Search

Hornchurch man’s quest to walk length of country living only out of skips

11:00 23 January 2013

Vince with food he found in a Hornchurch skip, which he donated to a homeless hostel after the photo shoot

Vince with food he found in a Hornchurch skip, which he donated to a homeless hostel after the photo shoot

Archant

“A man could walk the length of the United Kingdom living off society’s waste.”

That’s one Hornchurch man’s belief, and he intends to prove it this spring.

The 45-year-old, who wished only to be known as Vince, said he had been living a sustainable, “nomadic” lifestyle for the last 12 years – including a three-month spell over Christmas at an “eco-village” in Surrey during which he lived entirely off food salvaged from skips.

It’s not quite “The Good Life” – but Vince reckons we throw away far too much food, plenty of which is still good to eat.

“We’d get ‘skipped’ food from the Co-op or Marks and Spencer, all clean and in bags, and up to 20 people could eat that for four days,” said the former Sanders Draper student.

“Shops throw out food because it’s approaching its sell-by date, not its use-by date. I haven’t had food poisoning.

“You go for certain products – sealed cakes, for example, aren’t going to go stale. Shops throw so many sandwiches and pastries out.

“We were feeding up to 20 or 30 people by ‘skipping’ twice a week. On the Sunday before Christmas I came back with a black bag full of eggs that were edible.

“With the amount of food waste we produce, we could build up food banks for the poor.

“Food prices are going up all the time, and yet I went up to a garage in Hornchurch and had a look in their bins and they were full.”

The issue of food waste hit headlines earlier this month, with a report from the UK-based Institution of Mechanical Engineers suggesting up to 50 per cent of the world’s food never reached human stomachs.

And the national “Love Food Hate Waste” campaign, which aims to minimise the amount of food we throw away from our homes, has recently come to Havering. The council is offering a series of free workshops to help people make the most of their kitchen supplies.

To hammer the point home, Vince plans to walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats while living just off food salvaged from skips.

He intends to set off at the spring equinox – March 20 – and reach his destination in time for the summer solstice – June 21.

So how did he end up treading his anti-consumerist path?

“I just had a realisation,” he said. “Life isn’t about materialism. I had money in my younger years but I didn’t want to be a slave to the grind. I just wanted to enjoy life.

“I started travelling and seeing other cultures – learning how to live simply and happily.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

15:00
The Recorder, April 15 1955

This week in history – 60, 40 and 20 years ago.

12:00
Heather Stevens, writer Kyle Ross and Pauline Carroll

Memories of times long gone by are at the heart of a new community project.

Hornchurch Cub, Corey Cannon, gets invested underwater.

Scout leader: “Definitely the most unusual ceremony I have ever conducted.”

Yesterday, 12:00
Members of the SYM (Stubbers Young Mariners) Sailing Club. Picture: SYM Sailing Club

Sailing enthusiasts and beginners alike are encouraged to join a weekly club.

Most read news

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Glen Moray whiskey could be winging its way to you.

The Glen Moray Classic is a classic Speyside single malt and forms the starting point for the Classic Range.

Seasons 1-4 on Blu-ray, as well as a shiny new Sony Blu-ray player could be coming your way!

To celebrate the fifth series of George RR Martin and HBO’s epic fantasy Game of Thrones, Ladbrokes is giving away a series one to four Blu-ray box set along with a Sony Blu-ray player to one lucky winner!

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder