A bride and groom treated their wedding guests to a feast – made from ‘recycled food’ that was destined for rubbish bins.
Zoe Chambers and Charlie Loughlin used vegetables collected by a food waste charity to prepare two mouth-watering dishes for their wedding reception.
Around 150 guests enjoyed a Panzanella salad made from tomatoes, bread and potatoes that were being thrown away by supermarkets.
They were also offered Moroccan-style mixed vegetables using ingredients which had passed their best before dates.
The meals were prepared by charity Food Cycle which usually creates meals for people at risk of food poverty and isolation by using food discarded by shops.
Zoe and Charles bought beef from a local pub for the main course but had no idea what the first two courses would be.
The newlyweds made a food and cash donation to the charity rather than paying pricey caterers.
Charles, 27, a grain buyer from Haslingfield, Cambs., said the couple’s guests “loved” the food.
He said: “All of that food was collected and prepared by a charity called FoodCycle in Cambridge.
“Had that food not been used for our wedding it would be all gone in the bin.”
“For the main course we had some beef which we bought from a pub but for the other two courses we were unaware of what we were going to get.
“All the guests were aware and it went down really well, everyone loved the food and everyone loved the idea.
“We talked about it at large.
“There was a groom’s speech and a bride’s speech and in the bride’s speech Zoe went on to tell all the guests about Food Cycle and where the food had come from but they’d all eaten by then.”
After tying the knot on the village cricket pitch in Newton, Cambs., the happy couple held their wedding reception in the grounds of Newton Hall.
But the groom revealed the food was not the only recycled part of their wedding.
He added: “We had little jam jars with candles in them, lots of bean cans with flowers in them and all the timber for the signs we put up was recycled.
“The wedding was entirely designed ourselves. We got married outside on a cricket pitch and everything else we organised through people we know.
“We decided if we were going to pay someone to design and cook food for our wedding then it would be perfect if it was FoodCycle.”
Zoe, 28, who works in food sustainability, revealed that for their honeymoon the pair are going to Southwold for a couple of days and recycled food would be off the menu.
She said: “By having FoodCycle cater our wedding we wanted to give them some publicity and at the same time have a wedding close to our hearts.”
Owner of FoodCycle Alex Collis said: “That’s the first wedding we’ve done. It’s always good to have challenge and this was certainly a challenge.
“Zoe and Charles were very relaxed about it and knew exactly what they were getting themselves into, it was really good fun.”
“When I originally spoke to Zoe I was told they wanted two salads, one carby and one non-carby.
“In food cycle pick ups we get a lot of potatoes and a lot of bread and tomatoes are in season so the Panzanella salad was an obvious choice and we make a Moroccan tagine on a Saturday which is always well received so I used the sauce from that in the mixed vegetables.
“It was a really lovely day and showed what Food Cycle is all about, we got lots of compliments and somebody said to me as a vegetarian that it was the best wedding food she’d ever eaten”