Sharing food, reducing waste

"Eat the whole harvest."  Foodsharing is helping people in Germany keep good food out of the trash

Sharing food, reducing waste

Have you ever thrown away perfectly edible food? But what if there was a better solution? What if you could get that food to someone who would turn it into a delicious meal?
by Nicolette Stewart

Maybe you were going on vacation and needed to toss what would go bad in your absence.  Maybe you were moving and needed to empty out the pantry.  Maybe you accidentally bought the wrong kind of soup.  Or maybe you were going on a diet and wanted all the sweets out of the house.  There are a thousand reasons why people throw away good food.  In fact, half of all our food ends up in the trash—often before it has even left the field in which it was grown.

While you might not be able to change industrial farming practices in your spare time, but a new website——is making it easy for people to stop throwing away food at home.  Instead, they can post a “food basket” on foodsharing where someone with the time and the taste buds can pick them up.

The philosophy behind the website is simple: “People share food.  There should be no exchange of money, as sharing has an ethical dimension.  Through this, we want to give groceries an ideal value as more than just a product.”

It all started in Cologne, where Ines Rainer was doing research for the WDR program “Yvonne Willicks – Der große Haushaltscheck.”  While looking into issues of keeping food, Rainer was inspired to create an app to help people share food.  The web platform that followed was created by a diverse group of entrepreneurs with a passion for reducing food waste.

Participating is easy.  Visit, register, and click on “Essenskörbe.”  There you will be a list of food being offered by city or by pick up date.  Right now you could get lemons in Oberhausen, cocoa in Berlin, olives in Wiesbaden, dog food in Krefeld, or baby formula in Munich.  If you see something you would like to pick up, you can contact the person offering and arrange for pick up.  Some people also use the platform to arrange group cooking sessions.

According to the website, the project has already saved over 4,000 kilos of groceries from the trash can.  Over 16,000 users are already participating.


Taste the Waste (film)

by Nicolette Stewart