One of the great things about exploring a project such as this is that you learn a lot that you otherwise may not have been exposed to, and meet great people doing great things.

I know it’s not a very important or ground-breaking piece of information, but before this shoot I had no idea that Borough Market was actually an independently run market – the only one in London in fact – not only that it is a registered charity!

I was put in contact with The Dragon Cafe by FoodSave, and organised to meet them at Borough Market, where they would be gathering food from stallholders with the help of folk from Plan Zheroes.

This was a new initiative to try and help reduce the amount of food needlessly going to waste at Borough Market, and The Dragon Café was one of the first organisations to benefit from the scheme.

Gathering surplus food from Borough Market - Documenting Food Waste by Photographer Chris King

The Dragon Café is part of the Mental Fight Club and provides a simple, affordable, healthy menu each week, and a wide range of creative and well-being activities, all of which are free and open to all’, and is located just round the corner from Borough Market.

This was only the second week of the scheme, but I have no doubt it will grow into something significant for both the market and the organisations that benefit from it.

On this occasion there was a huge amount being gathered – more than enough for the cafes needs, and so they were able to give some of the surplus to another charity that runs a homeless shelter.

Gathering surplus food from Borough Market - Documenting Food Waste by Photographer Chris King

All the food is weighed as it is gathered to allow for an analysis of the amount of food saved from being wasted.

The forces that influence the extent to which certain produce is sold are fickle indeed, and therefore the amount of food that potentially goes to waste. All completely out of the control of the traders.

This was especially evident on the day I was shooting, as one trader in particular brought bag after bag of beautiful, sourdough and artisan breads.

The quantity was staggering, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the trader, but thankfully The Dragon Café was present to receive any food that would otherwise get thrown out.

Gathering surplus food from Borough Market - Documenting Food Waste by Photographer Chris King

Chris King
I'm a documentary and portrait photographer and multimedia producer from Northern Ireland, but currently based in London. With the Food Is... website and my exploration of the issue of avoidable food waste, I have a desire to create positive change in whatever way I can, and to whatever degree I can. You can see more of my work at chriskingphotography.com