Hybrid Forum Norway


 Country  HF Title/ date 
Norway  OsloMet  Food waste and leftover food , Thursday 14 October 2021 OsloMet, Clara Holst hus room 314, Oslo  

Part I

Everybody had arrived by 17.15 and we presented us to each other. For practical and food safety reasons we began with eating dinner – a wonderful stew (made with meat from laying hens, beans, and vegetables) and rice served with apple and ginger juice – prepared by Kompass & Co using surplus and leftover food. We started at 18.00 by Gun Roos introducing the workshop and presenting the project FOOD2GATHER as well as our Norwegian partners (Kompass & Co, Sunn Start and Enhet for Mangfold og Integrering – Velferdsetaten, Oslo Kommune), to have a better understanding about the context of this hybrid forum. Next Virginie Amilien presented the concept of hybrid forum and emphasized that the main goal is, in essence, to have dialogue and try to build a «better» world together. When we participate in a hybrid forum, the point is not to defend an idea, a specific perspective or personal interest, but to find and support collective interests. Everyone who participates can share their experiences, knowledge, and expertise with the panel – and later with the audience – to explore the topic of common interest. The goal is talk together, listen to each other, and try to think differently/outside the box. This was illustrated by collectively doing a «9 point exercise» and eventually we found the solution, which requires to think «outside the box». 
The discussion (carefully followed by Heidi Dalsveen) started with how to limit and define leftover food, surplus food, and food waste. Paula Capodistrias reminded that surplus food is food that, for various reasons, can not be sold through the usual channels and is therefore usually discarded, while leftovers are rests from dinners or other meals – either at home or at a restaurant. Everybody agreed that leftover food was more linked to a private household context, whereas surplus food was more influenced by the public sphere, both in the way it is thrown away, used, controlled, and redistributed. But it turned out to be more complex, since some public arenas such as canteens and restaurants try to use leftover food (that was prepared but not used), and some private people use surplus food without utilising the established food systems. In addition, both are part of the food waste problem, and we should find the best way not only to inform, but also to involve as many people as possible.  

To «feed» he discussion, we listened to experts from different fields. Marie Hebrok first talked about food waste with focus on households and what could be improved, given that this accounts for more than 50% of food waste. Paula Capodistrias explained how the network of Norwegian food banks works, and how they rescue and redistribute surplus food. Matsentralen runs different projects that aim at different aspects of the problem of food waste. For example, a project that uses surplus food from the serving sector to produce ready-meals, or a project to rescue and sort our surplus food from the primary sector. Inspired by the two presentations, the discussion continued, with emphasis on the concept of surplus table as an educational, social, and fruitful way of action (which can actually be based on both surplus food and leftover food). Anny Lopat reminded that Kompass & Co has a good experience with surplus tables that have been perceived as very positive by those who have participated and contributed. Børge A. Roum reminded that food waste is also much more than food thrown away in Norway, it is a global issue connected to all stages of food production, distribution, and consumption. Another question that was raised was knowledge and education: in order to be able to teach and share food experiences, you need a kitchen that can accommodate several people at the same time. Ghazala Naseem told that it has turned out to be difficult to borrow or rent such kitchens, and this hinders the reduction of food waste. A digital kitchen with distance learning was mentioned by Maiken Lønnerød as an option, but it excludes socialization and all learning that is obtains with direct contact and by doing something together. 

Part 2: Public  part    Timing- 20.00 -21.10 

Although there were no more pandemic restrictions, the audience in the room was very limited (one person who was not part of the workshop) and three participants were on zoom. 

The public part began with a creative presentation by storyteller Mimesis Heidi Dahlsveen who rendered with her own words and imagination the global aspect and the complexity of the subject. Beginning with the creation of the world she used Nordic mythology to highlight the urgence of doing something with food waste. After great applause, the discussion continued almost from where it has stopped during the workshop. Børge  reminded that food waste was much bigger than the food thrown away in Norway, but a global issue with tentacles in all stages of food production, distribution, and consumption. Sherry Hakimnejad reminded how difficult it is for social entrepreneurs to contribute, because there are many legal barriers that make the reuse of surplus food and the employment of young people complicated. Nevertheless, their experiences and knowledge are very valuable in terms of improving food waste locally. Everyone agreed with Channeh Maram Joof that better cooperation and collective thinking were also part of the solution. 
Leftover food is much influenced by culture and the way food is served – for example, large portions or a buffet serving creates more food waste observed Paula Capodistrias. In addition, for hygienic and cultural reasons, it is easier to throw food left on the individual plate used for eating, than what is left in a common serving dish. There is a lot we can learn from each other across cultures or foodways.  
The group was dynamic, and the lively discussions resulted in interesting exchanges and thoughts. The panel came up with some ideas, such as common kitchens or digital leftover workshops, for reducing food waste and for increasing integration by social relationship through food.