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 Romford News Stories

25 minutes ago
Stock picture of a kitten

An animal welfare campaigner has issued a warning after a cat was decapitated in Barkingside this weekend, following a similar attack on a cat in Romford last year.

16:14
Cllr Rob Benham standing next to heaps of rubbish left in Upminster last year.

In a year that has seen the borough plagued with fly-tip after fly-tip, residents now get the chance to have their questions answered.

MC Flamezee writes and performs gritty, political songs about east London. PICTURE: Moss Media

A grime artist has put a call out for people to star in his latest music video this weekend.

Robbers stole money and assaulted a cashier from a newsagents in Fairview Avenue, Rainham. Picture: Google Maps

Robbers fled the scene on a motorbike after they stole cash from a newsagents and assaulted a cashier.

12:08
Alfie and Andy inside the club's training complex.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic lived up to his ‘Super Slav’ nickname after giving a young Hammers fan a day he will never forget.

15:37
Proposed location for zebra crossing in Gooshays Drive, Harold Hill. Picture: Google Maps.

Council officers have targeted a busy stretch of road in a bid to reduce the number of incidents at an accident blackspot.

A member of the emergency services at the scene of an explosion at a building in Hornchurch. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Victoria Jones

The two men who were arrested in connection with the explosion at a Hornchurch block of flats have been bailed.

Drivers on the Night Tube are being balloted for strike action Picture: Katie Collins/ PA Images

Drivers on the Night Tube will be balloted for strike action in a dispute over pay and career progression.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

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

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

MyOffers H&M Competition

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now