'Junk food' takes on new meaning for students with Berlin food waste project


Students have helped create delicious meals from food destined for the bin with the help of a German ‘junk food’ project in Berlin.

A group on De Montfort University Leicester’s (DMU) #DMUglobal trip to Europe spent the day with The Real Junk Food Project, based in the southern suburb of Kreuzberg.


Nestled in the leafy, open-air Prinzessinnengarten – a community-run collection of eco-friendly stalls and organisations – the project uses supermarket waste to create meals for those in need across the city.

Having met founder Toby Goeke, the group split into two. One half would start cooking their lunch while the other would take a food waste quiz. Then the groups would swap.

With silver bowls full of wonky carrots, bruised tomatoes, wilted fennel and lumpy beetroot, the students washed their hands and got to work, chopping and peeling.


Law LLB student Aneesah Latkan said: “If you look at the vegetables they are saying that these would be chucked away but there’s nothing wrong with them, they are just not as aesthetically pleasing to sell but you can use them completely fine.”

DMU students to support European refugees in “most ambitious” international trip yet
#DMUglobal students make a difference as they travel through Europe to help refugees
DSU launch #NotOnMyCampus campaign in Berlin with student Activist Academy 

On the menu was a shredded beetroot relish and veggie-stuffed crusty bread rolls, and an apple bread pudding, ably prepared by Cyber Security MA student Marshal Tega.

He said: “I think it’s an incredible project. It’s a creative idea and I feel food waste is something that should be stopped. In doing this we could reduce the way companies waste and use that food to feed the less privileged.”


While the food was in the oven, the students took to a nearby bench table for the test. Sixteen questions tested them on many aspects of waste, with some surprising answers in store.

The best place to store tomatoes? Outside the fridge, separate from other fruit and vegetables. The source of the highest proportion of food waste? Households. The amount of all the world’s food which is currently wasted? A third.


The Real Junk Food Project’s founder Toby Goeke explained how the group’s work supported the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals – global objectives which aim to tackle issues like waste, equality, peace and

DMU is working closely with the UN to further the goals and has been made a global hub for SDG 16 – the promotion of peace, strong institutions and justice for all.

Toby said: “Worldwide it’s estimated by the UN that at least one third that food is produced is wasted every year.

“In Germany more than half of the food wasted happens in households so that’s why we try to bring the message across to the general public.”

Posted on Thursday 13th September 2018

Search news archive

DMU Clearing
News target area image

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Events at DMU

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

Mission and vision target area image
Mission and vision

Read about our mission and vision and how these create a supportive and exciting learning environment.