Its taken a year for us to learn about Waste Cooking, an Austrian TV show that turns discarded food into delicious recipes. In that time, 105,000 tons of food in their country has been thrown out, an annual statistic that the show’s director, David Gross, aims to eradicate through awareness of the series.
Known as ‘dumpster divers,’ food waste activists explore garbage bins across neighborhoods to uncover produce, meats and cheese, that can then be turned into new and desirable meals by food blogger and chef Tobias Judmaier. Austria’s recycling law (deemed one of the most respected composting programs) requires that food waste be separated appropriately from landfill materials, or recyclables such as paper or plastic. This makes it an achievable and logical task for ‘Waste Chefs’ to carry out their culinary adventure.
The show’s teaser reveals what look like miners, wearing lights attached to a hard hat, leafing through an array of items in a black trash bag. What they pull out is left over onions and green peppers still in their packagings.
In the US, the Natural Resources Defense Council touts a shocking statistic: 40% of food we produce is thrown away. If we were to save just 15% of this food, up to 25 million Americans could be fed each year.