Friday, December 27, 2013

Fighting food waste

Rub & Stub restaurant in Copenhagen is battling against waste - by serving up food that the supermarkets won't sell. The restaurant offers meals made from vegetables and fruit rejected by the food industry because of sell-by dates and over-buying. The restaurant has two paid employees - a project manager and head chef - but all the other staff are volunteers. It is funded by Danish charity Retro and profits go towards development projects in Sierra Leone.

Chef Ditte Jensen told BBC News why she believes it is possible to make delicious meals from rejected food.
The restaurant that serves up rejected food (BBC)
The traditional way of getting dinner is buy food and cook it, or to go to a restaurant. But what if someone in a nearby street has cooked more than they need and is ready to share it for a small fee? It's already happening in the Greek capital and will soon be starting in London. 

It's time for Marilena Zachou to get up, make a Greek coffee, get the kids fed and off to school. And when the peace and quiet descends at 10am, the cooking begins. Today it is moussaka. She gently fries the onion and minced lamb in olive oil. She reaches for the pepper, salt, paprika and tomatoes and inhales as the aroma fills the kitchen and escapes from the windows and out into the street. She uploads details of the dish and watches the screen as people from the area order their portions.

There will be no wasted food in her household today. At least five other people in the Athens district of Marousi will be sharing her family's evening meal. By midday the entire oven dish has been sold. She notes down the delivery addresses for later. This morning ritual is not unique to Zachou. It is happening across Athens.
Cookisto: A new Greek way of getting dinner  (BBC)
Every day, America wastes enough food to fill the Rose Bowl. Yes, that Rose Bowl--the 90,000-seat football stadium in Pasadena, California. Of course, that's if we had an inclination to truck the nation's excess food to California for a memorable but messy publicity stunt.

As a nation, we grow and raise more than 590 billion pounds of food each year. And depending on whom you ask, we squander between a quarter and a half of all the food produced in the United States. Even using the more conservative figure would mean that 160 billion pounds of food are squandered annually--more than enough, that is, to fill the Rose Bowl to the brim. With the high-end estimate, the Rose Bowl would almost be filled twice over.

If those numbers don't hit home, consider that the average American creates almost 5 pounds of trash per day. Since, on average, 12 percent of what we throw away is or once was edible, we can estimate that each one of us discards half a pound of food per day. That adds up to an annual total of 197 pounds of food per person. Ominously, Americans' per capita food waste has increased by 50 percent since 1974.
Americans Waste Enough Food to Fill a 90,000-seat Football Stadium Every Day (Alternet)


  1. Not apropos on this post, but a subject that you cover from time to time:

    Happy new year!

    1. Thanks. I saw that and I'm saving it for my next automation linkfest.


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