East Acton’s Special Food Agents: Bubble and Squeak

Originally published in White Noise

April 2018

It’s not just about making jam, chutney, pear compote or even Yorkshire pudding. The kids of Bubble and Squeak are on a mission. Operation: Combat food waste

NOT JUST ABOUT MAKING JAM, CHUTNEY, PEAR COMPOTE OR EVEN A YORKSHIRE PUDDING. THE KIDS OF BUBBLE AND SQUEAK ARE ON A MISSION. OPERATION: COMBAT FOOD WASTE.

The social enterprise, named after an English dish using leftover veggies, is led by Eleanor Harrington, Lydia Gandaa and 400 children between the ages of 5 to 12 from Old Oak Primary School, as well as its Community Centre. Based in East Acton, it’s all about healthy eating, redistribution, cooking, business skills and the importance of community and upholding great values.

When we arrive on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon, the session’s in full swing. R’n’B music plays in the background; a sweet, fruity scent from the kitchen is dispersed in the air. Judging by the looks on the kids’ faces, combined with the sheer energy of the place, there’s no doubt that they love it.

Despite being just over a year old, Bubble and Squeak has gained press attention, featuring on Time Out as well as The Metro. The budding entrepreneurs have tried their hand at pitching and designing packages for Christmas chutney, which was sold locally. These kids mean business.

Harrington explains how the organisation is working with kids on a deeper level. “There’s been a fear that’s developed around food. It’s about experiences that are different from what they known at home. For example, teaching them that it’s okay to pick up a mouldy apple and put it in the recycling bin – you won’t die! Bubble and Squeak is a reaction to those ideas.”

Work within the community includes bingo nights with the elderly, and helping out with free food giveaways to those in need.

It’s only the start for Bubble and Squeak. Harrington says that they’re in the process of taking things to the next level. “We’re going to start making official sales from the kitchen,” she beams. “I thought the process would be more simple!” Dragon’s Den, watch out.

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