The guru of food waste teaches you to reduce your own waste

Jens Dolk is the part-owner and co-founder of the acclaimed restaurant K-märkt, where the vision is to combine quantity and quality and be sustainable while doing that. The restaurant has no menus and use ingredients that are in danger of being thrown away. The guests pay for their lunch buffet by bulk, which reduces food waste for both producers and the business itself. At GastroNord, he teaches how you can make the most of food that would otherwise be binned.

At Christmas time, it is important to consider what food is cooked. A third of all food produced today is wasted, and food waste drastically increases during holidays such as Christmas. Jens Dolk and his colleagues want to change this, but also teach and inspire others to make more ecologically sustainable choices. For that reason, he gives his best tips on how you as an individual can reduce your own food waste.

Use what you have at home
– Avoid buying food if it means letting what is already in the fridge go bad. The best way is to compose your dish of what is already in the fridge, and not what you crave when you are in the shop. You can of course supplement with ingredients that you may lack and don’t have at home, but try using what you have first, Jens Dolk emphasizes.

‘This week’s news’ – an important dish to reduce waste at home
He makes the case for what he calls ‘This week’s news’, where all the leftover food of the week is used to compose a new dish.

– There are loads of things you can do with leftover food, a nice omelette on a Sunday for example, or a delicious hotchpotch.

Don’t look to closely at the best before date!
Nearly all foods last longer than the package shows, says Jens Dolk. Just because it says ‘best before’ a certain date does not mean that it automatically is off the day after.

– People have the perfect senses to know if the food is bad, and in many cases you have to do what grandmother did: smell and taste the food before you chuck it out.

Change your dietary habits
Another way to reduce the impact of the food industry is to consider what you put on your plate. Jens Dolk follows his own dietary model, where he eats a vegan breakfast, a vegetarian lunch and for dinner anything he feels like.

– It is not a drastic sacrifice and not hard to follow, either. The breakfast only affects me, there are vegetarian lunch alternatives everywhere and at the same time the liberty at dinner makes it easy to go to dinner parties or cook for a larger group of friends. If you follow this model, you for instance remove 60-70% of your animal intake which is a huge part of the conversion to a sustainable food industry.

Welcome to GastroNord, April 5-7 2022 if you would like to know more about food-waste management and how you can streamline your business.