In today’s episode, we are doing something different. This is Part One of our conversation focused on Exploring Sustainable Food Systems around the world.
You will hear from multiple voices that represent who we like to call, ‘Food Waste Warriors’ in their field, and it’s sure to give you a fresh and exciting perspective on how to make small changes that create a powerful impact for our future.
We also spoke with Charlotte Hennessy and Patrick Dupuis from Refettorio - a restaurant with a twist that provides essential meals with radical hospitality to those isolated, experiencing homelessness and food insecurity as well as providing food and hospitality for the local community which supports the movement.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Margaux Mégevand who is the Innovation Project Lead of Partage; a food bank based in Geneva that collects unsold goods daily and redistributes them for free to beneficiary associations and social services.
If you are also active in fighting food waste, we would love to hear from you. Share your experiences by connecting with us on our social handles, we are on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Be sure to visit our Guests page for the detailed list of guests featured in this series.
This short series on Exploring Sustainable Food Systems is supported by Fructify Network.
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Hello Listeners. Welcome to Narratives of Purpose, you are now tuned into a new episode, showcasing unique stories of changemakers, stories of people who are contributing to make a difference in society. This show was created to amplify social impact by sharing individual journeys of ordinary people who I believe are making extraordinary impact within their communities and around the world. My name is Claire Murigande, I am your host of this podcast. If you want to be inspired to take action, then look no further. You are in the right place, get comfortable and listen to my conversations
So here at Too Good To Go, we're a social impact company. We're an organisation which is really addressing and fighting food waste. And at the heart of our operation is our mobile app.
You just heard from Jamie Crummie, one of the cofounders of the Too Good To Go app. Today's episode is the first of our three part episode from the short series exploring sustainable food systems. As Jamie alluded to, our topic for this episode is fighting food waste. Not only will we look at solutions that combat surplus food from being thrown away, we will also address fighting social vulnerabilities ensuring solidarity and dignity for people in need.
Our initial purpose is to act as a food bank. So we have three missions, initially, which is to fight against food waste, and to fight against food poverty, but also to promote professional reintegration, meaning that within the 42 employees we have here at Partage, 27 of them are in reinsertion, meaning that they work with us for a certain amount of time and then we help them to reintroduce the job market.
Now that was Margaux Mégevand, the Innovation Project Lead at Patage Foundation, which is, as she mentioned, a food bank based in Geneva. Let's hear more from these food waste warriors, as I like to call them. And from a couple others, let's find out how their organisations are fighting food waste at scale. And for this episode, as well as for our Sustainable Food Series, to reach more people, I invite you to take a moment and share your feedback by giving us a review on Apple podcasts, or directly on our website at narratives-of-purpose.podcastpage.io Then simply click on the review page. This will help other listeners find our show and further amplify the stories of changemakers we bring on Narratives of Purpose.
When I first moved to live in Basel many years ago, as a student, I lived in a shared apartment. Some of you probably know this, when you are sharing an apartment, well, you also have to distribute and share the space available. It's quite different from living at home with your family, where you can literally eat anything that is stored anywhere in the fridge. In my case, we all had one shelf in the fridge for our own food. So I don't know if I kept that habit of simply having what I needed due to the limited space, but when I moved into my own place a couple of years later, I recall friends coming over to visit and noticing that my fridge looked somewhat empty. That comment really struck me because I did not grasp the need to have an almost fully stocked fridge, when in fact, I could easily assess my needs on a weekly basis and plan accordingly. One could also say that I stayed on the safe side because I often had trouble interpreting the 'best before date' and the 'best by date' of any food products, either fresh or from the pantry. And it seems that many people today still don't know the difference. This was confirmed by Jamie Crummie, the co-founder of an app that saves food from going to waste called To Good To Go. This is what he told me:
What we currently have, about 50% of European consumers don't know the difference between the 'use by' and the 'best before date'.
Alright, let me break it down for you. According to the UK Foods Standards Agency. 'Best before dates' are about quality and not safety, meaning that food will be safe to eat, but maybe not be at its best. Now, 'best by dates' or 'use by dates' are about safety. Meaning that consuming food after these days could make you very ill. The most important point to remember here is one needs to ensure proper storage conditions, and either eat the food by the date shown on the product, or cook it or freeze it. When it comes to best before dates, relying on your senses is a no brainer. So you need to look, smell and taste. That is exactly what my second guest points out. Her name is Margaux Mégevand. She explains to me what could be adapted in this area of the food system to enable significant change.
Personally, one big issue that I see in the food system is the 'best before date', for instance, that's way too conservative, and supermarkets are doing this to protect themselves. But I know that in Switzerland at least there are discussions that are in progress to make it a little less strict on that end, to encourage people to think before throwing it out because it's probably still good, to incentivize the people to look and to smell into taste, instead of just throwing it out because the yoghurt is just one day too old. So that's the type of political issue or little things that could be changed.
Margaux works as Innovation Project Lead at the Partage foundation. There is so much more to her organisation than being just a food bank that relies on donations, essentially food donations that would have otherwise been thrown away by supermarkets. And this food bank redistributes them to Beneficiaries of Social Services, thereby fighting food insecurity. Throughout the years, they have diversified their activities to include purchasing food products for the increasing number of people in need that began with a pandemic. But they are also producing their own food products by either transforming fresh foods or foods that would have otherwise gone to waste. Have a listen to Margaux's explanation.
Our initial purpose is to act as a food bank. So we have three missions, initially, which is to fight against food waste, and to fight against food poverty, but also to promote professional reintegration, meaning that within the 42 employees we have here at Partage, 27 of them are in reinsertion, meaning that they work with us for a certain amount of time and then we help them to reintroduce the job market. Because maybe life was a bit difficult at some point, so it's designed to kind of get them back on track. But going back to the food part, basically what we do is we go around and collect unsold food items from various supermarkets in the canton of Geneva, with our six trucks that are refrigerated by the way. That food comes back to us, we put it in our stock, and then we are distributed to 54 associations that are certified in the canton of Geneva for free. So everything we collect is free, everything we deliver is free. So we are basically an intermediary between the supermarkets and the people in need. So limiting the food waste in supermarkets and feeding the people. So that's kind of the link and this is our main activity. Since COVID started, people may have seen those dramatic pictures of people waiting for food outside of an ice rink in Geneva. We were actually making the bags and giving them away and this format actually continued and we're still doing that now. So we are giving away about 5500 bags a week of food. This is more targeted to people that actually have a home but they're towards food poverty, meaning they don't really have the means to purchase food. So we give them a base for them to sustain the week or more that they need to have a paper from the social services that proves that they can get that, so it's working pretty well, we have partners with the Fondation Colis du Coeur who distribute those bags. And all these bags and everything that's in it has to be purchased. So this is a huge chunk of our budget to purchase this food and we're trying to do our best to put what we can in those bags. So this is another activity that we have, and I would say what's concerning me the most is we also kind of act as innovators when it comes to fighting food waste, because we're opening very soon what I like to call our Innovation Lab, which will actually be a big space with different rooms where we will upcycle or recycle some food products, such as coffee, apples, bread to repurpose them, instead of it going to waste. So we're really trying to find new ways to use food and to redistribute it. So everything that we produce, there actually goes to the people in need, as well. And we give it all away for free.
You're basically also coming up with your own solution to say, "Okay, we have some goods here, how can we transform them, and add value?" And then you also donate those, is that correct?
That's absolutely correct. And something we've been doing for a long time, actually, because we just moved space, so that's why our Innovation Lab is not quite ready yet. But in our performance space, we used to, when we collected the food, and we have, vegetables that are not so pretty kind of will go bad, like 'soonish', we had somebody who was a cook, and he would make soups, various kinds of soups, and we would just make it by batch, freeze it, ‘sous vide’, and then distribute it to associations and so on. We would do that. And we also like veggie sticks. So all the same process, but you know, just different forms. We also are making cookies with bread, there's a lot of waste on the bread side. So we keep the bread, we actually have a partner to do that with. They toast bread, crumble it and then they repurpose it into cookies, or use the breadcrumbs. These are some of the actions that we have now in progress.
So coming back to Foundation Partage, can you tell me a bit of how it started?
So it actually was created in 2005 as an association because it was founded by five different members. It was the Salvation Army, C.A.R.E., Caritas Geneva, Les Colis du Cœur and Emmaüs. And they all realised that there was a big problem, there was a lot of waste in the supermarkets yet there were people that weren't able to purchase food or feed themselves properly. So they thought, "well, we should just combine those two issues to create a solution" basically, this is kind of how Association Partage started and then turned into a foundation in 2016. And some of the founding members were already collecting some of the unsold food items in the supermarket. But having Partage was a way to simplify, optimise and professionalise the practice, and to kind of get everything into one place to make it more sustainable also for everyone. So we are now delivering food for all those associations, basically. So we are still working together in a more efficient way.
And talking about transforming the association into something more professional. How large is the team? How many people are working with you? And what are the different roles?
We have a total of 42 staff, we have 27 of them that are in this programme of reinsertion into the job markets and we have 15 fixed employees. We have most of the common support you would need; finance, HR, because HR also helps the reintegration part. We also have a fundraising team, we have a communications team, somebody who's going to take care of the innovation lab, we have all the logistics team who's also quite big, there is me with the projects and the director obviously supervises everything. So yeah, we have all its functions and that collaborates really well on all the topics.
As you know, I ask every guest on the podcast about the impact of their work. And here I wanted to know how Partage Foundation measures their impact. First in terms of a labour market integration for the almost 65% of team members within their programme, and second in their overall food distribution activities. How much food have they saved from being thrown away? But also how many people experiencing food insecurity have they supported? Do keep in mind that our conversation was recorded last year in November 2022.
So this year, if I'm not mistaken, over six people found a job. So for us that was a great success in terms of numbers in 2021, I'm going to go back to last year, we saved 273 tonnes of food that was redistributed then later on so that's a lot of waste. And in total, we distributed over 1635 tonnes of food, which is roughly 3.2 million meals, but that includes the purchasing that we do. And also the action ‘samedi du partage’, we just finished actually, which is two days in the year where we go into the supermarket and we asked for people to purchase a little extra flour, a little extra oil to give it to us. And that goes into our food bank storage. We actually helped over 12,000 people a week in 2021 with the food we're providing, what really strikes me is that it's only within Geneva. And Geneva is a very, very rich city, in the world in Switzerland, obviously. And that's striking to me to think that in Switzerland that many people need food support. I can only imagine what it is like in any other country of the world.
Do you see the trend going up in terms of need, obviously, you also talked about COVID and you're also giving these additional bags, so there's additional need, but what do you observe so far?
So I think the COVID pandemic brought this problem to light, especially in Geneva, people didn't think there were people that needed food in Geneva, they think "Oh, it's so rich," but it brought this to everyone's attention, basically. And since then, it hasn't really decreased. And for us, it was kind of almost frightening because we were thinking, "Well, how is this going to be sustainable for the people, for us, for everyone, if these people need food for so long, like what can be changed, what needs to be done in terms of political decisions?" And unfortunately, now with the war in Ukraine, we saw a lot of people coming into Switzerland as well, and this made our numbers go up. And now with the conjecture and the economy being a little wobbly, let's say, we have more and more people that were slightly over the line of food insecurity that were just above and now they're they've just fallen below because all the prices are going up. I'm doing all the purchasing for the food aid banks and I saw the trend for every single product I'm buying, the prices have gone up so much. And that obviously is the same supermarkets so now people have less money to buy the same food. And it just doesn't add up. So we have, unfortunately, more people to feed now, which is a big problem.
One of the beneficiaries of the Partage Foundation, is a restaurant called Refettorio Geneva. The concept of this restaurant is a zero waste philosophy behind every meal, while providing essential meals with a radical hospitality to those who are isolated, those who are experiencing homelessness and food insecurity. A lot of their products are based on transformation, like repurposing the entire foods, or even doing fermentation to make their own drinks. This is mainly to avoid having stocks of products on site. As a matter of fact, the restaurant does not have any refrigerated storage room nor freezer. I met with two of Refettorio Geneva's team members, Charlotte Hennessy, and Patrick Dupuis. Charlotte is a waitress at the restaurant and Patrick is a volunteer who is in charge of creating partnerships with farmers, small businesses, distributors, or even greengrocers that can donate food to the restaurant. The restaurant opened only one year ago in early 2022. Led by a local community organisation called Fondazione MATER. Charlotte explains to me the origin story of Refettorio Geneva. You will notice some background noise throughout my conversation with both Charlotte and Patrick, because we recorded the interview at the restaurant.
Refettorio Geneva is the brainchild of Massimo Bottura, a great Italian chef who was twice awarded the Best Restaurant in the world. He started in Italy and then all over the world by launching several restaurants which collect unsold food and creates gastronomic menus with the different guest chefs or people in social need. The only difference, Refettorio Geneva, is that we are open at lunchtime. We serve a gastronomic menu and in the evening we serve the same menu to beneficiaries of Social Services. This whole concept was set up by Walter El Nagar, an Egyptian-Italian chef, it started just after the pandemic when he and Jimmy organised several meals with different chefs in Geneva. But before that, Walter was chef at the Le Cinquième Jour restaurant and the concept there was that on the fifth day, the meal was offered to people in social need, it was a very small kitchen so he wanted to scale that concept, that's why he set up Refettorio always with the Food For Soul association, by Massimo Bottura.
I wanted to understand how the restaurant finances the evening meals for the social services beneficiaries. And this is what Patrick explained to me.
The idea is to have part of the evening meals funded by the lunch meals. But in the end, food recovery, basically donations in kind, should finance the evening food products. In fact, we are building donation channels with farmers, small structures, groceries etc. In order to get the large amounts of unsold food that are not given to food banks, I am responsible for that. Because we cannot handle the huge amounts food banks receive, these donors could have residual products for us. So our challenge currently is to create an address book from which we can get the goods free of charge, so that we will no longer need to finance the evening food products. As Charlotte said, we are a new company still being built and our challenge for the next months is to have as many donations in kind as possible to be able to find the evening meals.
Because Refettorio is an innovative concept people are not familiar with, I asked what were the major challenges the restaurant had to face in order to establish themselves in Geneva. The location was the first point mentioned, since the restaurant is not in a central neighbourhood, it was an effort to attract customers for the lunch service. Likewise, for the dinner service, it has been and remains quite complicated to bring in people, especially those who are used to eating in soup kitchens. Charlotte thinks that these people might be a bit ashamed or embarrassed to step into a conventional restaurant and eat there, because they are used to being set aside in society. Finally, communicating with social service organisations was difficult to begin with for the simple reason that they did not know about the restaurant project. Therefore, sending their beneficiaries was quite complicated as well. In terms of impact, you would certainly agree that this is something difficult to assess for a restaurant that has been in business for less than one year. In fact, my interview with Charlotte and Patrick took place just 10 months after Refettorio Geneva opened. However, I wondered if there had been some specific feedback they had received up until that point, which highlighted the progress that had been made.
We speak about dignity and it is important. Often, the beneficiaries are people who are potentially excluded from society, and may not be in tune with dignity. It's also one of our goals - give people back their dignity first, before giving them a meal. And the challenge, as Charlotte mentioned, is to offer this dignity to people who do not feel good enough to receive it. So the communication piece by the Social Services organisations that distribute these meal vouchers to the beneficiary is really important because they need to do a thorough communication and even education work and to inform people that they are welcome here. There is a whole social, emotional, cultural, and educational work that is fundamental to communication. We had, for example, experiences of people who received a meal voucher, but didn't have the three francs needed to get here by public transport. After 10 months of activity, these are challenges we need to look at very closely. And we will find solutions.
I mentioned previously that Refettorio Geneva's philosophy is zero waste. So you might be asking yourself How do they manage beyond the donations in kind they receive? Well, Charlotte gave some examples on what they produce onsite, and I was really impressed. Take a listen. This might give you ideas to look into for your own home.
We are lucky to have Walter and Sandro, the new chef, who are both fermentation experts. It helps tremendously when we receive a lot of products that we cannot use immediately because we have a predefined weekly menu. So we have to use products we don't really need and fermentation helps to make our own sauces, vinegars, mustards, miso, everything. We even make our own drinks, like kombucha, kefir, and tepache. We don't even have things like Coke or Fanta.
We have more coming up from our food waste warriors. After the break, you will hear from Jamie Crummie, one of the co-founders of Too Good To Go, an app that helps to fight food waste.
Now that's the Too Good To Go app, which you can download on the App Store or Play Store. And what this app does is it connects individuals with businesses who have surplus food for sale. So these individuals log on to the app, they pay a reduced price for food which would otherwise have gone to waste and then collect it from that business during an allotted collection window.
Don't go away. We'll be right back after this short break.
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Welcome back to Narratives of Purpose. This is the first of our three part episode from the short series Exploring Sustainable Food Systems. Today the focus is on fighting food waste. Before the break you heard from Margaux and the activities the food bank she works at the Partage Foundation carries out in Geneva. You also heard from Patrick and Charlotte at Refettorio Geneva, the zero waste philosophy restaurant whose mission is to reduce social vulnerabilities and improve wellbeing for those most in need.
Now let's go from Geneva to London. I spoke with Jamie Crummie, one of the cofounders of Too Good To Go, a social enterprise tackling global food waste with their app. I first heard about Too Good To Go in 2019 when one day a colleague of mine did not go to get her lunch at one of the takeaway restaurants located near the office as we usually did. Instead, she got her food from a hotel restaurant nearby at a very cheap price. If you are not familiar with this app, take a listen to Jamie's description of how To Good To Go operates followed by the origin story of his company.
So here at Too Good To Go, we're a social impact company. We're an organisation which is really addressing and fighting food waste and at the heart of our operation is our mobile app. Now that's the Too Good To Go app which you can download on the App Store or Play Store. And what this app does is it connects individuals with businesses who have surplus food for sale. So these individuals log on to the app, they pay a reduced price for food, which would otherwise have gone to waste, and then collect it from that business during an allotted collection window. And these businesses are an eclectic mix. It can be everything from a local supermarket, through to a high street coffee chain, to a local bakery or local delicatessen. It's great in terms of this broad variety of businesses, and the food that people collect is all food that would have been destined for the bin, now operates. And what people collect, I should say is they collect a surprise bag. And what that means is, is they don't really know exactly what food they're going to get. You know, if you're ordering from a sushi restaurant, let's say, I'm pretty sure you're going to get some type of Japanese food, as opposed to something else. So there are always indications, but the surprise itself is part of what makes fighting food waste with Too Good To Go so much fun. So that's really the crux of how Too Good To Go operates. Now, with respect to how the company got started, it really is quite a compelling one, or at least I like to think so. We, as a company were founded back in 2015, born out of the Sustainable Development Goals. And specifically the Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, which talks about a 50% reduction of food waste by 2030. This, as I say, is really as I say the genesis behind Too Good To Go, we're trying to have food waste, we're really trying to address this global problem that food waste is and how we started, we originally launched a website. So it wasn't actually an app to begin with, and as a as an organisation, we were, we were a bootstrap organisation, we had to be very lean and very agile, you know, we didn't start with with any funding, it really was just our own savings, and some grants here and there. And so we started with a website. And the website wasn't built to scale, let's just say that. It was, it was very simple in terms of how it worked. And it wasn't particularly sophisticated. But what it did allow us to do was to really stress test it. And this allowed us to see that there was an appetite for people to rescue food from businesses, and rescue food that would otherwise have gone to waste. But similarly, there was an appetite from businesses as well, to ensure that their food didn't have to end up in the bin. Now when I say an appetite, albeit a small appetite, that gave us the impetus to take the next step in terms of developing a platform. So myself, and my co founders we really pulled our resources together. And we launched the app, originally in Denmark. So the app was launched in Copenhagen. And then from there, everything sort of spiralled. So naively or ingeniously, I think we can look back on hindsight, but the app itself, we made available across multiple different geographies. And we saw that there was an appetite to start saving food in the likes of Norway. So two of my co-founders jumped on an overnight bus to Norway, and started onboarding businesses there. And my other co-founder then brought Too Good To Go over to France. So from the outset, in these very early days of 2015/2016, the organisation looked like it was quite big. We had operations in Denmark, Norway, France, the UK, and in Germany. But the reality was, it was just myself and my co founders. And what I love about this story, and what I love about how we've been able to do this, is that this international view on food waste has been intrinsic to our own development, but it's also been intrinsic to our own company DNA and has been a vital ingredient to allow us to scale our operation to the rate that it is now where we're in operating in 17 countries and have rescued over 190 million meals from going to waste in under eight years.
I have to say, that is quite impressive. From a startup with its co-founders on the ground speaking to people speaking to independent businesses, drumming up interest, as Jamie told me, to an international success story with presence in 17 countries, all of that in just eight years. The fact that the topics of sustainability and food waste have grown throughout the years has equally enabled Too Good To Go to expand, on one hand, expand their network of partners to have a global reach. And on the other hand, expand the profile of people using the app from digital natives and those with interest in sustainability or reducing food waste, to pensioners and families using the app as part of their habits. While describing the operational model of Too Good To Go, Jamie explained that consumers who use the app to basically get a surprise bag of surplus food that would normally be thrown away at a lower price. But I wondered how this surprise element has been received by the consumers. And whether the majority of them were willing to get out of their comfort zone when it comes to their nutrition? What was the feedback there?
The surprise has always been at the centre of the Too Good To Go app. And when we talk about how the model works, in essence, if a Too Good To Go customer pays five euros, five dollars, five pounds, they will get around 15 euros, 15 pounds, 15 dollars worth of food. So this is all part of the surprise. So if you pay, as I say, this five euros, you're going to get around 15 euros worth of food, but the actual contents will be a bit of a surprise. Now, as we're innovating the product itself, what we're able to do is to cater more and more to people's dietary requirements. So we're able to say that this surprise bag is suitable for vegetarians, or this surprise bag is suitable for vegans, and so on and so forth. So there is more transparency in terms of what that content will be. But at the same time, we're wanting to keep that surprise element, because that's part of the fun. And the feedback that we get from people really is quite fantastic. There's a whole trend at the moment going around social media, of people, de-bagging their surprise bags. And they're really excited as to what they're going to get. And when we talk about a sustainable food system and what that kind of looks like or what sustainable nutrition looks like as well, one of the exciting components of this surprise is introducing people to new foods, new flavours that maybe they haven't tried previously. And I think this is really part of what we need to do around evolving our food system itself is introducing people to different ways of eating different ways of consuming, but also different types of foods. That's quite special and I love seeing it on social media and through our community of people using the app where they engage and interact as to "I've got this exotic vegetable" or "I've got this item of food in my grocery bag, any ideas or inspiration as to what I can do with this?" And that's really special for me as well as how it's introducing people to new foods to new flavours. But it's also that social glue, which is creating a community around food too.
You spoke about your impact and the amount of food you were able to save from going to waste basically, is there another way that you can measure the type of impact your company has had, beyond the actual food waste saving? I’m thinking about because you're also implemented in different countries, is there something on diversity and around inclusion that you have also contributed to? The people you've been able to attract and how you've been able to carry out your work?
so for us at Too Good To Go, we're a registered B Corp. What this means is that as an organisation, we really align ourselves, or align our profit, alongside people, planet and purpose. And this doesn't just stop, you know, for ourselves internally, but it's about how we operate and engage ourselves externally as well. So this whole premise of a B Corp is about going on a process in which we're constantly trying to innovate and evolve not just as a business such as trying to reduce food waste. But innovate as a business, which is showing that social impact and caring for people, your own people, as well as your own customers and caring for the planet can all be aligned. And within that we've done a whole host of initiatives, which is about listening to our employees about increasing diversity within the workplace. And well, by that I mean, all forms of diversity, that's diversity of thought, as well as diversity of people to ensure that we're hearing voices from all different sections of society. And for me, this is what's really exciting within Too Good To Go as we're able to innovate and pioneer, not just demonstrating that a business can be commercially successful, but can also be commercially successful by doing business in what we would seem or deemed to be in the realms of B Corp. So again, aligning our commercial success alongside people, planet and purpose that even within this, the crux of our business model is aligned with impact. So for every meal that we save, we've done something which is great for the environment. But at the same time, we've done something which makes us more successful. So our own commercial success is aligned to our environmental impact. And that I think is super special.
Before wrapping up this first episode that explored solutions against food waste, let me share with you the individual recommendations from our food waste warriors, for each of us to also contribute to a more sustainable food system in our everyday lives. First up is Margaux Mégevand from Partage Foundation, the food bank based in Geneva.
For me, one of the first things is buy what you know you're going to eat. Maybe you'll go to the grocery store a little bit more often, but buy only what you are sure that you will eat, because then you won't have too many products and they all go bad and you're like, "oh my god, what am I going to do with this?" Then there are solutions, you make some soup, you freeze it - it can be done. But then even now in Switzerland, I actually got this number also recently: in 2017, on average, each person wasted about 330 kilos of food. I mean, that's not okay. If we were all to do it like this, this is just not sustainable at all. This has to change right now. So there's plenty of things now in Switzerland there is safefood.ch, there is Zero Waste Switzerland, and they have great ideas, great tips on how to repurpose recipes, what to do with carrot peel, you don't have to peel the carrot actually all the good vitamins are in the skin. Also for the carrot. That's one thing that I like to do is like when you have your carrot slightly soft, just put it in cold water for 10 minutes and then it will be right to eat. I mean, those are kind of stupid things, but it's just so easy to do. So that's a good thing. It's like it's super easy. So once you get the hang of it, you just go with it.
The second one to share his recommendations is Patrick Dupuis, volunteer and partnerships lead at Refettorio Geneva restaurant.
I think showing more interest in how our body works, and how our digestive system works. Understanding what is good and what is bad for us. Oftentimes, people may have physiological problems, but don't imagine at all that the core of our problems comes from what we ingest. If we could show more interest in what we ingest, and the effect on our physiology, then we could change habits. So I think showing more interest and education is key for this.
Still at Refettorio Geneva restaurant, Charlotte Hennessy shares her recommendation for everyone to contribute to a more sustainable and healthier food system.
For me the basics of nutrition, that I believe everyone should do and I hope is gaining more popularity now, is to work with seasonal products. There is a reason why we eat root vegetables in winter and other types of products in summer. And it's for the soil to sustain as well. Also like I said earlier, transforming products and fermentation. It is incredible what you can do from almost nothing. I mentioned Tepache, it's a drink made from pineapple peels. Usually, that is something you would throw away.
Closing up our recommendations part is Jamie Crummie, the Too Good To Go app cofounder based in London.
I think the important thing to highlight here for anybody listening is that we all do have the capacity to make small changes, which when magnified can create a huge positive change. The things that I love to do are centred around food, and it's centred around how we can reduce our own food waste within our own lives. So that might be within the kitchen. And it can be simple things, which is utilising our freezer. Our freezers are a pause button for freshness. So let's keep using that. Or it's about making sure that our fridges are at the right temperature. So your fridge should be at around five degrees Celsius, to ensure that food stays fresher for longer. And similarly, your freezer should be about minus 18 degrees. So I think that for me would be the biggest starting point for people at home, to really utilise their freezes as it is this pause button for freshness.
So what about you? How do you consciously and actively fight food waste in your daily life? Do you purchase less items and only get what you need? Or do you tap into your creativity to cook your leftovers several times. We'd love to hear from you. Share your best experiences by connecting with us on our social handles. You'll find the links in the show notes.
Join me again in two weeks for the second part of our short series exploring sustainable food systems. I will take you on a journey to reviving ancient grains and regenerative agriculture. You won't want to miss it, because I will be joined by executive chef Pierre Thiam, the founder of Yolélé Foods, and Teranga, a fast casual restaurant franchise in New York. My second guest will be Joni Kindwall-Moore the founder of Snacktivist Foods who is passionate about driving a new grain economy. Finally, I will also host Sarah Day Levesque, founder of RFSI, which is the acronym for Regenerative Food Systems Investment, and she will talk about mobilising more capital for regenerative food and agricultural projects.
Thank you so much for tuning in today. I appreciate you taking the time. Remember that you can share this episode with your network with your friends and your family. As always, we would appreciate your five star rating on Spotify if you enjoy your show. Last but not least, we have set ourselves to grow a thriving membership community that gives you exclusive access and content to our podcast. Please check out our Patreon page and choose a membership level you feel comfortable donating for all the details patreon.com/noppodcast. We are grateful for your support.
Until the next episode, take care of yourselves, stay well, eat well and stay inspired.
This podcast was edited and produced by Tom Evan Hughes at Rustic Studios.
This episode was written, translated, edited and hosted by Claire Murigande.