Israelis care. They care about the environment: there are more trees in Israel than there were 100 years ago. They care about the animals: more people become vegan in Israel than anywhere else. And they also care about food waste.
The weekend-long event, Disco Mekarer, or Disco Fridge in English, held as a part of Love Art, Make Art festival, featured finger foods from fresh ingredients that wholesalers would otherwise have thrown away, a thought-provoking visual art exhibit, and other forms of art expression such as theater performances, workshops and book stands. The event featured opening and closing parties bustling with visitors tasting and toasting, visiting the art space and discussing food waste. The event organizers partnered with Lehamim Bakery, Haim Rafael Delicatessen, Meshek Zinger Organic Farm, and Tahini producer from Nazareth, Al’Arz.
Slow Food is a global, grassroots organization with supporters in 150 countries around the world who are linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to their community and the environment.
Slow Food movement advocates reduction of food waste by maximizing consumption of local ingredients, including imperfect fruits and vegetables. Last year, a French supermarket, Intermarche, started to sell what they called ‘inglorious’ fruits and vegetables – the misshapen produce that was normally discarded because it didn’t fit the supermarket standards. The supermarket was extremely successful in sales of sub-standard produce and attracted a lot of positive attention, with their online campaign going viral.
‘We are trying to establish something similar here in Israel’,said Shai Shevach, the Slow Food Youth Network Coordinator in Israel. She also explained that the idea behind Disco Mekarer was to promote awareness among the Israelis of how much food was being wasted for no good reason and how they can make a difference through personal choices.
Shai Schevach, SFNY Coordinator in Israel, chatting slow food with Keren Brown, an international food entrepreneur, courtesy of Yael Tamar
Even the most sustainable food sources do no good if food is not being eaten; much worse, this increased organic waste contributes to pollution ending up in landfills and accounting for a large percentage of methane emissions. ‘It’s now illegal in France for grocery stores to throw away edible food,’ added Schevach. ‘Hopefully, Israel will follow suit.’
SFNY volunteers prepared and served the food at the opening party while Zebra Music created the party mood. The art exhibit was curated by Iris Pshedezky, Gili Zaidman and omri Ben Artzi and included photography, sculpture, video art and new media installations by Boris Oicherman, Yael Belaban, Shachar Yahalom, Scandar Copti and others.