One person’s squander is another person’s sustenance — and Chef Adam Smith is turning waste into delicious meals over in the first ‘Pay-As-You-Feel’ inspiring café over in the UK.

This sustainable concept combines brilliant waste management strategies with social justice as it aims to abolish the waste of food — intercepting food from supermarkets, restaurants and individuals that would otherwise be tossed in the trash. Instead, Chef Adam Smith is using discarded edible items from different establishments and turning them into ingredients for healthy, delicious meals.

So there’s actually a restaurant that you can ‘pay as you feel’ and enjoy a healthy meal?

Chef Adam Smith saves eats from ending up in the landfill — though it’s food that’s deemed ‘past its best’, he uses his culinary talents to turn these ingredients into all kinds of tasty, satisfying meals. From steaks and soups to vegan or vegetarian delights — he offers necessary nourishment for folks who may have an insecure source of food. Everything he uses has been given to him.

After meals are consumed, this café on Armley Town Street allows guests to pay as they feel.  If cash isn’t an option, the opportunity to wash dishes for an hour is an acceptable form of payment.

There is also a ‘swap-shop’ facility that allows the public to donate — and/or trade food waste produce, according to their Facebook page.

The Guardian has a video available so you can check out the on-goings of the café that feeds Leeds with waste.

Where did this sustainable café come from?

This project is the product of head chef, Adam Smith, who gave birth to this brilliant idea after spending a few years in Australia.

It started as The Real Junk Food Project, established on February 22, 2013, and began in Australia. In the first eight weeks of this project, this inspiring chef and his team managed to save 300 kilograms of ‘food waste’ from the trash. The point of the project was to demonstrate that you could create meals using what you have and not all good food has to follow a recipe —  it showed food waste is avoidable and there are sustainable options. Smith proved this.

“Collected from Melbourne restaurants, markets and even cast-offs of food rescue operation SecondBite, the meals were cooked by former Gasolina head chef Adam Smith and his team of volunteers as a free weekly feast using public barbeques,” reports Good Food, “The meals were served up to whoever was nearby and hungry.”

With his experience in Australia, Smith brought his genius mind to Leeds and opened up his ‘pay as you feel’ café earlier this winter in December.

Now, that’s cooking up a sustainable future.


Image credit: The Real Junk Food Project