7 Swiss Initiatives Shaping The Future Of Food For Good
Food. We buy it, cook it, eat it, store it, day in, day out. But what do we really know about our food. And more importantly, our food’s impact on our environment.
If you’re reading this, you most likely have an interest in environmental news. You’re probably aware of our earths rising temperatures and most recently that this July was the hottest month ever recorded. You’re definitely concerned with the environmental damage from the palm oil industry, the oil companies and our excessive vehicle use. And you’re committed to reduce your own environmental footprint however possible.
But are you aware of our foods impact on the environment?
We’ll be the first to admit, that before we started organising FoodHack Geneva, we didn’t know anything about food-related emissions or food waste. We weren’t aware that in Switzerland we waste 2 million tonnes of food per year. We had no idea that our food choices are responsible for 30% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions (that’s more than all of the exhaust from transportation). We didn’t know that 1kg of pork causes as much CO2 as producing 80kg of potatoes. And we didn’t know, that most alarmingly, we let one-third of all the food we produce to go to waste worldwide, despite the fact that 870 million people go hungry every day.
It seems, when it comes to our food, we’re so focussed on it’s impact on ourselves, our body, our health, our weight, our lifespan that we forget about it’s impact on our environment.
Luckily for us, there are others out there who have taken the initiative to look where others choose to turn a blind eye, to research fields that are under researched and to build solutions to our lesser known ecological problems.
These initiatives, some founded by passionate university students and others spreading all the way into our governmental organisations are all actively working to shape the future of food for good. Let’s take a look at our top 7 picks from Switzerland.
Grimiam — Edible insects for human consumption
With a growing interest for the use of insect protein in the human diet, Grimiam and the director, Jürgen Vogel are the driving forces behind establishing Switzerland as the front-runner of edible insects. The non-for profit organisation founded in 2013 is dedicated to convincing Swiss policy makers and the general public to regulate insects as food for human consumption.
Jürgen from www.grimiam.org 🐛
With over 1,900 edible insects such as, worms, caterpillars, crickets, grasshoppers, larvae, beetles, termites and claims that some taste like nuts or even bacon(!) how could we turn a blind eye to this environmentally friendly and affordable source of food.
Find out more about the association and the insect eating facts through Grimiam’s website and apply to join Food Hack Geneva, where Jürgen and Grimiam will be running an insect tasting session with a number of delicacies for you to try. Don’t worry they’ll be cooked and spiced up before they even reach your mouth!
Foodways — Consultancy team growing Swiss food projects
The masterminds behind United Against Waste, Our Common Food, foodwaste.ch, MyFood30 and more. This innovative team of 6 work with the biggest organisations and businesses in Switzerland to create successful and sustainable projects focussed on shaping the future of food.
João, Co-Managing Director at Foodways
Founded in 2012, their diverse, multidisciplinary team gives them a unique cross-sector understanding of today’s food sector challenges. This has led them to deliver impact in a variety of ways — from encouraging restaurants to offer their customers food boxes, through working with professionals in the meat industry to realise the potential of nose-to-tail approaches, to presenting report findings in the form of an international youth flash mob at CFS 42!
Luckily for you, the team at Foodways will be taking part at FoodHack Geneva, offering their expertise and advice on your projects and João (pictured) will be joining our judging panel to select the winning teams. Find out more about them and their awesome projects at www.foodways.ch.
Eaternity — Spreading the idea of climate friendly meals
The perfect example of combining food and tech together to create scalable change across the food industries. Eaternity have developed an innovative software to establish climate friendly meals, allowing restaurants and individuals to automatically track and measure the global footprint of all meals and purchases leading to more responsible decision making.
Aurelian, Manuel and Judith from Eaternity
With food choices responsible for 31% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, Eaternity claims that anyone, with a bit of help from their software, has the potential to reduce food related emissions by at least 50% through smart diet choices.
Itching to get your hands on their software and see what you can build with it? Eaternity will be at FoodHack Geneva offering their API’s for all developers to play around with and Aurelian (founder & head of technology, pictured up) will be joining our expert judging panel. Apply to attend now through www.foodhack.ch
Oggi — Fresh meals with local ingredients prepared and delivered daily
Food waste takes place all across the food chain, from production, to transportation and all the way up to restaurants and households. Oggisimangia, are focused on tackling Switzerland food waste at the end of the chain, with restaurants and households. Their tactic? Implementing a Zero-Waste-System.
Oggi’s kick-ass team, Luca, Sixteen and Patrick
Established in early 2016 by Founders Luca and Patrick, the two economists identified the importance of the food industries role in the fight to save the planet. Oggi’s zero-waste-system stars from their produce, sourcing local and in season ingredients from nearby farmers. Inside the kitchen Luca and Patrick are just as focussed, ensuring they have minimal waste and taking full potential of their produce. Lastly, it’s their sustainable glass jars which are used to prepare and distribute their tasty mediteran style meals and that can be returned by the consumers to start the cycle all over again.
Starting to feel hungry? Then you’d be happy to hear that Oggi are our official food partners at FoodHack Geneva and will be feeding you at their newly opened kitchen at Seedspace, La Praille. Expect flavour-packed, nutritional and environmentally friendly meals.
Too Good To Go — Purchase food destined for the bin, direct from the restaurants
In a country where an average lunch out will set us back 20CHF or more, Too Good To Go (TGTG) are a welcoming face. Their app lets you order cheap food from restaurants that would otherwise be thrown in the bin. Originally founded in Denmark, TGTG have seen tremendous growth and now have operations in over 6 countries, including, Germany, UK and Switzerland
Flore from TGTG’s Switzerland team
With 5,500 users already on board since their launch here, clearly the public are happy to jump onto any money saving initiative. To grab a cheap bite near you, download their app and enter your location, from there you’ll have a number of restaurants and cafe’s to choose from along with their address and pick up times. A successful visit to TGTG’s app can result in anything from leftover sandwiches to prime sushi, fried chicken or more, all at a fraction of the price.
Excited to meet the team and find out more? Flore (pictured) and TGTG mentors will be available over the weekend at FoodHack Geneva to provide their expertise and help guide your projects.
Partage Association — Food bank collecting and distributing food and goods to people in need.
Created in 2005 by L’Armée du Salut, Le C.A.R.E., Caritas Genève, les Colis du Cœur et Emmaüs, the Partage Foundation has since become the main food bank in the canton of Geneva. With a mission to collect and sort unsold produces from shops and food companies in Geneva, and redistribute it for free to social associations and services that support feeding people in need in Geneva.
Partage Association in Geneva
Through it’s actions, Partage fight to reduce food waste, support professional reintegration and act in favor of the environment by using eco-friendly transportations through their electric scooters.
Partage will be joining us at FoodHack Geneva as mentors to immerse themselves with the growing entrepreneurial Food tech scene of the Romandie area and provide their expertise as mentors over the weekend.
Aess-Bar — Bakery re-selling unsold bakery products that are edible for consumption
Ever wonder what happens to those tasty goods leftover in your local bakery at the end of the day? Well, most of the time they get thrown away! That’s where Aess-bar step in. Another money saving, food waste fighting initiative. With most of the unsold products from bakeries still edible for consumption, Aess-Bar collects these items destined for the bin and resells them at their locations for a fraction of the price. It’s a win-win for everyone and makes for a perfect and affordable breakfast, lunch or snack for consumers.
Bakery from Aess-Bar.ch
You can find their shops in any of the following locations, Zurich, Bern, Winterhur, St.Gallen and Fribourg. Since we discovered them, Aess-Bar have become a staple of the FoodHack teams daily schedule and a normal visit to their location leaves us with crispy croissants for 0.50CHF, succulent roast beef sandwiches from as cheap as 2.50CHF along with fresh and healthy juices at only 3CHF.
That completes our list of the top 7 initiatives Swiss based initiatives shaping the future of food for good. To find out more details about each of them check out the links to their websites and follow them on their social channels. For even more awesome swiss-based food initiatives, check out a few of our honourable mentions below!
With the support from these business, associations and people, we as the consumers have the power to make smart purchase choices, to eat more climate friendly meals, to reduce the amount of food we waste, to half our CO2 emissions and to save our environment.
Want to get involved? Take action today and apply to attend FoodHack Geneva, the first hackathon in Switzerland dedicated to tackling food waste and food-related emissions.
Climate-KIC — Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership for climate change.
WWF Switzerland — The largest environmental organization in Switzerland.
Slow Food Switzerland— A global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions.
Zum guten Heinrich — Zurich-based foodbike selling sustainable lunch meals.
Thought For Food — A movement dedicated to tackling the global challenge of feeding 9+ billion people.
Illustration by Camille Bossel.
Written by Arman Anaturk