The apple is an underrated fruit.
So much so, that the UK wastes 4.4million apples every year, according to Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which in 2008 launched a campaign to highlight just how much of the tasty fruit ends up in bins.
And it’s not got better over recent years; in 2019, The National Farmers’ Union reported that 16million apples have been left unpicked, though this was due to worker shortages, as opposed to the produce not being eaten in homes.
Regardless, it is clear that apples are going to waste.
In an effort to save this precious fruit, a London brewery has just announced a stunt that will likely go home well with cider drinkers in the capital.
Hawkes, based in Bermondsey, is highlighting the plight of the apple by threatening to pour 5,000 pints of cider down the drain – that is, unless people swing by to drink it.
You only need to pay for one drink; refills are free, from 2pm to 8pm.
All profits from sales of the This Is London cider will then go to Social Orchards, an initiative that plants ‘food forests’ in deprived areas of the capital, to provide free fruit to the community.
On the same day, the company will also launch Apple Donors, a campaign to encourage people to drop off unwanted apples from their gardens, nearby orchards or local parks (if you want to take part, make sure it’s OK for you to pluck from public places).
However, Hawkes is not the first brewery to utilise the help of locals to save apples from rotting, when they could be turned into cider.
The Garden Cider Company has been doing this for years.
Launched by two brothers, Ben and Will Filby, all of the brand’s hand-crafted beverages are made from donated garden apples supplied by 4,000 homes in Surrey.
And there’s a benefit for those who drop off their fruit; each person gets a share of the cider produced from it.
Don’t have any apple trees to donate from? You can still do your part by being cautious with waste, and read expiry labels carefully.
Supermarkets now use a logo on its bags of the fruit, encouraging shoppers to keep them in the fridge.
It is part of a wider campaign around food labelling from 2017, which aims to remove confusion around best by dates – and save 350,000 tonnes of domestic waste by 2025.
You can also freeze leftover apples – these can be left in the freezer for three to six months, though the flavour might decline somewhat.
And if you don’t fancy biting into the sweet fruit, why not make a pie with it? Or apple juice?
The options are endless.
Remember: an apple a day keeps food waste away.
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