Search

Free 40-page supplement celebrating the Queen’s record reign in this week’s Recorder

On sale September 4

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

51 minutes ago
Alan Steward and Dr Ed Diggines talking about the vanguard project. Picture: Sandra Rowse

Listening to Alan Steward and Dr Ed Diggines speak, it’s clear they are excited – and very proud – about Havering being chosen for one of eight “vanguard” projects across the country.

Yesterday, 16:23
The Old Bailey

An heir to a multi-million pound nightclub empire unleashed a “barrage of abuse” at his alcoholic father and stabbed him to death as the family fortunes teetered on the brink of collapse, a court heard.

Yesterday, 14:18
Ghenadie Stogu, 36, was last seen leaving his home on Dunser Road, Collier Row at around 11am on Monday.

Police searching for a 36-year-old from Collier Row have found the body of a man.

Yesterday, 13:35
More than a quarter of pubs in the borough have closed since the 70s PICTURE: Getty Images/iStockphoto

More than a quarter of pubs in Havering have closed since the 1970s, according to a campaign group.

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

Get ready to take in the beautiful sights of London from above!

Are you always seeking unique ways to see your favourite city? This one is for you.

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Digital Edition

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


Our trusted business finder