Australia’s top chefs are cooking up free lunches across the country next week

Food rescue charity OzHarvest will once again be hosting their annual Think.Eat.Save campaign across the country on Monday 24th July. What does this mean? Well it calls upon some of the country’s top chefs to take the very simple task of using commonly wasted ingredients into free meals, highlighting the value of rescued food and trying to encourage Australians to stop wasting so much damn food.

For Sydney, that’ll mean top chefs like Neil Perry, Justine Schofield, Daniel Pepperell and more coming together to offer the hungry and curious free soup lunches made from top-notch rescued ingredients. Craig Reucassel from ABC’s War on Waste will be hosting the lunch, showing people just how easy it is to transform forgotten fridge food into worthwhile and satisfying meals.

This is necessary each year because, in Australia alone, four million tonnes of food goes to waste each year, which costs the economy an estimated $20 billion. Further to that, a recent study by Love Hate Food Waste discovered that a lot of this food wastage is due to food being left for too long in the fridge without being used.

“Wasting food makes no sense – economically, environmentally and ethically – consumer must act now”, urged OzHarvest CEO and founder Ronnie Kahn “The average household fridge has a lot to answer for. People shop for the week, stack the fridge and food gets forgotten – stuck in the dark corners of the vegetable crisper or hidden behind jars of jam. It’s the main reason why people waste food at home”.

Similar programs will happen at the same time across the country, hoping to inspire people to start getting serious about food wastage. See below for locations.

Monday 24 July
· Sydney – Martin Place, 11:30am-2pm
· Melbourne – Melbourne University North Court, 11:30am-2pm
· Adelaide – University of Adelaide, Goodman Lawns, North Terrace, 11:30am – 2:30pm
· Gold Coast – The Kitchens, Robina Town Centre, 10am-3pm
· Canberra – Garema Place, 11:30am-1pm
· Newcastle – James Street Plaza, Hamilton, 11:30am-2pm
· Cairns – Funship Playground, Esplanade, Cairns North, 3pm-8pm
· Sunshine Coast – Pitchfork Restaurant, Peregian Beach, 12pm-2pm
· Toowoomba – The Gallery Park – 523 Ruthven St, 11:30am- 2:30pm

Saturday 5 August
· Sapphire Coast – Eden Public School, 10:30am-2:30pm

Image: Cole Bennetts/Getty Images for OzHarvest