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Published: 26 Feb, 2020 Updated: 22 Apr, 2020, 09:26

So much more edible food can be saved

FEATURE The gastronomy programme is working together with a waste company to change behaviours and reduce food wastage.

Text: Jonas Lidström

Food wastage is a problem that can be seen from the things we throw out. According to the latest figures from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (2016), Swedes threw away 200,000 tonnes of edible food in a year.

But to reduce food wastage, we need to stop looking at mountains of rubbish and instead consider how we buy ingredients and plan and cook our meals.

With this in mind, it is fairly logical for Umeå’s municipal water and waste company Vakin and the gastronomy programme at Umeå University to start working together under the slogan Rädda maten — Save our Food.

Our tasting menu included pesto made from vegetable tops and leftover legumes

At the last popular Umeå Taste Festival, gastronomy students presented a demonstration kitchen at the Town Hall Square and cooked small portions of delicious meals based on ingredients that are frequently thrown away.

“Our tasting menu included pesto made from vegetable tops and leftover legumes, toasted sandwiches and bread pudding,” explains Björn Norén, lecturer at the Gastronomy Programme.

This partnership has also resulted in an inspiring knowledge base for cooks who want to avoid throwing food away. Rather than creating a cookbook with set recipes, their information is made up of ‘idea cards’ that provide a general view of options for using various ingredients.

Recipe/idea bank

This information bank is available in a digital format at vakin.se/kampanjsidor/raddamaten. Take a look there next time you clear out your fridge or pantry. Dry bread, lettuce that has past its best and forgotten root vegetables offer more options than you think.

This article was first published in the magazine Think no. 1 2020.