As the sons of farmers, Dash Water founders Alex and Jack saw first-hand how much UK-grown produce gets chucked away. Now they’re fighting food waste by turning wonky cucumbers (and blackcurrants, raspberries and lemons) into a refreshing and tasty soft drink that happens to make a mean gin cocktail. Here is the story of how these two farming brothers came to develop the Dash Water that is in our member’s March Craft Gin Club Gin of the Month box...
Here in the UK, we grow some of the world’s most beautiful fruit and veg – but you would be shocked to learn quite how much gets thrown away.
As Jack of Dash Water explains, “If it has a slight blemish or it’s overweight or it grows in a wonky way, it can’t go into the supermarket. They think that their customers want something that looks perfect. We were pretty shocked by what happened to all of this produce – the farmer would just chuck it onto the compost heap.”
In fact, 40% of the fruit and veg grown in the United Kingdom goes straight to the tip. And that’s not even counting the food that gets lost or wasted even after it makes the cut for major supermarkets. All of this food is perfectly good, and tastes just fine, but still finds itself on the scrapheap.
Enter Jack and Alex, who rescue this misshaped fruit and infuse it into gently sparkling water to create the no-sugar-added soft drink in our member’s March Gin of the Month box.
“We’re able to work with the farmers directly to get fruit and veg that’s perfectly good for us, because we just want the flavour,” says Jack. “It’s important for the future of our planet, and we want to do our bit.”
The Dash Water in our March Gin of the Month box is pure goodness: sparkling water infused with the delicious flavour of those wonky cucumbers, with no sugar, preservatives or artificial sweeteners in sight. “Our mission was to create a drink that tasted good and didn’t have any of the nasty stuff in it,” Jack says. And he’s also managed to make a cracking mixer for gin.
“Gin and cucumber is a classic flavour combination,” he smiles, adding that a Gin and Dash is a great alternative to a gin and soda for those looking to skip the sugar in their next tipple. And, while it may not eliminate food waste, that humble mixed drink still makes a difference.
“We don’t think that we’re going to single-handedly fix the problem,” says Jack, “but we’re doing our best to educate people. The more we can do that, the more we can capture people’s imaginations and make change happen.”
Why is Food Waste Worth Fighting?
• 20m tonnes of carbon dioxide are released by rotting food in landfills every year, making food waste a major climate concern
• 1/3 of food grown on the planet every year is lost or thrown away
• 10m tonnes of food is wasted every year – in the UK alone!
• 40% of British fruit and veg gets the bin
• 60% of food waste is entirely avoidable!