A food genocide! is based on conversations with Cecilie Hansteensen, Isak Wisløff & Gaute Terjesson. Learn more about them here.
When I started in 2014, only the “lost birds of the city” and I were dumpster diving. At that time, the stores were not locking expired food in containers. I found so much food that I started to collect it in my garage and store it in my freezer. I could also give it away to family and friends and even to organizations like “Hjelp oss å hjelpe – Østfold”.
Dumpster diving has changed my life, by giving me an understanding of the system over the years and from seeing how much food goes to waste. This made me really irritated!
There are many benefits that come as a by-product of dumpster diving. Firstly, it is about access to free food, but from diving one gains a new political mindset and becomes critical towards the entire food industry, you start questioning the system and asking, "why has anyone thrown edible food in garbage containers?"
Part of the answer lies in the fact that everything should be delicate, visual, and appealing for the consumers. The result is that now, everything is packaged in plastic, and need to looks good. So when there is one rotten tomato in a package of six, the whole package is discarded as no customer will buy that package.
I think people should not have to jump into trash bins. Ideally, the "dumpster diver phenomenon" ends, this should be the goal. The food supervision authority has quite strict rules that obviously deal with hygiene. This is necessary, but I think that it is a policy that is far too rigid in the system that results in a lot of waste.
It started when we thought we could take advantage of the failing system. However, dumpster diving made me realise how the food-system and our surrounding environment is failing. My engagement in food production has grown more and more since I started dumpster diving as a student. Soon after, I started studying at the Sogn Jord- og Hagebruksskule, Norway's only organic agricultural school.
Industrial farms in Norway normally grow only one type of vegetable. After they are harvested, if the products don't reach the grocery stores on the week stated in their contract, the vegetables are disposed of. It is an unbelievably limited way to farm, resulting in financial and ecological consequences; making it very hard to work as a farmer today in 2019.
The way Norway is thinking about food production is not sustainable. In comparison, it becomes a magical experience for the producers and customers to meet in real life, the sale and purchases of food becomes a social experience!
Cecilie Hansteensen, Isak Wisløff & Gaute Terjesson have all been and are still actively dumpster diving in Oslo and around Norway. Dumpster diving have given them all much more than just free food!
edit / atelier – is a young innovative landscape, urbanism and architectural practice co-founded by Eric Reid, Gauthier Durey and Linn Runeson.
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Linnea Bågander - Linnea is a PhD-student in Artistic Research at the Swedish School of Textiles. She works with movement, materials and bodies, and how together they create expressions and experiences. Her work ranges from how materials interpret body movements, to how materials give impressions, inspiration, and movements to the body.
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