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Students Rescuing Food

News: Oct 01, 2015

A so-called food rescue party was held at the Faculty of Arts in mid-September. Around 200 students from various programmes at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg prepared and ate a multi-course meal using food that would otherwise have been thrown away.
‘We want to bring attention to the enormous amounts of food that’s wasted in our part of the world,’ says Aurelia Ingelvide, student at the School of Business, Economics and Law in Gothenburg and a driving force behind the event.

‘On average, one-third of all the food we bring home from the supermarket ends up being thrown away. That’s crazy. The supermarkets are not far behind and, of course, when everybody only chooses the freshest vegetables, the less perfect stuff is left behind. These are the food items we use at our food rescue parties. It’s a great way to contribute to a more sustainable approach to food consumption and at the same time have a good time together,’ says Ingelvide.

Arranged jointly by student associations
The event was arranged jointly by Sahlgrenska Academy Students for Sustainability (SASS), Chalmers Students for Sustainability (CSS) and Handels Students for Sustainability (HaSS), all of which are associations for students interested in sustainable development.

The food was collected with the assistance of Allwin, a company specialising in picking up food that the supermarkets for various reasons cannot sell and giving it to socially and economically vulnerable people. Then the recipes were planned and all participants helped prepare the meal, from chopping up vegetables and fruit to mixing smoothies and making soups. The party also offered short presentations on food waste and the environment as well as information about the work of the student associations.

Good times
The party attracted more people than the hosts had expected. People had to bring their own plates and silverware, or could rent them for 10 SEK. The profit will be used to buy cooking equipment for future parties.
‘We will definitely arrange more food rescue parties in the future. Cooking and eating the food together creates such a great atmosphere. And I’ve heard many people say they got to know new friends at the events. In the future we’re hoping to be able to offer more activities in connection with the parties, and we would also like to have access to a real kitchen,’ says Ingelvide.

International movement for reduced food waste
Food Rescue Parties started in Germany and is an international movement aiming to bring attention to the issue of food waste. The first event in Gothenburg was arranged by Chalmers Students for Sustainability (CSS).

The events have grown in size since 2014, when the Gothenburg Sustainability Student Alliance, GSSA, was formed. GSSA, a network for the city’s student-operated sustainability associations, is managed from the Centre for Environment and Sustainability. The network meets regularly to share ideas and experiences and discuss future events.



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