Pedaling against food waste

Posted on 28 February 2018.

Veolia teams up with food banks to fight food waste with a bicycle food blender.

Pedal to make smoothies and soups from overripe or damaged fruit and vegetables.

Ten million metric tons of edible food are wasted in France every year – and in the meantime 4 million people are reliant on food aid. Every year, French food banks recover thousands of metric tons of food that has not been sold or is destined for destruction and redistributes it to people living in precarious circumstances via a network of more than 5,000 associations and social organizations.
They actively fight food waste and at the same time help more than 2 million people. In 2016, 68,000 metric tons of food were recovered to provide thousands of meals.
Veolia teamed up with several food banks in eastern France (as here in Nancy) and gave them a slightly odd gift - a bicycle food blender that can make smoothies and soups from overripe or damaged fruit and vegetables. A little pedaling is all it takes!

Built with recycled materials from waste dumps, the bike blender is used at events organized by the food banks. A communication tool that is both original and fun, it raises awareness, particularly among the youngest, about waste, and also about the importance of re-use and food solidarity. How? By showing that something good (or rather, delicious!) can be made with food that would otherwise be thrown away. The odometer on the bike tells users how far they have traveled and the amount of food they have made it possible to reuse before enjoying the fruits of their efforts.

Deployed in Meurthe-et-Moselle, Bas-Rhin and Moselle, the bikes have been a real success. One of them was even seen at the last agricultural show on the stand run by France’s federation of farmers unions (FNSEA). Another was made in September for the food bank in Bouches-du-Rhone, and the Marne should have its own in the spring. A (cycle) race against food waste!