Restoring value to discarded food
2014 is the European year for combating food waste. That’s not a bad idea, because all sorts of research suggests that around 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted worldwide; in other words, one third of all food production. And this while there is still a lot of hunger in the world and the world population continues to grow steadily. Dutch consumers and the production chain from harvesting to supermarket are each responsible for around €2 billion of food waste. And despite the easing of EU requirements on the appearance of products, crooked cucumbers, carrots with two legs, mini-beetroots and lumpy peppers do not even reach the supermarkets because of their ‘looks’. How crazy is that?!
Luckily, there is some good news
Three young women from the Netherlands and their ‘Krommunity’ thought that it was time to take action. Kromkommer (Crooked Cucumbers), their initiative against food waste, brings vegetables that would otherwise be wasted because of their shape, colour, size or overproduction back into the supply chain. They do this by cooperation, or ‘From farm to fork’: Growers supply the wonky vegetables, shops and wholesalers sell them, the hospitality industry can cook them, and Kromkommer makes products from them that end up on our plates as consumers. Without wagging any fingers, and with a hefty dose of optimism, Kromkommer convinces us with their slogan: ‘Crooked is the new straight’.