• Germany edition
 
New food-sharing site hopes to cut wastage
Photo: DPA

New food-sharing site hopes to cut wastage

Published: 14 Dec 2012 11:40 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Dec 2012 11:40 GMT+01:00

In Lüdwigsburg, southwestern Germany, there's an assortment of Christmas goodies up for grabs: five packets of organic muffin mix, five packets of cookie mix, and three sweet-filled advent calendars.

Meanwhile, 55 pizzas are going in Jena, as are a kilo of bananas in Munich, a packet of instant tea in Dresden, a crate of beer in Duisburg - left over from a birthday party - and a traditional German Christmas cake in Neu-Isenburg.

In total, 55 baskets of food are being offered to any takers in 25 German cities, and people can find them on the brand new internet platform www.foodsharing.de, whose operators hope to radically change the way people think about food.

Spurred by the alarming statistic that the average German throws away 80 kilos of food every year, the site offers users the chance to advertise unwanted provisions for others to use.

Both society and the environment should benefit. Those struggling to put food on the table will gain access to a variety of foodstuffs completely free of charge. At the same time, less food will be sent to landfill sites, where its decomposition can produce toxic gases.

The basic concept, according to the website, is simple: "People share food. No money should exchange hands here, because sharing also has an ethical dimension. We want to reinstate the spiritual, non-material value of food, because it is more than just a commodity."

The website is free to use: providers give details of their offerings and location, and recipients can get in touch via the website to make collection arrangements.

Anything can be offered, and for users there's a search function to locate desired goods. The website is due to become more user-friendly next year: a smart-phone app is in the pipeline, which will even include maps to guide people to the food (with cycling routes highlighted, as one would expect).

The only rule: "Don't pass anything on to others which you wouldn't eat yourself."

The Local/pmw

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

12:40 December 14, 2012 by Firmino
What a brilliant idea!
13:12 December 14, 2012 by lucksi
This will be shut down to to food safety rules and no tax income from the "sales" in no time.
13:43 December 14, 2012 by Lblaney
The only rule: "Don't pass anything on to others which you wouldn't eat yourself."

I don't understand how this is supposed to keep people from throwing away food. I only throw away what is no longer edible (like expired dairy goods or meat). If I would eat it myself, I will. It seems like this website is more like a food bank without the banking part... Wouldn't it be better then to ask for in-kind donations and/or money so that food can be bought in bulk and given to the poor?

If the real issue is food waste, I'd appreciate a website with tips on how to plan better shopping and how to freeze meals or leftovers so they don't go bad much more than the opportunity to invite people to come pick up my old muffin mix.
14:04 December 14, 2012 by raandy
It is too bad this will not work. To much liability, anyone can do something to the food and remain anonymous. Unless the items are in never opened sealed can I would not take a chance and feed it to my family.

Eventually some one will, Murphy's Law.
14:44 December 14, 2012 by yllusion
Such a basic principle and until today it is not developed. We have in the western world big supermarket chains, restaurants everywhere, and a huge amount of food is wasted instead of being used to feed the poor or to generate other types of useful products. Also a huge amount of food is wasted when there is over production by farmers. It should be a CRIME to waste food. There should be a network for collecting food from restaurants and supermarkets the same way as we have collection of garbage from our doors. Leftovers from restaurants, when certified, could be donated to the poor or to local communitary cantines. Food and products about to expire should be given also to institutions for donation to the poor. Over production by farmers should be collected and led to the same destination. Any kind of waste should be a crime and those people should go to jail for disrespecting not only nature, but those who can't afford food and have to see people throwing them away by the tons.
16:23 December 14, 2012 by catjones
yllusion should be Delusion.
16:50 December 14, 2012 by simski
yllusion, there is exactly that: The Bundesverband Deutsche Tafel e.V. collects leftover food from restaurants and supermarkets to feed the poor and many restaurant owners go out of their way to ensure their leftovers get to those who need it (without making a profit). Maybe it should be a crime to go on rants without knowing what you are talking about?

As for the website, it's a nice enough idea, but I doubt that it will work very well. Like LBlaney I only throw away food that has gone bad and I suspect it's like that for many people. If I was good enough at planning to put food up on the website in time, I probably wouldn't have any leftovers. Sure, sometimes people will remember to put their stuff up in time, but a website like this needs a critical mass to come into use and I doubt there will be enough interest to reach that crtical mass.
Today's headlines
Merkel accuses Isis of genocide
A photograph (right) made available by the jihadist affiliated group Albaraka News allegedly shows an Isis fighter tying up an Iraqi soldier. Photo: EPA/ALBARAKA NEWS/HANDOUT

Merkel accuses Isis of genocide

Chancellor Angela Merkel described atrocities committed by Isis in Iraq as genocide on Wednesday, going further than other western leaders in her condemnation of the group. READ  

Ebola patient treated at Hamburg hospital
An isolation ambulance approaches the specially outfitted aircraft carrying the Ebola patient at Hamburg airport. Photo: DPA

Ebola patient treated at Hamburg hospital

UPDATE: The first patient to be treated for Ebola in Germany arrived in Hamburg on Wednesday morning. READ  

Uber pushes expansion despite legal pitfalls
Uber is going head-to-head with taxi services across Germany. Photo: DPA

Uber pushes expansion despite legal pitfalls

Chauffeur car service Uber plans to expand into more German cities and double its activity in the country by the end of the year in the face of bitter opposition and a court case. READ  

Has Germany learned lessons of NSU failures?
Police images of the Beate Zschäpe, Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Bundlos, the three perpetrators of the NSU murders. Photo: DPA

Has Germany learned lessons of NSU failures?

The German government announced measures on Wednesday requiring police and courts to take tougher action against suspected hate crimes, following a neo-Nazi killing spree that went unsolved for more than a decade. READ  

The Local List
Ten of the oddest things found at border control
Photo: Zollamt/Shutterstock

Ten of the oddest things found at border control

Some of the strangest items found by German border control might make you think again about whether border checks are over the top. The Local List takes a look. READ  

Germany to lock out 'cheating' EU migrants
Demonstrators hold up a banner against Roma deportations in 2013. Photo: DPA

Germany to lock out 'cheating' EU migrants

UPDATE: Germany is expected to announce new measures on Wednesday to expel EU citizens who cheat the country's social security system, as well as improving conditions for asylum seekers. READ  

Shoppers' confidence collapses at record rate
Shoppers in Germany felt a sudden drop in confidence in August. Photo: DPA

Shoppers' confidence collapses at record rate

Confidence among German consumers fell at its fastest rate in August since records began more than 30 years ago. Instability on the international stage and fears for the future of the national economy have contributed to the sudden drop. READ  

Want to avoid driving fines? Swap seats
Photo: DPA

Want to avoid driving fines? Swap seats

A driver in western Germany should not be fined for "negligent driving" because he had swapped seats after a warning sign, a court ruled on Tuesday. READ  

Police find €20 million of cannabis in woods
The cannabis was found by a walker who alerted police. Photo: DPA

Police find €20 million of cannabis in woods

Police have found 18,500 cannabis plants with a street value of €20 million growing in the woods on the Dutch-German border. READ  

Anti-stress law moves step closer in Germany
Federal Labour Minister Andrea Nahles speaking to journalists in July. Photo: DPA

Anti-stress law moves step closer in Germany

Germany’s Labour Minister Andrea Nahles has given her backing to an anti-stress law, announcing a study into workers' mental health on Tuesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: DPA
National
Size does matter in this case, rules judge
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,453
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd