Germany's Ministry of Food and Agriculture has awarded prizes to projects for innovation in reducing food waste. A ceremony in Berlin saw prizes for dumplings, gastronomy, a supermarket and how to use overripe bananas.
As part of a campaign to reduce food waste among consumers and along the entire supply chain, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in 2012 launched the "Too good for the bin" initiative to engage citizens, companies and organizations in saving food. The goal of the initiative is to cut in half the estimated 11 million tons of wasted food by 2030.
The average German throws away 82 kilos (181 pounds) of unused food every year, much of it preventable waste that impacts the environment and the economy.
Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Christian Schmidt on Wednesday awarded contestants in four categories from 168 entries.
In the engagement category, the start-up dumpling maker "Knödelkult" won for using unsold bread from local bakeries and turning it into dumplings sold in glass jars. The three founders of Knödelkult purchase bread at discounted prices from bakeries and transform a product that would have gone to waste into a non-perishable food item.
For every 3,000 glass jars sold, Knödelkult is able to save more than a ton of bread from going into the garbage. Established in 2016, Knödelkult received start-up capital through a crowd-funding campaign and is now working to expand its logistics and production process.
Prizes all round
The Berlin restaurant "Restlos Glücklich" took the gastronomy prize. The restaurant takes discarded food from markets, supermarkets and farmers and turns it into delicious meals that have locals and tourists coming back asking for more.
The south west division of supermarket giant Edeka claimed the trade prize for the development of an internal website that sells selected food items that would otherwise be tossed away. The company's online goods exchange offers discounted food items such as overstocked perishable fruits, vegetables and milk. The food is shipped from five centers to food markets or independent buyers.
The non-profit association "Lecker Tafeln" which helps to distributed unwanted food to low-income people, was awarded the society and development prize for its project "delicious table."
The pilot project focuses on educating socially-disadvantaged groups about nutrition, hygiene and food waste. People who already receive food are shown how to prepare seasonally-available foods or how to use overripe bananas, for example.
Also mentioned at the prize ceremony were the Berlin project "Dörrwerk" for its snacks made out of fruit, and Frankfurt kitchen ShoutOutLoud which makes streetfood from a variety of surplus ingredients.