Disco Soup: Fighting Food Waste to a Disco Groove

Imported from Germany, the "Schnippel Disko" concept launched by the Youth Slowfood Network, is spreading fast in France. All you need are the following ingredients:

  • Discarded food gathered from a market 
  • People armed with vegetable peelers, knives and cutting boards
  • Tables and a place to gather people - a town square, coworking space, or a marketplace, etc.
  • A DJ or any muscician or band

To get a feel of what  Disco Soup can be like, watch the video of the first French Disco Soupe #1. It took place at Mutinerie co-working and the food was distributed to homeless people in the area.

DISCO SOUPE #1 from DISCO SOUPE on Vimeo.

In France, the Disco Soupe team gets its discarded fruits and vegetables from Rungis - the biggest wholesale food market in the world just a few miles outside of Paris. One of the sellers who services luxury Parisian hotels provides crates of strawberries. He's able to do this because if only one strawberry is tarnished, he can't sell the crate. Bags of salad leaves are also available because the hotels only want salad hearts. The examples go on.

Instead of being trashed, we used the following fruits and vegetables for the 7th Disco Soup: lytchee nuts, mushrooms, three huge bags of salad leaves, small round zucchinis, mangos, pineapple, strawberries, fava beans, grapes, basil, asparagus, apples, pears, bananas, brussel sprouts, eggplants, and carrots.

Such a list makes your heart ache? We only see the tip of the iceberg. Food waste is a huge problem and Tristam Stuart one of its best advocates:

In France, there were around 100 people at the first Disco Soup in March 2012. In October 2012, there were 5,000 people in front of the Paris Town Hall to fight food waste with Tristam Stuart, author of Waste.

There are number of reasons why this initiative is spreading like fire:

  • Fun. Disco Soup events are fun, and the meals are delicious!
  • Passionate people. The Disco Soupe Crew is made up of fabulous food waste fighters (a number of which are from the amazing MakeSense gang): Caroline Delboy, Bastien Beaufort, Antoine Delaunay, Perrine Musset, Leila Hoballah, Laura Thierry, Clément Di Cioccio, Anna Lochard, Jeanne Lorrain et Rachel Arnoud of OuiShare Food and many more...
  • Self-organization. The team and ideas are growing organically and fed with a lot of good sense and love
  • A good vibe. Disco Soupe works on food waste issues without making everyone feel guilty. Instead everyone is invited to join the fun. Their formula for success: Lead by example + positive mindframe + collaboration = make change happen.

So the question is, when should we come to the United States to do a Disco Soup?

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Photos: Disco Soupe de Nicolas Combalbert. Original article in French on my SUV blog. Follow the French trend on Twitter here and Facebook here. And do help their crowdfunding challenge on KissKissBankBank - a French version of Kickstarter.

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