If you were asked to draw a carrot, what would you draw?
Probably something that resembles this, right?

carrot

The local students that joined the Taste Before You Waste team last week did, too. All of the carrots drawn were orange, green-topped, straight, and Bugs Bunny approved. However, carrots of various colors, shapes, and sizes are edible and equally delicious! After showing pictures of various “ugly” foods to the students, we contemplated questions about our perceptions and idealizations of foods. 

In addition to carrots, the students and the Taste Before You Waste team discussed the food waste problem and why it’s a personal and a global concern. The group of 13 and 14 year olds participated in various stations that focused on different components of food waste. The topics included social injustice in food and unequal resource distribution, food overproduction, expiration date myths, and what to do with “ugly” food (Moral of this station: you can always blend it into a tasty, healthy smoothie!). Of course, the students got the chance to utilize rescued and perfectly edible foods as well, using stale bread and overripe fruit to make sweet and oh-so-sweet bread balls.

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The real focus of the gathering was to identify the food waste problem with the students: on average, 40% of all food produced is wasted. In the Netherlands, the equals approximately 47 kg per person per year! The first step to addressing the problem awareness. During this presentation, the students looked nothing short of surprised after it finished. The tone and seriousness in the room shifted and everyone seemed much more open to participating in the seeming “silly” stations TBYW organized for the event.

All in all, cinnamon baking smells were in the air, laughs were had, potentially wasted food was used, and most importantly, it was a ton of fun! Who says educational events have to be boring?

Check out some pictures of the students during the different activities!

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Our Daniela is up to very interesting things! She is doing proper academic research about food waste, but she needs you!  Fill out this super quick survey to help her! Click here

It was a pleasure to give an intensive 4-hour MakeSense workshop to students focussing on circular economy from Appalachian State University. At the end of the day, we were presented with each group’s creative solution to food surplus. Their enthusiasm got us excited to hear which models will turn into reality!

A big Thank You to sous-chef Eric who came in to teach some of our food heroes all they need to know about kitchen hygiene and using knifes safely.

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We had loads of fun at the Dutch Pancake Night on the 17th of June! Delicious pancakes, our rescued snacks, games and dances, all were for free, shared in the BLEND Market spirit!

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On the 15th of June we dedicated one of our weekly dinners at the Meevaart to raise funds for refugees. Hanneke, Luana and Sophia, who have recently been working with Aid Delivery Mission close to the Greek-Macedonian border, shared their experiences and reacted to any questions our guests had. We raised 160€ on that evening alone and nearly 700€ in total during our online campaign. Thank you to everyone who came, donated and took part in the animated discussion!

 

Do you ever find your self throwing away over-ripe fruit? On the 12th of June we returned to Het Hoofdgerecht Festival organized by Ome Adje with a fruit-saving workshop. Over the years we have learned many recipes that help us to use all of the wasted food that we receive. At Het Hoofdgerecht we wanted to share some of these tricks, and inspire more people to save more food!

 

 

On the 10th – 12th of June Luana took part in the Food Hack Weekend at B.Amsterdam organised by YFM Amsterdam and InnoLeaps. The weekend was full of lectures and workshops leading to a pitching competition on Sunday. And you know what? Luana’s pitch convinced the jury so much, that we won the whole competition! That means we will receive an accelerator programme by InnoLeaps, which will provide us with in-depth coaching sessions with professionals in Food, Lean Startup, Experiment Design and other areas to help us grow.

 

913bf9f4-a824-485a-8180-1cb9cd07d314In the second week of May, Sophia and Luana left Taste Before You Waste in the capable hands of the food heroes and set off to Idomeni to work with Aid Delivery Mission (ADM). There thousands of people are stuck in makeshift camps, local authorities making it impossible for them to continue their journey westwards through Macedonia. We went there to join the team of the Aid Delivery Mission, who are doing their best to help people in this desperate situation. Since they arrived 3 months ago, they have cooked more than 500.000 hot meals, distributed thousands of tents, sleeping bags and blankets, masses of dry food and vital information. They have been the emotional support and the humanity of Idomeni.
They believe “an ever changing and chaotic refugee crisis calls for a flexible approach, therefore we are combining an extensive experience of mobile kitchens and providing food, with our ability to reflect on what is needed, where and when”. Since the borders have been completely closed, ADM has adapted their approach from distributing cooked food to distributing cooking utensils and food packages to be pre5426b87-1e41-43a7-a455-76ac33fef4eeepared by the families themselves to increase their level of independence. On top of that, the independent volunteers from ADM provide tailor-made care and guidance for the individual families. For example, in the periods that no other organizations were distributing baby milk to the mothers that couldn’t produce it themselves due to malnutrition and stress, ADM stepped in.

Now, more than ever, our help is needed. For the last few weeks Idomeni camp has been and continues to be evacuated. Official NGOs are forced to abandon the region, leaving people without access to water, food and emotional support. In this way refugees are pressured into moving to military camps which are strategically located “out of the way” and heavily controlled, eventually stripping the families and individuals from any independence they may have left. ADM, however, not being funded by any government, intends on continuing their vital work regardless. They are even working on setting up a school in affected areas to give meaning to the lives of the many children, but also to create a platform for the many highly-educated individuals in the camps to share their knowledge with the next generation.

We believe the least we can do is show humanity and solidarity in such a situation of urgency. Being an independently run organization, ADM is fully dependent on our support which is why with this letter we ask you to give what you can to contribute to ADM‘s extremely valuable work or join the Team in Greece hands-on! Donate now, every little bit helps!