I have noticed a focus in the media these past months regarding the reduction of waste in our food chain. Geneva is criticizing the amount of food thrown away at school cantinas while WWF published that each year 2 million tons of food is thrown away in Switzerland equaling one meal per person per day. Now look at the world. National Geographic’s March 2016 feature article, “How ugly food can help feed the planet,” states that a third of the world’s fruit and vegetables never get consumed. Not only are we throwing food away but we are “squandering water, fuel, fertilizer, pesticides and land.”
Here in Geneva, there exists a cooperative selling locally farmed produce of 2nd choice fruits and vegetables at a discounted price. I arrived at the shop expecting crates filled with bruised and pitted produce but instead I had to ask why their products were considered second choice. The vegetables looked less handled than my grocery store and the fruit had just a few small blemishes. The man replied that the winter root vegetables were too large, the lettuce and leeks were surplus and most of the pears and apples were considered too small.
- Big yellow carrot CHF 1.90/kg (normally CHF 2.20/kg),
- Apples CHF 1.80/kg (normally CHF 3.50/kg)
- Lettuce CHF 1.30 (normally CHF 2.30)
- Carrot bundle CHF 3.50.
I can imagine that in the summer when the locally grown tomatoes, zucchini, apricots, strawberries, rhubarb and peaches are in season, this little store will have great food at a cheap price to make sauces, pickle veggies and bottle jams.
Two cooperative exist in Canton Genève. I visited the one near M-Parc Carouge. Check a map to find their parking. It’s tucked in amongst other food warehouses. I took public transport which was miserable on a cold winter day but it’s an interesting area to walk through. The Union Maraïchère de Genève is located at rue Blavignac 16. Their opening hours in Carouge and Perly can be found here.
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