Nosh in a Circular Economy

Written by Angela Ludek

Food and the planet go hand in hand. Systems Change Thinking, through the Circular Economy, provides mechanisms to honour both.

To have NOSH in your life, essentially means that there is a certainty of a nutritious meal. NOSH Food Rescue not only provides this certainty, but has illustrated exponential growth in rescuing food which is otherwise destined to be dumped straight into landfill from the Joburg Market and various other networks of expired produce of food, from retail to hospitality, and feeding people instead.

As the 2020 pandemic dawned, NOSH Food Rescue became an Essential Service Provider; feeding a rising amount of displaced people in South Africa, by innovating on relationships that led to the interception of food on its way to landfill, and the output to feed many stomachs. NOSH continues to work incessantly on increasing reach to people through the networks made in partnership, made possible by a small number of amazing patrons.

This is for many non-profit companies the essential everyday business as usual, except that non-profit
companies have become the backbone of community support and innovation, driven by compassion and
a critical need for a change in systems. At every level in today’s society, we are challenged to the bone as to what the next best decision is, to preserve our sense of some kind of stability in the huge insecurity and current of divided truths. At the same time, compassion has emerged, as it does when one has experienced existential change and disruption to say the least. It is in this fundamental state of the collective human experience, that we are ready now more than ever, to see a change in systems.

I believe that we have passed a tipping point of choices that compel us now to contribute to community as a core and primal understanding of survival for people, and the living regenerative planet we live on.

NOSH Food Rescue has increased the intake and distribution of food exponentially since its inception, operating at the
beginning with no funds, but persevering through extensive disruption to fulfill the mission and vision.
I have personally seen Hanneke van Linge, founder of NOSH, working around the clock to make sure that food goes into bellies and not bins. Leading with compassion and urgency.

I engaged further with NOSH when I arranged an event for UK based NGO, WasteAid, who had launched a network project in South Africa, Vietnam and India, on creating membership and scaling up opportunities for local entrepreneurs whose business models would impact communities through innovations in waste regeneration. This Circular Economy network project is sponsored by Huhtamaki and has awarded six businesses 10 000 Euros each to scale up their operations and impact.

On launching WasteAid’s Circular Economy Network in South Africa, NOSH Food Rescue was brought on as an event partner to demonstrate how NOSH has innovated system change by the nature of their work, contributing to the emerging circular economy, and how this enables a diversion to a system change that contributes to the overall regeneration of the planet, as well as to food security.

If you follow the embedded link, you’ll find the blog post on WasteAid’s Circular Economy Network’s website, detailing the day’s hands-on experience with NOSH Food Rescue, and WasteAid’s Circular Economy Network members’
experience.

The impact of the hands-on experience with NOSH Food Rescue and Chef Citrum Khumalo’s Culinary Passions
School of Hospitality (CPSH), is in how each participant on the day automatically contributed to the
collection, cleaning and preparation of produce rescued from the Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market so that the beneficiaries in the direct community could have NOSH meals.
From one tonne of rescued food, that is considered waste in the system, more than 1000 meals were created.

The first step of any circularity in system design, is to divert waste streams from landfill and back into a system for regeneration. Besides the principal mission of NOSH being diverting food from landfill, and so feeding bellies rather than bins, the ongoing circularity of this process is that all the food scraps which were no longer fit for human consumption and hence not used in the preparation of meals was then further diverted back into the Culinary school’s chicken run, pig pen, rabbit hutch and compost heap which in turn enriches the soil of the school’s vegetable gardens in order to close the loop on food waste.

It was a full day’s work and engagement that left every participant with a feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment in the realisation that in working together on innovative system change, real, visible, measurable impact is created immediately and that both people and planet benefit holistically from this intervention.

NOSH Food Rescue encourages conversations and collaborations to amplify the impact they make and invites enquiries on taking your company into leadership team building experiences like this, which will surely inspire your triple bottom line reporting and create a unified vision of showcasing alternative systems that work through the approach to the circular economy.

It is within every person on this planet right now, a shared birthright to regenerate our natural systems
and participate in whichever way we can to create this change that ultimately impacts us all.

If you would like to engage with Hanneke on a team building experience that leads your people into the
possibilities of the circular economy in South Africa, and make impact in one day, contact her on hanneke@noshfoodrescue.co.za

Angela Ludek is a content creator, storyteller, change maker and futurist. She works with people and networks on the intersections of community development, sustainable practices and regenerative design systems, for the betterment of humanity and planet earth. She has navigated through a variety of industries, weaving connections between media, message, brands and people, utilising various platforms. She creates platforms, programmes, insights and shared value intersections for community integration.

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