Trendshot from Bruxelles ❘ bisounours way of food life

Making innovative use of food waste in Belgium
The first Food Waste Awards of Belgium happened in early 2017 in Louvain and brought to light the many initiatives to combat food waste thriving all over the country. Here are three initiatives that are tasty, sustainable and healthy at the same time and where vegetables have the place of honour.

Wonky/the tasty way to rescue food

This Ghent-based start-up, founded by Helena Gheeraert, has decided to give a second chance to the «ugly vegetables», a way for them to combat food waste. Wonky makes healthy snacks with «rescued vegetables» as they call them, always prompt to use humour to raise awareness on a serious issue.

As 45% of all vegetables are wasted, mostly due to aesthetic and size reasons, they decided to transform those left aside veggies into dips and snacks.
By working together with Belgian companies in the food processing industry they give their food surpluses a second life


Hortense and Humus/cocktail-paring against food wasting

After wine paring here comes cocktail paring with Hortense and Humus, a restaurant in Brussels created by barman Matthieu Chaumont and chef Nicolas Decloedt.

The culinary project, started in early 2017, is to create a combination of cocktails and dishes based on waste produced by the other. It first came from the desire to use each product, which is high quality seasonal and local, at its best, and in the end, use every inch of it.
Turning a perceived negative into a positive, they’ve used this constraint as a creative push. Recycling food intended to be trashed is part of their unique take on fine dinning and drinking. They can for example infuse carrot tops instead of throwing them away to make a cocktail. And it can, of course, work both ways. A real tribute to vegetables.

Rue de Vergnies 2, 1050 Ixelles, Belgique

Mary Pop-In/zero food waste, social and local kitchen

This pop-up restaurant is what happens when solidarity and sustainability meet.

The Eatmosphere association’s restaurant is putting surpluses products on its menu while supporting social employment and organizing workshops to teach how to cook food wastes like a chef. Opening every weekend in Bel Mundo space, the social restaurant of Atelier Groot Eiland, Mary Pop-In was initiated by Steven Desair in 2016.

His restaurant offers a healthy vegetarian food, from which 80% of the ingredients are saved from the garbage can. He appeals to vegetable and fruit growers from the region, the Brussels markets, and collaborates with manufacturers. This initiative aims to raise awareness on food waste without moralizing. It is presented as a buffet, so people can choose portions themselves. But if leftovers there are, it simply becomes compost and goes to fertilize the local garden surrounding Bel Mundo.

Quai du Hainaut 41-43, 1080 Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Belgique

by Sophie Espitalié