From Trash to Table: Waste Cooking Video


One Hundred Dollars A Month reader Birgit shared a link for this short film of Austrian reclaimed food cooking show Waste Cooking.{with English subtitles}

“Dumpster diving has become a kind of hip response to this waste of perfectly good food, and now a group of Austrian activists have taken “freeganism” to the next logical step: they’ve created a cooking show for food “rescued” from grocery and restaurant dumpsters.

Started last Spring, Waste Cooking follows food from dumpster to dinner table.

Part Food Network, part Greenpeace-style activism, each episode of the show {which is in German} follows the process of finding ingredients {complete with rubber gloves and headlamps}, and then making a meal out of the found food.”

What do you think? Is this something you could see yourself doing?

What do you think about the people who do this?


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  1. anne says

    We are too wasteful but considering that this food came out of a trash can which must be teeming with bacteria maybe a light bleach soak for the fruits and veg? I use bokashi to recycle my kitchen waste I can’t compost. I couldn’t help but think of that episode of Portlandia.

  2. says

    I think it’s a great way to highlight this issue. I also think it’s shocking how much food we waste. Every time I go to people’s houses for a barbecue or whatever, I want to save all their scraps from the garbage! Not for me, but for the chickens. Everyone should have a “chicken bucket” like we do.

    I don’t think I could dumpster dive myself unless I were starving, though.

    • Lindsey says

      Why don’t you bring a bucket and ask for scraps to be deposited in it? In my experience, people LOVE to help with recycling and to think they will be feeding animals with it. My job has to serve meals to clients and they fill up a 5 gallon bucket for me almost every day with stuff my chickens love.

  3. suzanne says

    I would so dumpster dive for packaged fruits and veggies. except by myself and no way I’m gonna get husband on board. I’m a coward! Seriously how much bacteria is going to grow on produce recently dumped. If it has a skin you can clean/ peel it. Although you have to wrap your head around that one. Thanks for pushing the boundaries. Hope your HH didn’t read your post about the hen pecked beet tops.

  4. Jade says

    I think it’s doable, especially if the items are contained in packaging. But a lot of it would depend on the immune system of the eaters. I always joke with friends and family that I have a third world stomach and immune system because I grew up in the Philippines for the first 5 years of my life, so I don’t run into problems with food. But my brothers can get sick at the drop of a hat even when eating 2 day old left overs that were properly packaged and temperature controlled in the refrigerator. It ‘s kind of good and bad since often times it’s me and my mom going through all of the left overs because we don’t want to throw out perfectly good food that we can eat so we have a little bit of bonding moment being sort of quietly smug about our superior immune systems. :) But we’d never feed left overs to my brothers or dad after the 2nd day or else we’d be stuck with a lot of extra bathroom clean up. :(

  5. Susan says

    i think it’s fantastic to highlight how much waste is happening! the fact that they are finding the food (packaged or otherwise) in a trash bin, doesn’t bother me at all. yes, i would wash it, but i’m not sure it’s any worse than anything imported where we don’t see how the produce is treated until it’s inspected by our government. perhaps it’s a wake up call for the larger food distributors who could easily place food in containers that are sanitary for anyone who wants to pick it up, and also could choose to donate it. every state has different laws/regulations with regard to how food is disposed of from a commercial vendor, but why not figure out how to solve this problem creatively. Good for them!

  6. Lisa says

    I’m amazed at how much food, all over the world aparently, is wasted. Instead of throwing it away, put it out on a table and with free sign or have someone from a homeless shelter come and pick it up daily from the store and they can use free food to create meals.

    • Lindsey says

      The problem is, as with so many things, liability and lawsuits. that is why many school have banned potlucks that include any homemade foods—you have to bring foods still in their original wrappers.

  7. Demarie says

    I want to know what he made that looked like mini pancakes with slices of banana and powdered sugar on top! Anyone know?

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