Food Waste Wars: what can you do to help?

Here's some ways you can help with reducing food waste around The Toon

Daisy Harrison
24th April 2023
Image credit Instagram @somethinggoodco
We’ve all heard about the large amounts of food waste produced each year and the impact this has on our planet. According to Olio, over 1/3 of all food produced globally goes to waste and the annual value of wasted food is $1 trillion. Instead of declaring gloomy statistics, I’m here to share how we can actively help with reducing food waste around Newcastle.

Magic Hat Café, City Centre:

Located across the street from Laing Art Gallery, Magic Hat is committed to reducing food waste, by developing meals from rescued surplus food, which would otherwise end up as landfill.

The café is open 10:00 – 16:00, Thursday to Sunday, and delivers a menu that changes daily, depending on which ingredients they have saved from waste. Each day’s menu can be found on their social media pages.

You can find the ‘Magic Hat Market’ outside the front of the café, in which fresh produce, like milk and bread, is available for people to take on a pay-as-you-feel basis.

The cafe delivers a menu that changes daily, depending on which ingredients they have saved from waste

Additionally, Magic Hat offer £15 hampers, which are full to the brim of a selection of food and drink and delivered straight to your door every Friday. The hampers can be made to fit dietary requirements and, of course, every product included has been saved from landfill.

A large proportion of Magic Hat staff are volunteers, including Front of House, Kitchen, Hamper Packing, and Gleaning. They are always looking for extra hands. Or, you can simply pop down to the café and enjoy a delicious zero-waste meal!

Image credit: Instagram @themagichatcafe

Something Good, Jesmond:

This sustainable shop in Jesmond is a plastic-free pantry and riflery. Everything sold here is strictly zero-waste. Shopping zero-waste products can benefit our planet massively, as it helps to reduce plastics, and protect wildlife from the dangerous effects of pollution and climate change.

Zero-waste shops allow you to buy exact quantities of the food that you need, so that none of it goes to waste. This will also save you money in the long term, as most refillable options are cheaper than their packaged equivalents.

Something Good champions local businesses where possible, so buying their products contributes towards supporting a network of small businesses around the North East!

Image credit: Instagram @somethinggoodco


If getting food from your favourite restaurants at a discounted price sounds good to you, then download TooGoodToGo, and get ordering!

This app has become popular in recent years, and for good reason. It works through businesses listing their unsold food at the end of the day, which is made into ‘magic bags’ for customers to pick up at a discounted price.

Tasty food to enjoy for 1/3 of its original price

Major businesses signed up to the app include Greggs, Café Nero, Pret, and Krispy Kreme. However, local businesses, such as Gingerino’s, café 1901, King Baby Bagels, and the aforementioned Magic Hat and Something Good, are also involved with the action.

The app allows surplus food to be turned into extra profit, rather than being thrown away, whilst giving customers tasty food to enjoy for 1/3 of its original price. And, speaking from my own experience, it’s super fun to find out what surprises you have waiting for you in your magic bag!

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