Friday, 3 July 2015

Recycling Food Waste into Soup

Credit: Kromkommer

Did you know about 3,200 tonnes of food is wasted and dumped into the landfills in Hong Kong every day? If that doesn’t appall you, know that 30% to 50% of all the food in the world goes to waste, while 1 billion are starved. What you may not know is that approximately 5% to 10% of fruits and vegetables are wasted because of their looks – yes, thanks to an obsolete EU legislation that restricted the sale of wonky vegetables. But as awareness of sustainable development picks up the world over, individuals and nations are devising ingenious or pragmatic ways to rescue food waste, as an attempt to conserve the earth’s resources and create a sustainable future. First there was France’s unprecedented ban of food waste in supermarkets, and then there’s this brand called Kromkommer.

Literally ‘crooked cucumber’ in Dutch, Kromkommer is a brand started by two girls, Jente and Lisanne, who, when attempting to seek solutions for major environmental issues such as climate change and food waste, started collecting fruits and vegetables that were dumped because they were too small, too big, too crooked, had a funny shape or were unsold at a local market. Like any conscientious individual the two realised something had to be done, and in 2014, they started a crowdfunding campaign to bring the wasted fruits and vegetables back to the consumer with their own soup line. The campaign proved a massive success and the soup, made with rescued vegetables, is available at over 50 stores throughout the Netherlands. In fact, it was so successful that they managed to raise sufficient awareness of food conservation to sell a whopping 6,300kg of crooked vegetables and fruits that otherwise would have been dumped.

As consumers we need to acknowledge the fact that most wonky vegetables and fruits are just as fresh and tasty, and perfectly good to be eaten as their better-looking counterparts. If, god forbid, you need a reason to conserve food, try growing some tomatoes on your window sill. 

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