Our Erasmus programme made it possible for 18 foreign students from all over Europe to visit Germany for one week. While they certainly have picked up one or another German custom during their stay, they also made sure to give us a lasting impression of their country, culture and customs on the second day. Within 45 minutes, each team managed to impress us, the German hosts, in a different way – Norway with their stunning landscape, Belgium with a vivid, interactive presentation and Greece with their ancient culture.
But an Erasmus programme isn‘t only meant as a multicultural meeting. It always has a topic that is discussed during the stay. Our motto: ‚Food for Thought – Food Waste‘. Right after the country presentations, the film ‚Taste the Waste‘ in Aschaffenburg‘s ‚Casino‘ gave us a shocking summary of the situation nowadays. Food is thrown away – but not only spoiled food, also things that could just as well be eaten and even some products that are still packaged. All still eatable food waste adds up to an amount that could support the whole world‘s population several times.
The film really made us feel getting involved for the right purpose in the last term. We could see the results of each team on Wednesday when we gave our presentations about the topic. Each group had done different excursions, experiments and projects, like the testing of meat or visiting local food factories, but we all came to the same conclusion: there‘s too much food waste!
Luckily, the participants also presented different solutions to that problem: you can become a Foodsharer or use a Belgian app called ‚Rekub‘, both projects for distributing food to consumers that would be thrown away otherwise. However, the teams also started their own projects: making something (for example a banana milkshake) out of food that has small imperfections together with small children from a kindergarten, or setting up ‚the refrigerator‘ (a Norwegian project) as a place where leftover food can be picked up – a huge success.
Through projects like this, all the people involved in Erasmus tried (and hopefully succeeded) in conveying the anti-food-waste message to other people in their home towns.
Why? Remember this: most of the food waste is actually caused by you, the consumer, so changing your habits really pays off!
Text: Jasmin B., Q11