Denmark, stands out with a reputation and perception of sustainability. The Danes were born with a bike between their legs, windmills on their coastline and organic food filling the lunch plates in schools. In recent years they have become known for the lengths they go to make organic and eco friendly sourced products the staple in households. It is not unusual to walk the streets of Copenhagen and discover organic hair salons (where the pro cuts used are eco friendly), organic restaurants and to walk into any supermarket to find organic produce (yes, even including the budget stores).
It’s not hard to find organic food in Copenhagen, and some concept stores have managed to go one better, launching initiatives that save food waste and packaging waste. Here are a few of the places that I have discovered that have helped to green up my food basket.
WeFood is Denmarks first surplus food supermarket. Given the amount of food supermarkets throw out on the daily, WeFood has taken the initiative to sell ‘old’ food because it is still worth buying outside it’s ‘sell by date’ The food sold is unpredictable as one day they will have a lot of one product and another something completely different so not a place you can come with a shopping list, but with food at 30-50% off the usual price there are some good deals to be had. Help save waste and save money at the same time.
Løs is a no-packaging concept store opened in the past week in Vesterbro. Here you can buy almost 100% organic produce without the plastic it usually comes wrapped in. Bring your own containers or buy there own, then pay for the weight of your dried goods (pulses, flour, herbs, tea, coffee, spices e.c.t) or your liquids (honey, soap, oil and even wine). They even have vegan cookies and candy that you can buy by weight!
Kost is an organic and biodynamic food boutique in the Vesterbro area. Here you will find specialist local produce as well as an incentive to make your own meals. At Kost you can buy pre-packaged bags with just the right amount of ingredients to make the recipe, to insure that none of the food or the packaging goes to waste. The food in store is seasonal and available to buy in as small quantity as you like. As their website reads, if you only need a couple cloves of garlic then pop in and get them, no need to buy a whole pack.
Other ways to eat sustainably
App – Too good to go
A Danish start-up which is now spreading across Europe, ‘Too good to go’ is an app that enables customers to buy leftover food from restaurants and food sellers at reasonable prices. I have yet to test it but from what I can see I can source the leftover bread from an organic bakery down the road or vegetables from a local French restaurant. A clever concept that helps both the food business, the customer as well as the environment.
Dumpster diving – Free
Not for the faint-hearted (or the people that get disgusted easily!) but it is the cheapest way to stock up on food that is going to waste. It is shocking how much waste from supermarkets go to landfills due to exceeding sell by dates or being deemed “unattractive”. In France they have adopted a no food-waste policy for supermarkets but in all other countries, there are some goodies to find in the bins. One mans trash is another mans treasure.