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Dining with Rude Food

Lund University Sustainability Forum chats with experienced volunteer Raluca Munteanu about the origin of Rude Food Malmö, its goals, and what is in store for its future.
The Rude Food team
The Rude Food team

In 2015, the popular catering service today known as Rude Food was created by Zeenath Hasan as a side-project that utilized excess food from her restaurant in Malmö, Tapori Tiffins. The non-profit, volunteer-based food waste catering company originated from Zeenath using leftover food and ingredients to cook food for friends. High quality food made from food waste, combined with the motivation to create surprising food combinations and change the concept of meals, have now turned Rude Food into one of the trendiest catering services around.

The main goals of Rude Food are to re-invent the idea of what meals can be, while working closely with ‘food wastage points’ to reduce urban food waste. Raluca adds, “We aim to reduce and reuse waste, and prolong the lifespan of food by redefining food and which sources are acceptable.” Rude Food is a highly notable company in the context of circular economy, since it directly reducing food waste and increasing food re-use and upcycling. “The food waste industry, especially in forward-thinking and environmentally-conscious areas such as Malmö, is somewhat of a bubble – but that bubble is growing,” comments Raluca. This can be seen by the recent rise in food waste shops and restaurants, such as Söppköket in Stockholm and Rub n Stub in Copenhagen.

Rude Food offers competitively priced catering services, which can lower the carbon footprint of events, as well as opportunities for the general public to get involved. The company is purely volunteer-based and relies heavily on the local community. Rude Food will soon be moving to a new location in the Lindängen neighborhood of Malmö, close to secondhand shop ReTuren. They hope to connect to this new community by gaining new volunteer support and partnerships with nearby restaurants and shops. People interested in volunteering and gaining cooking experience can find more information on the website and Facebook pages, where specific roles are listed.

While none of the ingredients used by Rude Food are “dumpster-dived,” they receive food primarily from donations, vegetable markets, and weekly pickups they manage. Raluca states, “We comply fully with Swedish food safety regulations (Miljöförvaltningen) and are also exploring possible partnerships with local food shops, both large and small. The new location is an opportunity to reach new customers, find a new volunteer force, and explore new community suggestions.” Also, make sure to keep an eye out for banana ice cream this summer, courtesy of Rude Food.

Raluca is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Ecosystem Analysis at Lund University and also studying Swedish at SFI. She has worked as a volunteer at Rude Food for about half a year and is eager to see how it further develops in the future. If you are curious about getting involved, contact the Rude Food Malmo Facebook page to find out how you can be involved or drop by one of the “cook and eat” sessions they hold on Mondays.

Text: Jack Fraser, a student journalist for Lund University Sustainability Forum.

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