In an attempt to help fight food waste, I got involved with Foodsharing last month! To my surprise, I found a kind, well-organized community that had been completely invisible to me before! :O A thread (specific to German-speaking countries)!

On foodsharing.de, you can sign up to see a map of food items that people want to give away. During the pandemic, these will often be in boxes, either outside, or in buildings' entrances, which you can just go and collect!

For the past two weeks, I got the majority of my food from these boxes, here's an example of perfectly good fruits and vegetables, which would otherwise have been thrown away! πŸ˜‹

But there's a whole second layer behind all this, and this is where it gets wild! Because, you might ask, where does all this food come from? Sure, some of this, people bought and for some reason don't want to eat themselves. Some might've been acquired via dumpster diving. But!

The Foodsharing community has negotiated official cooperations with a lot of businesses of all sizes. The deal: before they throw food away (because it's after its "best-before date", or has gone a bit mushy), they allow Foodsharing teams to pick it up!

I was blown away by how many businesses take part, here's a map! This is not in competition with charitable organizations like food banks ("Tafeln"), which get priority. The simple goal is that as little food as possible is wasted.

And if you want, you can help out in this second layer, as well! I missed this when I first checked out the website, but this wiki is the entry point – you'll want to become a "foodsaver": wiki.foodsharing.de/Foodsaver

This process is surprisingly regulated and standardized. You read through the information on the wiki, and then, to make sure you know about the etiquette & the rules of conduct, you take a quiz. Then, people will get in touch with you, and give you an in-person introduction.

I think this access regulation is important because it would be easier for the businesses to just throw the food away, compared to coordinating with Foodsharing. So the community is careful to make the process as easy and as pleasant as they can.

Anyway, took the quiz, and yesterday, for the first time, was part of a 4-person team collecting food from a medium-sized supermarket nearby! Foodsharing teams go there every day, at the same time. And yet, I was absolutely stunned by how much food we could save!

I borrowed a friend's cargo bike, and filled it to the brim: Fresh mushrooms. Quark. A grapefruit. A pumpkin. 2 apricots. 2 bottles of salad dressing. 2 heads of lettuce. 2 liters of milk. 2 melons. 2 peaches. 2 sweet potatoes. 2 slices of cake. 3 bags of grapes.

3 cups of yoghurt. 3 croissants. 3 packs of fresh raspberries, yum! 3 pears. 4 lemons. 5 sticks of rhubarb. 6 packs of sausage. 6 oranges. 7 bread rolls. 9 sliced loafs of bread. 10 apples. 20 limes. 30 chili peppers, and 60 (!) bananas.

This is one fourth of what the supermarket would otherwise have thrown away on a single day! From what the more experienced foodsavers said, this is by no means unusual.

After that, distributing the food was also really fun! Friends who live in the area got a lot of it, and several people who walked by took some bananas! Usually, there's a public "Fairteiler" fridge (a pun on Verteiler = distributor) in the university, but it's currently closed.

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I cut up, juiced, preserved, or froze much of what was left; other friends offered to take some items; and finally, I put the remaining things I couldn't find any use for back on the Foodsharing map. They were mostly gone at sunset. Full circle!

All of this makes me really happy. :) It just seems like a win-win situation for everyone involved! I kinda wish there were laws preventing food waste altogether, but I guess a nice volunteer community scaling itself up to fix this problem is the second best thing.

You can get involved, if you want! <3 Feel free to ask questions. And thanks for reading!

I wanna do a continuous thread of all the stuff I'm saving from being thrown away via Foodsharing! :)

Here's 40 bags of potato and peanut snacks!

Here's an average fruit & vegetable haul from a supermarket (after distributing some of it to friends).

A whole artichoke! I'd never had this before but you can steam it, and then suck out the leaves! Tastes mild and nutty!

A drinking coconut! Super delicious and refreshing! ✨

Chilis! I cooked a really nice fruity sauce from the habanero – all the other ingredients were from Foodsharing, as well!

@blinry Thank you for the detailed explanation and for sharing some of the food with us! ❀️

I'm really ashamed that all of this would have been thrown away. 😒

@ColinTheMathmo

Your chart is ready, and can be found here:

solipsys.co.uk/Chartodon/10603

Things may have changed since I started compiling that, and some things may have been inaccessible.

The chart will eventually be deleted, so if you'd like to keep it, make sure you download a copy.

@blinry

Thanks for sharing! You made me log back in to my old #foodsharing account.

Also, I, too, remember my first food pickup, it was impressive!

@blinry but how exactly does it work? Do you have to give something in order to take something else?

@blinry Despite the giggle inducing name, it works ok for frothing for coffee, which has been my only test.

@blinry I'm sure blinry knows, but in case someone misses the juvenile pun, in English this is called pea milk.

@blinry not so much a fan of artichokes. Don't mind eating them. But like mangos totally overrated for me. I like see them bloom.

@momo *looks up images of artichoke flowers, and also finds them very pretty*

@blinry in UK we have the "too good to go" app and some foodsharing place but the first is very commercialised (possibly an American import?) and the second mostly deals with distributing food to other charities and service users of Social Services etc and its therefore quite bureaucratic the German initiative is a lot more grassroots and open source...

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