With recent studies suggesting that half of all food produced is wasted on the planet—as in uneaten despite the 1.2 billion hungry people struggling with little or no food—getting creative in how we break that wasteful cycle is a significant consideration. A Swedish farmers cooperative, Lantmännen, may have one clever answer: A dating website that pairs singles based on their leftovers.
According to the food, alternative energy and agriculture-focused Lantmännen, which is owned by 36,000 farmers and has over 10,000 employees in Sweden, one fifth of all food in the country is thrown away. The majorly wasteful loss that deprives hungry people and causes stress to the environment by using resources that end up in landfills instead of hungry mouths was the inspiration for the website, called Restdejting. Rather than send week-old leftovers or unused ingredients to the dumpster, the goal is for singles with similar taste in food to get together and eat leftovers or create new meals together out of unused ingredients and prevent the edibles from being wasted.
To participate, singles that visit the website are allowed to list as many as five ingredients in their kitchen (or try the “speed dating” version where you select items you need for a meal-in-progress) and are then “matched” with potential mates who have similar food interests. Users can also peruse recipe and meal suggestions. Lantmännen says that close to 600 people have already connected through their leftovers so far.
Food waste is a particularly egregious problem in the U.S., with more than 95 billion pounds of food ending up in landfills every year.
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