WHAT DO WE WANT? FREE FOOD! HOW DO WE WANT IT? OLIO
I have an ongoing campaign to "modernise or die" and to make up for the fact that I am essentially a dinosaur who doesn't really know what Snapchat is. I like to at least try to keep my finger on the internet pulse and, if the new app or social media outlet, relates to food - rather than just another forum to show people pictures of your boobs - I am in.
A bout of dawdling around on twitter led me to Olio, billed as the food sharing revolution. This essentially acts as a way to share excess food, thereby minimising waste and spreading the foodie love. It is - in my humble opinion - yet to function at full capacity and, at its embryonic stage seems a little flawed. The problem is that most of the users are in London where the constraints of city living mean that there aren't coops of hens producing excess eggs, orchards groaning with apples, nor fields of spinach about to go to seed. This means that most of the posts tend to be of the "something I found at the back of the pantry that I don't really want variety". I am not snobbish about half used packets of pasta or tubs of humous nearing their sell-by date but, having previously delved into the sharing-economy through Airbnb and Dogbuddy, I am aware that there is a fair amount of logistical back and forth involved in the follow through. While this might be worth it for a night's accommodation in a des-res in central Barcelona or to get your puppy walked, for an opened packet of bulgur wheat the effort might just outweigh the reward.
However, there is one bit caveat to this and a category of post where Olio comes into its own and becomes truly invaluable: fermentation. If you are hankering after a sourdough starter, grains for water or milk keffir, or a scoby for your own kombucha production. This is the place to find it for free. And also, I would image, some helpful tips from the donor about how best to make it thrive. Now, this is something I can definitely get on board with.