The idea of walking into a store and paying whatever you feel like for something you want sounds like the stuff of shopping dreams. And one supermarket in Germany is bringing the idea to life as far as groceries go. The catch? The supermarket will only offer salvaged foods.
Food waste supermarkets aren't totally new, they've seen great success in Denmark. In Cologne, Germany Nicole Klaski has taken the idea of building a grocery store entirely around less-than-perfect produce and day-old bread one step further, adding the "pay-what-you-think" philosophy to the mix. The Good Food, as the store is called, sells foods that have passed their sell-by date but are still completely fit for consumption.
Klaski and her team are committed to the store not to make a profit but as a way to educate consumers about the social implications of food waste -- the food could have fed those who lack funds or resources -- and environmental ones; about 10 percent of human-made greenhouse gas emissions are a result of the production of food that ends up being wasted, according to the nonprofit EndFoodWaste.org.
The Good Food relies on farmers for produce and Klaski will sometimes go to farmers' fields herself, when she's been given the okay to go in and collect fruits and vegetables that didn't make the cut during farmers' regular harvest, whether it was because of size or less-than-perfect shape. Larger grocery chains and companies provide products like bread, cheese, and other grocery items. Klaski and her team work with markets and bakeries to gather day-old baked goods and perishables that have passed their sell-by date. The way Klaski sees it is that the process is a win-win for everyone.
“No one wants to throw the food away,” Klaski told the German website DW earlier this month. “We save the vegetables and expired products, and the producers are happy that their food is still eaten.”
Here's an easy way to reduce food waste, make this broccoli salad that uses the stalks, not the florets: