German Supermarket Sells Only Waste Food

Connector Winter 2017

The first supermarket to sell only salvaged food waste has opened in Germany. The store in the German city of Cologne is the first of its kind in the country and the third one in the European Union. It sells products of all kinds, from vegetables to beer. And the unusual thing is that all these products would otherwise have been destroyed as waste.

The other peculiar thing about “The Good Food” is that there are no fixed prices. Consumers decide how much they think a product is worth.

You only need to take one look at the figures to understand why Nicole Klaski decided to start “The Good Food”.  Every year, one third of the food produced in the world gets wasted.  If we saved just a quarter of that wasted food, we could feed almost 900 million hungry people, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). At retail level, food is mostly wasted because it does not look attractive.

Klaski goes into fields after they have been harvested and collects the vegetables left behind. Some of them are deemed too big, some too small, some just too ugly to sell.

In her shop, the organic food then becomes accessible to everyone using a “pay what you think” system. Buyers can also find non-perishable products from big manufacturers which have passed their sell-by dates.

Klaski herself is not worried that there could be health risks involved. “The expiry dates on products are only a suggestion for the consumer,” she said. “Most of the products last much longer.”

But in the unfortunate event that someone really did get sick, someone has to carry the responsibility. That is why Klaski says the team takes their duty very seriously to inform consumers when a product is out of date.

“And, of course, if something happens we will have to take the responsibility,” she added. “But we are even willing to do that; it is worth trying.”

Contrary to traditional supermarkets’ aim of making a profit, “The Good Food” aims at having a social impact.

Source: Deutsche Welle (DW Environment)