Rude Food Blog

Rude Food Blog

Rude Food Malmö is Sweden's 1st waste catering service and restaurant

We are a not-for-profit, citizen led initiative to counter food waste in the city.

We intervene at farming, production, wholesale and retail levels. We identify food wastage points and actively re-circulate the excess through upscale pop-up dining events and catering.

Welcome to our food surplus lunch, brunch and catering.

Volunteer to work with the food recycling kitchen in your city!

Co-designing waste reduction

NewsPosted by Zeenath Thu, November 09, 2017 09:34:54
How can design work with waste reduction?
Three students set themselves the task of responding to this question.
This video sums up their 10 week co-design process around the topic of zero waste.
The process was carried out by students of the course Co-Design: design participation democracy.

Image courtesy: Still from video by Manon, Manuel and Nellie.

'To bring food closer to the Eater'

NewsPosted by Zeenath Sun, October 08, 2017 16:22:05
'To bring food closer to the eater' (Att ta maten närmare människan) is Jens Almqvist's undergraduate essay at the Department of Sociology, Lund University. His essay takes a 'local perspective on the food industry in Malmö and suggests that local food workers, producers and consumers are engaged in resistance to rationalization and globalization. By applying theories of Baumann and Habermas the study discusses how the modern-day relationship to food could be understood.'

Dennis, Rude Food volunteer, on a surplus food rescue round.
Photo courtesy: Alexander Olivera
From the Rude Food archive.

Extracts from Jens' essay, quoting Rude Foodies:

Heather, chairman of the Rude Food board, who became involved in Rude Food via the dumpster diving movement describes how she was attracted by Rude Food in order to have the opportunity to "engage in food business on a larger level than that of dumpster diving for ones own sake "

Edith, cultural anthropologist, secretary of the Rude Food board, farmer and manager of Gro'Up - a meeting place in Malmö that has the food as a starting point sees no limits to how food can act as an active part of society and describes how she wants to "help us understand food differently."

Zeenath, socially engaged designer, educator and initiator of Rude Food, describes how "Rude Food is more than just cooking things before they go bad. It's bigger than that. It's about asking questions about what's going on ... about the microbial connection stemming from our guts to the global food system.

Read the full essay here.

When we make more than we can eat

NewsPosted by Zeenath Wed, September 09, 2015 04:38:43

This piece was published in the Fresh Vegan magazine, Spring Issue 2015.

When we make more than we can eat


Zeenath Hasan
Founder Director
Rude Food Malmö

Ending up with more than we can eat is a curious occurrence of our times. While the existence of food waste can be said to be an outcome of industrial production and materialist consumption, the emergence I would like to trace here is that of interventions into waste production by citizen action. In this essay I will share my thinking behind initiating Sweden's first food waste catering service, Rude Food Malmö, to bring you the story of current initiatives into food waste intervention. I will end this narrative with two recipes to highlight food waste both as an age old occurrence and as a sign of our times.

To begin with outlining the sites of intervention into food waste, I shall delve into three turbulences from a citizen action perspective:

1. Line of Resistance

2. The Needy Knows

3. Emergence of the Food Waste Entrepreneur

1. Line of Resistance

Freeganism as an organised resistance to counter food waste was an outcome of the anti-globalisation movement in the mid-90s. It emerged as an anti-consumerist move to quickly gain stronghold as a subculture or a preferred way of life by a conscientious few. Freegans resist the underuse of necessities like food and housing through self-organised tactics of dumpster diving, squatting, or guerilla gardening. Knowledge is passed on in the form of a buddy system. Collectively mapping prospective supermarket bins, dumpster divers follow self-made rules for their dumpster diving action, cautioning each other to, 'Leave it cleaner than you found it!' Thriving at the borders of legality, dumpster diving in Sweden is given a side glance by authorities for whom a follow up with legal action is a financial drain that does not deserve precious executive time nor the public outcry that it might chance up.

2. The Needy Knows

Soup kitchens are a meeting point for those that want to give and those that have found themselves in a position to receive. Frequently organised by charities, churches and community groups, the soup kitchen is channel for food to those who need it. The food is sourced from commercial kitchens, donated, or prepared by volunteers. The eater here is one who lives at the edge of others' excesses.

3. The Emergence of the Food Waste Entrepreneur

Rescue, intercept, glean are some of the terms that are being employed for the more recent interventions into the curiously modern practice of creating food waste. Whether dumpster diver turned social entrepreneur, citizen making good, the food waste entrepreneur is re-making the restaurant business. The Real Junk Food Project / UK, Instock / Amsterdam, Spisehuset Rub & Stub / Copenhagen and Rude Food / Malmö are some examples.

Heres where we come to the story of Rude Food Malmö. I initiated Rude Food Malmö in September 2014 by inviting 3 friends from the civil society sector around a blueprint for a volunteer run, not-for-profit, food waste restaurant where excess is routed to relevant charities. Today we number upto 35 active volunteers who serve food waste brunch every Saturday and provide catering for anywhere from 20 to 400 eaters at a time. Rude Food lays claim to be Sweden's first food waste catering service and one of the few climate positive restaurants in the world.

Organic farms, supermarkets and bakeries provide their excess regularly to the Rude Food kitchen. Our menu is lacto-vegetarian and vegan. The restaurant kitchen infrastructure for the initiative was provided by my restaurant kitchen project Tapori Tiffins, a space I started in July 2013 to question the idea of the restaurant as a restaurant.

Why do we call our food waste catering service Rude Food? Food that has been ignored comes right back onto our plates. The Rude Food initiative is a socially innovative way to re-think the food on our plates.

And now to end with two recipes as a way to look back and a way forward at interventions into food waste as everyday practice.

Chorchori / Discarded Veggie Parts in Mustard Paste

/ Some classics never die

This recipe is from my childhood days in Kolkata, India. The Bengalis hate to throw away perfectly good food, instead opting to make a celebration with the supposedly discarded in their kitchen. So gather your organic cauliflower stems, carrot peel, spinach stems, pumpkin peel and aim to make this dish at the end of the week or whenever you have enough discarded veggie parts to cook yourself a meal.

Portion: For 2 moderate eaters

Time to prepare: 10 – 15 minutes

Eat with: Chapati / Flat bread or with Rice

Equipment required: Blender with a small jar or a coffee grinder


2 Tbsp, mustard seeds

1 piece, potato, with the skin on of course, provided it is organic

2 cups, discarded veggies

1 piece, tomato

3 pieces, green chilli

1/2 tsp, turmeric powder

1/4 tsp, chilli powder

3 Tbsp, oil

salt to taste

1/4 tsp, organic brown sugar

(A) Boil together potato, tomato and discarded veggies in just enough water until al dente.

(B) Make a wet paste in a blender, of the mustard seeds and one green chili. Best to use a small blender jar if you have or a coffee grinder. You can also make a bigger amount of this paste and freeze it in portions.

(C) Heat oil in a wok, for an even spread of heat. Chop and fry the remaining green chillis.

(D) Add the boiled veggies.

(E) Add the powdered spices.

(F) Add salt + sugar.

(G) Add the mustard-chilli paste and cook till the water evaporates and you are left with a smooth thickness emanating from the pumpkin and potatoes.

(H) Ready to serve.

100% Raw Banana Ice Cream / Environmentally informed food innovation

Vegan and Gluten-free

So heres the deal with bananas. Spotty ones are better for us nutrition-wise than those deceptive bright yellow ones. The low shelf life of bananas means that they are the leading loss incurring product for supermarkets with some opting out of fair trade bananas. As conscientious consumers-cooks-eaters we need to get into our supermarkets and say, 'Gimme me my spotty banana! And make that a fair trade one while you're at it'

Our supermarket food waste partners at Rude Food rescued 70 kgs of bananas. As a food waste entrepreneur this should come as no surprise. As a food waste cook, the challenge is to make wonders out of a single ingredient. So for food waste brunch, we split the banana pile into half and made Caribbean Banana Curry (the recipe to which you will just have to wait out for when the Rude Food Cookbook gets out :) And the other half we made into Raw Banana Ice Cream. We're contemplating incubating Raw Banana Ice cream vendors this summer in Malmö. Do you want to be a food waste entrepreneur?

Time to prepare: 15 minutes of active doing by you. 8hrs + 2hrs of freezing time.

Equipment required: A pretty good blender or food processor



Optional additions,

1 tsp, peanut butter per banana


1 tsp, raw cocoa, per banana


1/2 tsp, powdered fennel seeds per banana, if you're into that licorice fetish.

The bananas need to be peeled, chopped into bite size pieces and frozen for a good 6-8 hours at least. Remove from freezer and defrost at room temperature for upto 2 hours. Pop the semi-frozen pieces, adding your chosen flavour, in your blender. Give it a good whirr until you see creaminess taking shape in your blender. An ice cream miracle taking shape in front of your eyes. The pectin the banana gives it a good hold. No cream needed :)

Portion your 100% Raw Banana Ice Cream and refreeze for another 2 hrs at least.

Alternatively, the ice cream can be frozen and removed from the freezer at least 1.5 hrs before you intend to eat them.

Project brief for food waste packaging

NewsPosted by Zeenath Tue, September 01, 2015 08:55:04
Dear engineering students assigned to the Rude Food packaging project,

I think back to our brief introduction session together earlier this week and I am both enthralled and apprehensive of the prospect ahead.

Enthralled due to your engaging and well thought questions. Apprehensive as some of you might feel that the set task is outside of the gambit of your current course.

After saying our goodbyes I went downstairs to lunch where I happened to be seated next to the Flextrus representatives. They heard about the assignment given to you and immediately offered their surplus packaging material. The cuts, seams and inlays that remain after moulding and forming at their packaging plant.

Could we one day walk into a supermarket where the shelves are full of surplus foods and carry away our groceries in containers made with packaging leftovers from Sweden's packaging houses? Perhaps a quick talk with the other groups will provide a possibility for a cross-group collaboration for your group assignment? Crowdsourced packaging?

Or stand in line for a catering where the plate was seamed together by a mix of various materials sourced from different plants?

You have been assigned to create a packaging concept for Rude Food Malmö. We describe ourselves as Sweden's first food waste catering service and restaurant. We make this claim as we make an intentional step to place food waste as a consumers' choice right there on the restaurant menu, on a supermarket shelf, on a bill of payment.

Your well thought questions will find more avenues for responses at this Reddit AMA session I conducted a few months ago and keep updating in lieu of an FAQ:

You are most welcome and indeed expected to drop in to observe and participate in our project activities in Malmö. You can perhaps make a food rescue run along with some of the Rude Foodies here. Or get hands on with helping us handle the fresh and dry, raw and processed, surplus foods that pass through the Rude Food kitchen.

Each of you will have access to this blog. I hope you will use this blog as a diary to share your work process in public.

As promised, I shall pursue the exhibition of your final works at the GO! Malmö campaign in Malmö with Malmö Fairtrade City and Miljöförvaltningen.

Attached is a pdf of the presentation I gave at the introduction session.
And a copy of the project brief I drafted for your assignment.

The attached image is taken at 3am after rescuing foods on the last night of the Malmöfestivalen. It is a portion of the approximately 700kg of foods we rescued at the festival that week. Most of the food we redistributed to other non-profits. Some that we could use were kept in the kitchen. We made onion butter, onion pie, caramelized onion out of the 30kg of raw onions we saved. Tomato sauce from the 10kg oftomatoes you see in the photos and so on.

Hoping we will have the opportunity to share more stories.

Warm regards,
Founder Director
Rude Food Malmö