste in the UK and I never realised the scale of the problem. Our world has enough food, we just need to distribute it in a better way.
My environmentalism & social conscience originally grew out of a concern for animal welfare. As I learned more about diet, waste, economics, my interest broadened. Today I try to live as sustainably as possible; we grow our own food, have solar panels, raise our own animals, and dream of switching from a hybrid to a fully electric car in the future.
During my studies in Germany, I was part of a nationwide network of people who stood up to food waste by sharing food. Surprised something similar didn’t exist in London at the time, I was extremely happy to discover the arrival of OLIO in early 2015.
I started actively learning about sustainability when I realised that in order to save our planet and the future generations, political, social and environmental changes had to be done in all aspects of life. To me, sustainability should not only be a way of thinking but a way of living. And together we can change the world.
My passion for reducing food waste started when I was in my late teens. I worked at a famous patisserie in Toronto and was horrified when they threw out a rubbish bag of unsold cakes on my first day. For the rest of my time there, I took all the unsold cakes home and distributed them to my neighbours. Needless to say, my neighbours were very disappointed when I left that job!
I’ve always been inspired by the green technology industry. OLIO is exceptional as it provides the general public with a ‘back-to-basics’ way of saving the planet, one piece of food at a time! OLIO has completely changed my attitude to food waste and I am now working to change other people’s attitudes too!
Growing up, my mum was the most amazing, resourceful cook, and she would always use lot’s of homegrown produce. Cooking & growing your own food makes you appreciate it so much more. Wasting something that you have put so much effort, time and love into producing, makes no sense to me.
I have followed my passion for food by working in hospitality planning events, catering, and hundreds of pop dinners with many talented chefs on the San Francisco food scene. This is how I realized how much waste there was and it left me feeling unsatisfied. It is what lead me to my quest for a more purposeful career path and how I proudly ended up joining the OLIO team.