Food Sharing is an organization that campaigns against the bizarre waste of food. Every year, 11 million tons of food are thrown away in Germany, but many of them are still edible. In this article I would like to explain to you what exactly food sharing is, how food sharing works and in which cities food sharing can already get food for free. You will also get tips on how to Reduce food waste simply by following your heart.
Here is a small table of contents beforehand:
- What is food sharing?
- How does food sharing work?
- How you can get involved with food sharing
- Food Sharing Apps
What is food sharing?
Foodsharing is an initiative against the waste of food and groceries. It is about saving food that would otherwise end up in the trash. In total, there are already 3000 businesses and 25,000 volunteers participating in the food sharing concept. The number is growing all the time. Food sharers have already saved a full 7.8 million kilograms of food. What a great achievement! There are also about 1000 pickups every day, where you too can get food for free. Food Sharing runs on a voluntary basis, which means it all takes place without payment. Food Sharing is a non-profit association and runs non-commercially.
Food Sharing's five demands:
- The federal government is to develop a national strategy to cut food waste in half by 2030.
- Food Sharing calls for mandatory collection and documentation of food losses in agriculture, industry and trade. The collected data should also be transparently available for research purposes.
- A throwaway stop is needed: Supermarkets must be required by law to donate unsold goods that are still edible to social organizations before they are thrown away.
- Food Sharing demands legal certainty for all activities of food rescuers and food sharers. The organization and the fair sharers must not be treated like a commercial food business.
- The best-before date and use-by date must be clearly understood by every citizen.
The problem with food waste
Food sharing, why is that so important anyway? It's simple: According to an FAO study, about one third of edible (!) food is thrown away. Food loss is estimated at 1.3 billion tons per year. That's bad for our ecological footprint. After all, if all people lived the way they do in Germany, we would need three directly instead of one earth. This is an incredibly big problem that is unfortunately significantly underestimated by many people. Food sharing is one of the best ways to actively counter food waste. Food sharing is so effective because everyone can participate in a simple way and get free food. There are no excuses not to participate! In the article Tips against food waste you'll get more valuable tips to reduce overall food waste.
Getting food for free - how does it work?
As mentioned above, food sharing only works through volunteers and donations. The food sharers, who must qualify beforehand, pick up the food from stores, restaurants and the like. These are then brought to the so-called Fairteiler. There, all people can freely help themselves to the food. Through the efforts of the food sharers, hundreds of kilos of food are saved every day in Germany. More and more restaurants and supermarkets are deciding to set an example against waste. Instead of throwing away food, they cooperate with Food Sharing. This creates a win-win situation for everyone, in the spirit of the Zero Waste Lifestyle. Because locals and supermarkets do not have to worry about throwing away food and even save money.
Food Sharing Fair Divider Locations
Fair dividers are located in different locations. Sometimes they are located in the city center, sometimes it is a refrigerator in a restaurant. Fairteiler of Food Sharing are now in many cities in Germany and constantly growing! Here you can take a look at the locations of the previous fair distributors. Nothing going on in your town yet? Don't worry! It's easier than you think to set up your own Fairteiler! Just inform yourself here!
The hurdles of food sharing
Unfortunately, things are not always easy when it comes to organization. Food Sharing has repeatedly had to deal with unjustified accusations from outside. Due to the fact that they were to be classified as a food business in Berlin, for example, they faced legal hurdles. If that is the case, individual donors to the organization are required to be audited. That's because any person who puts food into circulation, according to Berlin's state secretary for consumer protection, must be classified as a food business operator under the law. Once food sharing is classified as a food business, the entire concept of food sharing must be changed. The state must then scrupulously scrutinize every donor. Of course, the organization would like to avoid that.
Another problem that has emerged in recent years is the hygiene allegations. The authorities claimed that Foodsharing did not care enough about the distributors. Foodsharing rejected these accusations. The food sharers clean and check the fair distributors regularly.
How you can get involved with food sharing
It's easy to join in! Food Sharing encourages all people to actively watch their own consumption. A shopping list is designed to help with this. Thinking about what you want to buy before you go shopping reduces the risk of food waste. Are you interested in joining the organization? On the official website there is the possibility to register as a Food Sharer. There you have to fill in a form with some information about yourself. This is followed by a short quiz about Food Sharing. Afterwards you will be contacted by an ambassador from your region. You can then discuss everything else with the ambassador.
You can get more information on the official website of Foodsharing.
Food Sharing Apps
Unfortunately, there is not yet an official "Food Sharing" app for the whole of Germany. But there are other great apps that offer a great alternative. I would like to introduce some of them to you. All food sharing apps are of course free of charge.
Food Sharing with Too Good To Go
With this food sharing app, the name says it all. Too Good To Go is about saving food from stores and eateries by selling it for a very low price. This creates a win-win situation. Businesses make a little extra money on the food they would otherwise throw away, and customers get a delicious meal at a great price. Companies that want to participate in the project can easily sign up. If you're a customer, signing up isn't even necessary. The app will show you the businesses in your area that are registered with the app and are offering something today. You can find your city by entering the zip code or the name of the city in the app. sustainable search engine you enter. Simple yet great design and very easy to use! I am a huge fan of this food sharing app and have been using it for quite a while.
Here you can get the app in the Apple AppStore
For Android Phones you can get the App here in the Google PlayStore
Food Sharing with Olio
You still have half of the cake from last Sunday? Then you're sure to find someone in the neighborhood who wants a piece. Olio can help. The app is not yet very widespread in German-speaking countries, but it certainly has a chance of making it big. In the food sharing app, you can share food from your neighborhood that can be saved.
In the App Store you can find the app Olio here
Here's the app Olio in the Google PlayStore
Food Sharing with ResQ Club
A start-up that was only founded in 2016. It works much like Olio. And just like Olio, the app needs to get around first, in some cities it's not there yet. In Berlin and other major cities, there's already quite a bit going on. Again, it's worth checking out and waiting a bit for the app to reach its full potential.
The app is available here in the Apple AppStore
For Android phones you can get the app here in the PlayStore
Food Sharing in Social Media
There are already many food sharing groups on Facebook where you can give away food. Take a look and see if your city is already a part of it. If not, you could be the one to get the ball rolling.
Food Sharing against food waste
As you can see, food sharing has already moved a lot! The more people learn about the topic, the bigger the movement becomes. Food sharing is a great alternative against food waste, where you too can get free food. And what about you personally?
Do you have any questions or suggestions, or have you already had experiences with food sharing? Then feel free to write me a comment.
PS: Are you also interested in the topic of healthy eating? Then take a look at the article Nutrition and the environment - Healthy food for a good climate on!