Masterchef winner Peter Bayless has cooked up a way to stop 20,000 eggs going to waste at the Ouseday regatta – jelly bombs!
Missiles made from jelly give all the splat without the waste or the environmental impact, says the celebrity cook and food writer.
Organisers of the regatta and raft race, on Sunday, July 1, were horrified to see so many eggs going to waste last year in a town that has four food banks. Many of the flour bombs thrown at rafters also turned out to be made with bags containing plastic.
Local environment groups including Plastic Free Lewes joined the Ouseday cause and they discovered jelly bombs are becoming the missile of choice for responsible regattas. Spectators are now being urged to join Operation Breggsit – farewell eggs and hello jello.
Peter, who won the hit BBC cookery show in 2006, was recruited to film a video at the Community Kitchen in Lewes showing families how to make their own wobbly armoury. The video will go on websites including Ouseday.com this weekend, one week ahead of the regatta, which will include the 43rd annual Lewes to Newhaven raft race.
Peter said: “I am delighted to be asked to help this worthy cause. I have been in Lewes on raft race day so I know what good fun it is, but 20,000 eggs – wow, this is too much! Please, no more eggs.
“The recipe for the jelly bombs is simple. In the Ouseday video I use agar that is plant based, so it’s OK for the river environment. You need to get the mix right so that the jelly is not too firm or too soft. My jelly provides a good splat when it hits a target. It is great fun, and you can even choose different colouring agents.”
Agar can be bought in health food shops or ordered over the internet from firms such as Amazon, costing under £10 a packet.
Peter said: “You might think this is expensive but one packet makes 500 bombs, so it works out cheaper than eggs, less than 2p a bomb.”
The eco team of local volunteers from Plastic Free Lewes, Surfers Against Sewage and Zero Waste Maman are now busy cooking up a stock of the jelly bombs to be available on a stall at Malling Recreation Ground on Ouseday. Litter Free Lewes volunteers will also help clear up rubbish after the regatta, which is sponsored again by Oakley Property.
Sue Fleming, of Plastic Free Lewes, said: “It is vital that plastic does not get thrown or blown into the river so we urge people to make sure they use bags that contain only paper. We will have paper on our stall and can show how to make your own bag.”
Raft race organiser Liam Jackson said: “We are very grateful to the environmental groups, to Community Kitchen, videographer Rowan Holford and to Peter for putting together our own raft race Masterchef episode.
“We do not condone any missiles, but if you are going to splat a rafter we would definitely prefer it to be jelly. This year’s theme is Rock the Boat, perhaps it should have been wobble the boat!” We do not condone any missiles, but if you are going to splat a rafter we would definitely prefer it to be jelly. This year’s theme is Rock the Boat, perhaps it should have been wobble the boat!”