Save Food From The Fridge -rethinking traditional knowledge on food

 An Italian-Korean design studio based in The Netherlands created simple and beautiful objects to shed the light on traditional ways of preserving food 

“Keep it cool” is not an universal law: even when the fridge might be seen as our last resource to store food, many hacks could actually help us to make groceries last longer. The answer is neither in chemicals, nor in invasive nanotechnology: it is in our grandmothers.

By shaping traditional oral knowledge through design, Jihyun Ryou and David Artuffo from the JihyunDavid studio created a unique project called Save Food From The Fridge, focusing on the overuse of energy in preserving food. The aim of the project is to show how that accumulated experience transmitted mouth by mouth can be easily used and applied in our everyday life.

Different objects are designed to make invisible knowledge evident. Like the wooden box of Symbiosis of Potato+Apple, that shows how putting together apples with tubers might low down the process of sprouting, thanks to a specific gas emitted by apples. Or the beautiful glass and wooden box of Verticality of Root Vegetables, proving how roots might last longer by simply keeping them in a vertical position. Other simple but very innovative solutions are specifically built for eggs, vegetables and spices.

The project as a whole and as single items starts from the assumption that everywhere in the world, observation is at the basis of knowledge. As the designers say, “Each object has its own oral knowledge about vegetables. It invites people to observe their food ingredient and create a close relationship with them. Objects make invisible knowledge evident.”

The Save Food From The Fridge line is not on sale: it stays as a strong invitation to observe our food, listen to our grandmothers and take care of the traditional knowledge on food, which is closer to nature than we might think.

More on: Save Food From The Fridge
JihyunDavid Studio

Photo credits: Save Food From The Fridge

Recovering food in a touch

 How technology and circular economy are allying to fight food waste 

The increasing trend of circular economy is spreading across multiple fields and tasks of everyday life, food sphere included. More and more proposals are coming from companies of any sector, especially from start-ups, to turn food surplus into a useful resource for communities. What is normally considered as wastage could not only be reintroduced into a virtuous circle of consumption, but might also represent a proficuous income for businesses. A great advantage to add to many other benefits carried by food recovery.

In this sense, technology is bringing a significant contribution to make all these initiatives and services accessible to anyone. And when talking about anyone, we are not mentioning just consumers: following the same inclusive logic of circular economy, stakeholders might embody even producers, retailers and restaurateurs.

We could think about algorithms and hardwares, but connecting this broader group of users is less complicated that anyone could imagine: it only takes a touch, indeed. One of the easiest, handiest and most accessible device that technology could offer in support of food recovery is the app.

Many young and proactive entrepreneurs choose it as a tool to take their idea into practice. Like the Finnish team of ResQ-club, whose idea is to allow restaurants to sell their exceeding preparations at lower prices -rather than throwing them away. By pinpointing the user’s position, the app can tell which are the closest restaurants and what they are selling. ResQ-club is operating in several cities in North Europe and from January 2016 it has saved over 25000 kg of food from waste.

A similar example comes from the Danish team of Too Good To Go, whose app connects restaurant willing to sell their unsold food. The app immediately found an international success: it quickly spread even outside Denmark, and reached more than 550.000 users across Europe. It is currently available in Germany, France, Uk and Norway, and has saved 8500 meals so far.

Useful tools and ideas are coming to the aid of charity as well. Like Food Cowboy, an app developed in Texas, that allows charity organizations to collect entire food boxes and pallets rejected from big distribution warehouses.

Taken by granted the permeation of technology in our everyday lives, the usability and the accessibility of these devices could only guarantee an increasing number of users from different realities, and significantly support the fight against food waste.

photo credits: Too Good To Go

Yedi talk: ideas and stories of social empowerment merged in Istanbul

 With 14 speakers and more than 300 attendees, the food conference in Istanbul opened a window on collaboration among different actors from charity, social inclusion and gastronomy. 

#giveback. This was the topic that led on stage the speakers of the last Yedi, the conference held in Istanbul on last November 6th A shortlist of relevant personalities from Turkey, as well as from all over the world, related on their experience, work and mission through which they had been able to return to their communities, the people and the planet.

Among those, Defne Koryurek, founder of the Slow Food convivium Fikir Sahibi Damaklar in Istanbul, shared her work to promote local food traditions and products  as a resource for communities. Ebru Baybara from Hayatim Yenibahar, whose social entrepreneurship activity aims to create small businesses in the South-East of Turkey, so to allow women of Mardin to stay and have a future even in their hometown. Alberto Crisci from The Clink Charity, that in cooperation with Her Majesty’s Prison Service is working on breaking the vicious circle of crime by helping prisoners in acquiring new skills, be reintroduced in the community and in the job market.

On the food waste issue, relevant interventions came from Arash Derambarsh, the politician who contributed to the making of the law on food recovery in France, and Ronni Kahn, from Oz Harvest Foundation, whose work has been to connect food surplus with charities around Australia since 2004.

The other inspiring voices from charity, gastronomy and social activism were: Ayşe Tükrükçü from the Soup Kitchen for the Homeless project; Sasha Correa from The Basque Culinary Center, presenting The Basque Culinary Center Prize; Jock Zonfrillo from The Orana Foundation, Karyn Thomas from the Small Projects Istanbul; Deniz Ova from the IKSV (Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts); the actor Mert Firat from İhtiyaç Haritası (Map of Needs); Lars Charas from the Feeding Good organization ,and Yörük Kurtaran, founder of the Sivil Toplum için Destek Vakfı (Civil Society Support Foundation).

Massimo Bottura brought his testimony on the experience of  Refettorio Gastromotiva, a project by Food for Soul. He related on the impact that the opening of the brand new community kitchen had had on the city of Rio de Janeiro, as well as on his same non-profit Organization that, for the first time, had operated across the Italian borders. 

The Yedi conference represented another occasion to put together various actors from projects on social inclusion, food recovery, solidarity and charity, and encouraged them to meet and contaminate. A common ground for commingling and empowerment: events like these could only confirm the power of collaboration, as well as that of the impact on communities that might spread afterwards.

Dispensa #6 supports Food for Soul

 For every copy of the sixth issue purchased, Dispensa will donate 1 euro to Food For Soul. The featured stories also include a report on Food for Soul projects in Rio de Janeiro and Bologna. 


Ceci n’est pas a food magazine. At least, not the regular one with recipes and reviews that we could normally imagine. Dispensa -generi alimentari e generi umani- is an independent bookazine featuring stories, words and images of the food world, from the point of view of food itself. Mentioned by the Monocle Guide to Drinking and Dining, Dispensa stands as a unique and upstream project in the contemporary food writing scenario. The semi-annual magazine founded by Martina Liverani celebrate its third year of life with its sixth issue, and gets ready to cross the Italian borders: for the first time, it will be distributed even abroad.

Dispensa will also support the non-profit Organization founded by Massimo Bottura by donating 1 euro for each purchased copy of the sixth issue. A relevant and generous initiative that will significantly contribute to the fundraising campaign on Food for Soul, and encourage to keep on dreaming and working on the upcoming projects for 2017.

The pilot theme of the last issue is music, recounted in different images and characters by each author. Among them, also Cristina Reni, project manager of Food for Soul, tells about the Refettorio Gastromotiva project in Rio de Janeiro on a carioca rhythm, as well as the project in collaboration with Antoniano Onlus for the night opening of Mensa Padre Ernesto in Bologna.

The choice of Food for Soul to meet Dispensa comes from a common ground of shared values such as beauty and aesthetics, but also recovery. In fact, the magazine is printed on paper produced by food leftovers. Collaborations like this aim to underline the necessity of looking at food and nutrition from an inclusive and holistic point of view, and lead to the promotion of a cultural message.

Dispensa magazine can be purchased on the online shop or from the distributors listed here.

Refettorio Gastromotiva beyond the Olympics

 Since opening on August, 9th, Refettorio Gastromotiva has welcomed guest chefs, students, volunteers and most importantly the homeless, working poor and disadvantaged community of Rio. Day by day, this community kitchen has grown to become an integral part of the neighborhood of Lapa and will continue to keep its doors open, working both as a culinary school and a soup kitchen, long after the Olympic and Paralympic Games have left the city 

Back in December 2015, Refettorio Gastromotiva was a dream. With the determination of Gastromotiva founder, David Hertz, that of Massimo Bottura’s organization Food for Soul, and the precious collaboration of Alexandra Forbes, this dream became a working idea. The project found a physical space with a generous donation from the town of Rio, then an enthusiastic team of architects who designed a building out of an empty alley. Months passed and walls that went up, eventually a kitchen, a roof, lights and people. Thanks to proactive team, partners and supporters, Refettorio Gastromotiva became a real working space in less than 55 days of construction and from opening day, the community kitchen has been serving warm meals to those in need. From the moment the food truck arrives to when the doors close in the evening after the staff meal, the project has been shaped by the unique interaction between our guests, the Gastromotiva students, and the generosity of the international chefs who visited us day after day to teach, cook and share their life experiences.

But the best is yet to come. Refettorio Gastromotiva will continue its work long after the Olympic and Paralympic Games have left the city, remaining as a legacy of the Games.

The team of Gastromotiva, lead by David Hertz, has brought years of experience working with local communities and their passionate mission of Social Gastronomy to the Refettorio project. More than just its continuation, Gastromotiva will guarantee the evolution from a soup kitchen into a community resource and a social enterprise. This will be possible by broadening the activities to engage diverse sectors of the community, not only the homeless and working poor.

In November, Refettorio Gastromotiva will open its doors to the public for a lunch formula in which the cost of the meal will help cover the free meals provided in the evening.

Over the past month, Refettorio Gastromotiva has become a hub for education and social empowerment. It will soon begin to host vocational training classes and workshops looking at how to work with ingredients to avoid food waste. This will also be an opportunity to address the crucial issue of nutrition in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods with an emphasis on teaching how to prepare healthy and delicious meals to those most in need.

What will tomorrow’s meal look like?

Will it be sustainable? Will it be healthy? Will it be available to many? These are the questions Refettorio Gastromotiva is eager to find solutions to through action. We believe that through innovative projects like Refettorio Gastromotiva we can have a positive impact on nourishment, not only our own but of the communities we belong to. That is what Refettorio Gastromotiva looks like today and tomorrow.

photo credits: Angelo Dal Bo

The countdown just started: RefettoRio Gastromotiva will open soon

 Concrete pillars, construction crew and cranes are shaping the dream of Gastromotiva and Food for Soul. The community kitchen will open its doors during the Olympic Games in the sparkling city of Rio de Janeiro. 

After the rewarding experience of the Refettorio Ambrosiano, where Gastromotiva’s team and former students cooked for the homeless of Milan, David Hertz, the founder of the Brazilian organization, had the vision to export the model of the community kitchen overseas. Chefs, designers, financial and technical sponsors answered the call and joined the project.

This will also be an occasion for Food for Soul to expand its vision and act on an international scale. Thanks to the financial support of Pastificio Di Martino, Grundig, San Pellegrino and Pastificio Felicetti and the technical support of Carpigiani and Giblor’s, the organization founded by Massimo Bottura will cross the Italian borders for the very first time and head to Brazil. The synergy between Food for Soul skills and Gastromotiva local knowledge, together with the collaboration of the food journalist Alexandra Forbes,  will demonstrate how fighting food waste and hunger can also be a way of empowering communities through.

RefettoRio Gastromotiva will come to life in a 300m2 space donated by the municipality of Rio de Janeiro in Lapa neighbourhood, the beating heart of the city. Rua de Lapa 108 will host the brand new community kitchen whose building projects have been provided by Metro Architecture studio. The artist Vik Muniz and the designers Humberto and Fernando Campana are already working to make RefettoRio a beautiful, welcoming and inclusive place where the whole community can get inspired. Brazilian and international chefs already answered the call to cook nutritious and tasty meals from the food surplus of the Olympic Village. 

RefettoRio derives from reficere in Latin, that means “to remake” or “to restore”. It is also the place where monks used to eat together and share their daily meal. Going back to the essence of the word, RefettoRio Gastromotiva aims to raise awareness on the importance of the full use of food. Restoring food will be as important as restoring the dignity of people.

The construction team is keeping on working to set up the building in time for the event of the Olympics: RefettoRio will be ready to open its doors in August and welcome people in need and in conditions of social vulnerability.

So save the date: RefettoRio is coming soon.
We will keep you constantly updated.

Theater of Life debuts in Montreal with a rich program of cultural initiatives

 Unlike many movie premieres who host a simple first screening, the documentary on Refettorio Ambrosiano will be launched with a series of interactive events. From May, the 25th to the 29th, it will gather inside the Phi- Centre a photographic exhibition, a lecture, culinary demos and even gastronomic dinners, all focused on food waste. 

Canada will be the first country to screen the documentary Theater of Life. The director Peter Svatek and the Canadian National Film Board selected the Phi Centre in Montreal as the ideal place to host the avant-premiere of the film based on the story of Refettorio Ambrosiano in Milan and those of several guests welcomed in the soup kitchen. An evident proof of how culture can be created even from food waste.

Phi Centre is more than a place where to watch movies and shows: it is a focal point for multidisciplinary arts. Its aim is to converge ideas so to let contaminations bloom. That’s the reason why it suited well to launch the documentary and get a deeper look into the Food for Soul mission. Culinary demos and a gala dinner based on the anti-waste principles of the organization will be hosted by chef Massimo Bottura.

Because of the global extension of the issue, other chefs from different countries will also join the Theater of Life activities. David Hawksworth and Antonio Park -two renowned Canadian cooks- will host culinary demonstrations. Additionally, Enrique Olvera will lead from Mexico to Montreal to cook a second gala dinner in collaboration with a couple of esteemed locals: chef John Winter Russell and pastry chef Patrice Demers.

On the 25th, Mitchell Davis, vice-president of the James Beard Foundation, will moderate a conference with Winter Russell, chef Jeremy Charles – who both cooked as guests chefs at the Refettorio Ambrosiano in October 2015-, Bottura himself, Antonio Park and Jean-Francois Archambault, founder of La Tablée des Chefs.

We can only imagine what will come out of such a think tank. It will certainly widen the perspectives of the work that we as Food for Soul are constantly conducting. In the same way, Theater of Life will help us empower our mission by recalling where everything has started.

Bologna welcomes Food for Soul

 The Food for Soul project will officially start on May, 9th: together with Antoniano Onlus, the organization will empower the service and the structure of Padre Ernesto soup kitchen in Bologna. 

Thanks to the synergy of Food for Soul with the non-profit foundation Antoniano Onlus, the “Padre Ernesto” soup kitchen in Bologna will open its doors also for dinner. The official starting date is out: from the upcoming May, 9th, chefs from Emilia Romagna of the association CheftoChef will cook every Monday for almost 60 guests. They will only use food surplus donated by supermarkets, producers and food factories. The first guest chef will be Max Poggi; all the other chefs of the association will follow, including Massimo Bottura, the creator of Food for Soul.

The project mainly aims to fill the gap of the dinner service, so to welcome families in need -together with their kids. That’s a challenge that the director of the soup kitchen, friar Alessandro Caspoli and the whole team of Antoniano promptly embraced: the soup kitchen will get in touch with new realities and discover new paradigms of inclusion and acceptance. Besides the collaboration of chefs and producers, the Padre Ernesto soup kitchen will lean on the contribution of several technical partners for the supply of tools and equipments, as well as for the renovation and the decor of the building.

The soup kitchen will be aligned to the mission of Food for Soul, so to bring art and beauty to the table for everyone. By following the needs of the local community and those of the families involved, the Padre Ernesto soup kitchen will become a referral point for the city of Bologna, not only for the provision of meals: all the actors involved aim to legitimate it as a cultural center.


Photo credits: Il resto del Carlino

ShareTheMeal: a brand new app to fight hunger in one touch

 A German team developed an app able to feed a kid per day with only 50 cents. Together with the United Nations World Food Programme, ShareTheMeal aims to build a zero-hunger world -starting from children 

There are currently 795 million undernourished people in the world: this means that one out of nine people doesn’t get enough food and energy for his or her everyday life. Moreover, one out of six children (roughly 100 million) in developing countries is underweight. But how much does a daily meal cost per kid?

The answer of the United Nations World Food Programme is 50 cents. What can be seen as an unrealistic and underrated esteem, is actually a global average cost: this means that in some regions of the world, as well as in some other particular circumstances, the actual cost is even lower. Food assistance in developing countries, in fact, is significantly less expensive than in high-income countries. Such a small amount of money can be donated with an easy gesture like the one of a touch. That is how Sebastian Stricker and Bernhard Kowatsch came up with the idea for an app able to help build a world with zero hunger: ShareTheMeal.

ShareTheMeal raises funds for meals provided by the World Food Programme and, by tracking them, users can see where their meals go. With a tap on the smartphone, everyone can give US $ 0.50 (or more) to feed one hungry child for a day. Meals provided vary according to the situations: in emergencies, for instance, children often get highly nutritious foods, such as enriched biscuits or other foods that do not require cooking. On the other hand, school meals may include porridge for breakfast and maize with beans or peas for lunch. Every child has her or his own portion. For many of the children, these are the only or most nutritious meals they will have all day.

A daily gesture of ours can be more relevant than we all think: by sharing the average cost of half a coffee, a kid can fill his or her belly along the whole day. The immediate usability of the app makes it even easier: what is missing now, is only your tap on smartphone.

Cooking is a call to act. Watch Massimo Bottura at MAD Symposium

 Ethics, Aesthetics, Social awareness. The unique recipe for the future of food by Massimo Bottura 

“Could hunger be relieved by creative management of daily food wastage?”

By quizzing the crowd of Sydney Opera House with this question, Massimo Bottura introduced Food for Soul in a speech entitled “Cooking is a call to act”. On last April, 3rd, he took part to the Australian edition of MAD Symposium, together with other great thinkers of the food world such as René Redzepi himself, Chido Govera, David Chang and Kylie Kwong.

The main theme of the speech was social responsibility of chefs. Massimo shared his personal story and that of Osteria Francescana to explain how and when he became aware of his role outside the kitchen. Even when paved with good intentions and hard work, the road to success is not always smooth and straight: from Massimo’s own experience, the greatest ideas come out as a response to the unforeseen troubles along the way. This led him to a deepen awareness: the time for chefs as a sum of their own recipes is over. Cooking can be a response to the need of local communities and a useful weapon against the major contemporary issues.

The MAD Symposium asked his speakers to answer the following question: what is the future of food? Massimo gave his unique recipe made out of ethics, aesthetics, responsibility, awareness and, above all, the ingredient that will lead chefs towards their new social role: culture.

Watch the complete video of the speech here.