56K, Alex Diamond, Chrisophe Lambert, Evie Haines, Ephameron, Invisible Heroes (Admir Jahic und Comenius Roethlisberger), Jon Burgerman, Nomad, Stephen Smith / Neasden Control Centre, Will Barras are serving:
“NACHSCHLAG!” – group exhibition at heliumcowboy artspace in cooperation with NoNewEnemies
That non-sold chocolate Santas are melted and then again sold as Easter chocolates, is probably an urban myth. Most of us presumably were still brought up with the mentality “with food one does not play“ and told not to waste food. The arguments “Somewhere in the world children are starving and would certainly have been grateful about a little broccoli“ or “If you do not finish your vegetables, there will be no dessert“ most of us still know. However, we seem to have forgotten a little about them: In first world countries about 1/3 of all bought food still ends up on the garbage. In most cases sill in an absolutely delicious and eatable state, still within the expiry date and most of the times still originally packed and unopened.
FOOD WASTE – A GLOBAL PROBLEM
According to the federal association for food and leftovers utilisation (BNS) in Germany the commercial field alone (e.g. from half eaten plates in restaurants, hotels, cafés, canteens and vast amounts by left overs of buffets and catering services) makes up to two million tonnes of left over food. 50 percent of all thrown away food comes from private households. About ten percent of all bought and packed food does not even find its way from fridge to fork, but directly finds its way to the domestic waste. An amount that could be converted into 390 Euros per year and household or
15 billion of Euros in whole Germany that are spent to actually land unused on the garbage. And it doesn’t look any different in other countries around the world: Day by day just as much bread is thrown in the garbage as is eaten in Graz. British families throw away 6.7 million tonnes of food. According to an official study 61 percent or 4,1 tonnes of the food rubbish could have been avoidable if one would have purchased with more foresight or would have done some proper householding.
In Belgium every private person throws away 15 kg of perfectly edible food every year and 12,600 tonnes of food waste are solely produced by office canteens.
A problem that seems to be as global as extensive: Our faith, the food garbage is slowly, environmentally friendly and to a reasonable price being transformed into compost at the garbage dumps, is an illusion. Most of the waste is not fully compostable or there is not enough compost surface available to convert these vast amounts of wasted food into biomass. Also, recycling and fermentation in biogas facilities is cost-intensive and needs a lot of energy. In Austria the negligent handling of food costs each consumer 387 Euros a year. By the reduction of food waste and therefore the garbage a British family could save £ 420 per year; in Australia, Canada and the USA this would mean some floppy thousand US Dollars.
And in addition: One third of the worldwide non-recyclable garbage exists of unused food. However, at the same time the number of starving people grows steadily: A total of 852 million people suffers from starvation, most of them in Africa and Latin America. But in the industrial countries as well there are 10 million people dying from hunger. Besides: We could get into control of the problem so simply just by a skilful distribution of food.
The British government and Brussel’s Energy and Environment Minister just published programs on how to reduce domestic waste reduction, with Tipps about how to freeze tomatoes, how to store away mushrooms wrapped in newspaper and how to cook a bread soup out of leftover food. But can this really resolve a global problem? It doesn’t seem right that the private persons are the only ones being the ones blamed. Might the source of all problems within a society of overconsumption not be found somewhere totally different?
Within the exhibition „NACHSCHLAG!“ at heliumcowboy artspace (Hamburg) in cooperation with No New Enemies, the mentioned artists will present their work on this very subject. On the opening night we will certainly cater for nutritional comforts by providing a delicious buffet based on edible and fresh left over food donated by Hamburg institutions.