Rettergut rescued food – respect you can taste!
„rescuing makes sense“
Not all heroes wear capes, and not all knights wear shining armor. Some even manage without swords or horses, and still do a whole load of good – just like the team at Rettergut! (“Retter” is the German word for “rescuer”, which sounds a bit like “Ritter”, the German word for “knight”). The team regularly go “hunting for evidence” to rescue foods from being wasted or destroyed, and then use them appropriately instead.
“RESCUING MAKES SENSE. Every year in Germany, 12 million tons of high-quality foods are wasted on their way from field to plate. Our mission is to do something about it!” This is the goal that the Rettergut team have set themselves since 2019 in order to counter food waste. And they’ve been successful.
“Food production is responsible for a significant proportion of the resources we use. Every piece of food, every product, has its own story in terms of how it came to be on our plates. Only if you go right back to the beginning of the story will you see the unbelievable amounts of resources that are involved.” This is just one of the basic ideas behind why Rettergut began promoting respect for and appreciation of food, and bringing these ideas out into the world.
The team of food rescuers from Berlin see themselves as detectives and creative thinkers:
they track down places where high-quality foods are falling by the wayside, and think up solutions for how they can be used appropriately. In this way, they turn leftover food into soups, spreads, pesto, pasta, chocolate or refreshing drinks, to name but a few. Many of the products are organic, they’re often vegan and always vegetarian. In addition to producing “non-perishable delicacies”, the team reach out to food producers who enter into partnerships with Rettergut as part of their mission. To top it all off, part of the company’s overall turnover gets reinvested sustainably in social projects which encourage people to appreciate the value of food.
This is intended to place extra emphasis on dealing with nature in a respectful way, using resources as best is possible, and on having respect for food. That’s because taking good care of our Earth and its resources isn’t just something that’s “nice to have if possible”; it’s necessary and should go without saying, something which deserves to take up space in everybody’s minds.
if you want to do good, you need to work hard
Food-rescuing knights, too, have to remember that if you want to do good, you need to work hard. The detective work at the very beginning is especially challenging. To avoid waste, we need to understand all the journeys made by a food on the way to our plates. And doing so can sometimes be pretty tricky. Whether it’s the farmer growing the produce, the wholesaler or middleman, the retailer or the end consumer – at every gateway and junction, foods may end up in the bin unused for any number of reasons. And there really is no good reason for them to end up there. Once the pathways have been traced and the unnecessary food waste has been pinpointed, direct communication ensues: what needs to be done so that sources of resource and food waste can be avoided, and delicious foods can be given a new lease of life? There can be many reasons for food being thrown away mindlessly: food that’s considered too difficult to handle, too unusual, too ugly, or surplus to requirements. Thank goodness that for Rettergut, none of these are reasons not to use the precious food.
And yet, Rettergut’s rescued products are never just cobbled together from low-quality leftovers – they are always quality foods made from quality ingredients which simply couldn’t be used at the previous stop on their journey.
What’s important to the food rescuers is that their products taste so good that they’ll bring joy to others, and that they’ll keep for a long time in order to take real sustainability into account. Only if both criteria are fulfilled can it be said that a genuine, rescued “Rettergut” product has come into being. That’s why, during product development, the recipes are fine-tuned carefully, which means that some of the rescued ingredients can only begin to be worked into the Rettergut recipes after some time. But quality requires a whole load of patience – and foods need the respect they deserve, because what goes into them are a whole host of valuable resources from our Earth, which are limited – there is no Plan B for them. That’s just one of many reasons to treat our food with the utmost care.