UP to four trolleys of baked goods are usually left out for dumpster divers, or “freegans”, at a shopping centre near Fremantle.
French experimental diver Geoffroy Ferte has been there.
“I don’t want to name the shop, but yes, you go there at about 6.30pm after it closes and the bread is clean in about three or four trolleys,” says Mr Ferte, fresh off a plane from Reims for a working holiday in Fremantle.
He says it’s good that some local traders do what they can to cut the amount of edible food ending up in landfill, but food wastage remains a huge problem, including in households.
He’s hosting what he believes to be Australia’s first Disco Soup, a public dinner party aimed at raising awareness of food wastage — all while listening to beats.
In Australia, up to 40 per cent of household waste is food that could’ve been eaten.
More is wasted on the journey to dinner tables: some is damaged or falls off a truck en route to a factory, where fruit and veg of the wrong size, shape or colour is thrown out before hitting supermarket shelves. Grocers then chuck out ugly and slightly old produce because of hyper-fussy consumers.
Mr Ferte, a caterer by trade, will this week collect ugly yet edible leftovers from six local shops for his free event. With his bounty he expects to feed 70 with hearty soup and salad.
He’ll also dish out advice: one tip is to keep food in clear containers so it’s not easily forgotten in the darkest fridge corners.
“There are many ways food is wasted and one is because it’s not stored right, is forgotten in the fridge or people just buy more than they need,” he says.
Disco Soup was founded in Germany in 2012 by people affiliated with a “slow food” youth network, which seeks to counteract the wasteful and unhealthy fast food behemoth. The French came on board shortly after.
France made international headlines last year by moving to ban supermarkets from wasting food. Instead, shops must give edibles to charities or animal feed companies.
“Freeganism” is believed to have been around since the 1960s. Those who forage in bins say they’re highlighting the wastefulness of affluent societies and cutting the amount of landfill waste.
Fremantle’s Disco Soup is at the Rubber Soul Lounge, 1 Holdsworth St, from 4-8pm on Sunday January 31.
by EMMIE DOWLING