OLIO The Food Sharing Revolution

Published in Charlbury Chronicle March 2018

I Love OLIO LogoAnybody else watch Hugh’s War on Waste on BBC2 shown in 2016? Astonishingly, he found that we throw away a quarter of the food we buy each week. I wonder if anything has changed two years on? The date on packaged food is partly to blame, making people uncomfortable about eating food which is still perfectly edible and leading people to throw food away even earlier just to be on the safe side. If any of this sounds familiar to you then maybe you’d like to register with OLIO on your mobile phone and then instead of chucking the food in the bin you could take a photo and post it to the OLIO app so someone else living in Charlbury could take it off your hands.

OLIO was launched in London in 2015 and is now available across the UK, but it works best within a close community like Charlbury with everyone within walking distance. You wouldn’t want to drive miles just to pick up a tub of olives, but you might be happy to just pop round the corner.

Even if you don’t throw fresh food away, I bet there’s food in your cupboards that’s been there ages and which you’re unlikely to eat – if you were, then you’d have eaten it already! I know, because I have stuff just like this. Rather than leave it there even longer, you could just take a photo and post it to the OLIO app. This is actually the best way to start to get things moving. If everyone reading this now registered with OLIO and posted something today, then wow, we’ll have started something that could work out really well.

OLIO is available as a free app for phones and tablets, you can post items, see what’s available, and set your notifications to be within 2km or 5km to restrict what emails you receive. You can also see items available on the OLIO website but at the moment you can only post things via the app - posting to the website is promised soon. [27/02/18 update - Listings can now be made using the OLIO website]

  • Food in your fridge you’re not going to eat? Post it on OLIO.
  • Having a cupboard clear-out? OLIO is your answer
  • OLIO is great after a party or community event when you find yourself with left-over food.
  • Going away on holiday, with no time to do a big cook and freeze it for when you get home? OLIO is a great way to clear your fridge quickly.
  • Use OLIO to help distribute gluts of home grown food from your garden.
  • Hens laying too many eggs for you to cope with? Share them with OLIO.
  • Making ferments? OLIO is a great way to share your spare kefir grains, kombucha mothers, or sourdough starter.

If you love food, hate waste, smile at a bargain, or care about your community and the environment, OLIO is for you. Have fun. Sharing, especially food sharing, goes way, way back, yet it’s something of a lost practice. Whether adding or requesting, OLIO encourages you to be bold and experiment!

Visit www.olioex.com to download the app, find out more, and join the Food Sharing Revolution TODAY!

Visit the Charlbury Green Hub stall at the Farmers’ Market on 10th March to talk to me about food waste and share your OLIO experience, or phone me on 01608-811057.

Christine Elliott
Charlbury Green Hub