Food waste is one of the largest and most overlooked problems of our generation. Despite the growing number of people who are suffering from hunger worldwide; supermarkets, restaurants, food factories and individuals continue to throw away millions of tons of food every year. Farmers are also forced to disregard much of their harvest due to external demand for flawless, standardized fruit and vegetables. The problem of food waste is very much a recent one, with a huge increase being recorded in just two generations. Luckily it seems that people are starting to wake up to the problem; some taking the issue into their own hands.
One such example is the initiative www.foodsharing.de, officially launched across Germany yesterday. Foodsharing.de is an internet platform that gives individuals, retailers and producers the opportunity to give away food that they simply cannot use. Anyone with food to spare can take part by entering their goods into an online basket via the official website. People looking for something different to eat can then search on the site to find out what’s available near them, with collection possible either directly from those giving it away; or from allocated ‘hotspots‘. Hotspots are locations based in different cities where people can take their unused food. Germany’s first refrigerated hotspot can be found in Berlin. There is no money involved: The idea of the project is to demonstrate that food is more than just a commodity.
The initiative was set up by a small team based in Cologne. Among them, filmmaker Valentin Thurn, who has made over 40 TV documentaries and received several awards. His 2011 film ‘Taste the Waste‘ was one of the most successful documentaries of the year. According to the film, 15 million tons of food ends up in the bin every year in Germany.
Press conferences were held across the country yesterday, in Cologne, Berlin, Ludwigsburg and Steinfurt, with the portal going live at 12:12.