Look at these delicious dishes: tasty vegetables, cooked with fresh herbs and probably some very rich olive oil, seasoned with sustainability and inspiration.
The dishes were served at a gourmet brunch in Helsinki earlier this year. What made the event special is that all food was destined to the bin. All ingredients were past their sell-by date, donated by grocery stores. The gourmet brunch by Måndag was fully booked and the event even made it to the evening news.
According to UNEP and FAO research, roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption gets lost or wasted every year. Hold on. One third? Approximately 1.3 billion tonnes? That’s insane.
In Finland, an average person wastes 23 kilos of food annually. In practice, we’re talking about buying half a kilo of carrots every Saturday and throwing them away on Wednesday. That’s beyond insane. The same Finnish research (link in FIN, summary in English) that gives us the statistics, tells us that we mainly throw away vegetables, home cooked food, and milk products.
How many waste food dinners, lunches and brunches we could organize with all that wasted food? In neighbouring Sweden, they are trying to mix romance and leftovers on a site called Restdejting (link in SWE): announce your leftover lasagna and ask for a special someone to bring the salad. No food wasted AND a date. Win-win!
But why do we need to make it special? Why do we pay 15 euros for a brunch made of waste food, and at the same time, we throw away appalling amounts of food at home?
I’m the perfect example myself. I read the statistics, I try to understand the magnitude of the problem, and yet, I can’t seem to get rid of those old yoghurts and tomatoes in my fridge. Maybe I’m only missing the imagination and inspiration, and that’s where the ‘special’ comes in.
Ask yourself, what drives you forward? What pushes you to take that first step? For me it’s seeing things in new light, finding new ways of doing things, and doing it together with other people. If it’s cool waste food brunches, fancy dinners and hopeful dates we need to make the problem visible for more people, to see the change in attitudes and actions, so be it. Let’s make it fun. Start from your family and friends. Gather round yesterday’s leftovers, come together when you normally wouldn’t, season the special dinner mix with inspiration and sustainability, and voilà!
With this blog post I’m calling for more awareness and immediate action to reduce food waste & entering a blogging contest organized by UNEP, in partnership with TreeHugger, for the 2013 World Environment Day.
You are welcome to like, comment and share. In Twitter, please use #WED2013. Thank you!
Photo © Måndag
♠ In the meantime: I heard the City of Helsinki is going to try anonymous job applications. This means all applicants are more on the same line, with the employer focusing on the skills and experience instead of gender, age or origin. Very proud and happy!
♥ Song of the day: Nick Drake, Fruit Tree