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Food rescuers in action –
the new heroes of our time
Part 1

Too small, too big, too misshapen, not pretty enough. Pigeonholing has become deeply ingrained in the way many people think, which is why they tend to divide their lives into categories. Be it self-critically evaluating their own body or strictly classifying clothes into colors. But who could have guessed that even our food is reduced to its appearance? Appearance is one of the four most common reasons why our fruit and vegetables end up in the bin. In Austria alone, it is estimated that 1,000,000 tons of food are thrown away every year. Many people no longer want to stand idly by and do nothing but actively change the situation. We would like to introduce you to ways in which you too can get involved and help make a change. In today’s article, we take a closer look at three companies that are committed to saving food


Team photo from "Unverschwendet"
Market stall at Schwendermarkt

“The food we throw away in Europe and North America would be enough to feed the world’s hungry three times over.” – The movie “Taste the Waste” by Valentin Thurn illustrates the seriousness of the situation. To counteract this, two siblings had a flash of inspiration in 2015 that promised success: Andreas and Cornelia Diesenreiter came up with the idea of founding an association with the aim of saving edible fruit and vegetables from being thrown away. No sooner said than done, and they didn’t stop there. They expanded their idea and finally launched “Unverschwendet” in March 2016. The concept is simple – rescued fruit and vegetables are turned into new, edible products. Their range extends from sweet jams and various syrups to spicy chutneys. The Diesenreiter siblings run the company from Schwendermarkt in Vienna and it is growing from year to year. While the number of jars sold in 2015 was 500, it is now in the six-figure range.

"Unverschwendet" Fruit

"Sustainability as a pleasure"

Since the founding of “Unverschwendet”, over 15,000,000kg of high-quality food has been received, the days of which were already numbered. The company’s team emphasizes that their goal is not to find the culprits and lecture them, but to educate, raise awareness and offer an alternative solution that is good and, above all, sustainable. Their range can be purchased online as well as in various stores and grocery stores throughout Austria. However, due to the large amount of discarded fruit and vegetables that could still be saved, “Unverschwendet” wanted to expand and found a strong cooperation partner in HOFER. This makes it easier for consumers to access the Unverschwendet range and thus save even more food. The joint products can be found in the discount store under the name “Rettenswert”.


TV spot shoot 1
TV spot shoot 2

With “Rettenswert”, the discounter HOFER works together with the company “Unverschwendet” to collect valuable agricultural food surpluses. These are processed into new products, making a significant contribution to the environment. Surplus food is salvaged directly from the fields, logistics, farms, sorting facilities, warehouses or producers. The daily offer ranges from spreads and pestos to pickled vegetables. However, depending on surplus availability, there are also promotions that offer certain products for a short time. In the past, for example, crunchy muesli or elderberry juice have been on offer. You can browse through the range every day and perhaps discover a treasure or two. However, it is also good to know that certain food groups are not saved. For example, you will never find raw produce that is bad or rotten, has already been thrown away or has too much pesticide residue among the products from “Rettenswert”.

Too Good To Go


The company “Too Good To Go” has also taken up the challenge of helping to ensure that less food is wasted. To this end, they have developed an app that allows you to rescue unsold food from your favorite restaurant or store. It’s pretty simple to use: the app displays all the businesses in your area that have joined “Too Good To Go”. They offer you their leftover food that is still good to eat that day at a cheaper price. If you decide to take advantage of the offer and save the food, you can pick it up at a selected time and enjoy it at home.


As 10% of all wasted food in the EU is linked to misunderstandings about the best-before date (BBD), “Too Good To Go” has set itself the task of educating consumers about the true meaning of the BBD. In reality, it only indicates until when a product will retain its properties, such as its consistency, and not until when it should be consumed. As many consumers confuse the best-before date with a use-by date, countless food products that are still in perfect condition end up in the bin, which has a huge impact on our planet. To raise awareness, “Too Good To Go” has launched the “OFT LÄNGER GUT” campaign, which encourages consumers to use their senses. The addition of selected products is intended to encourage you to ask yourself the following questions before you throw something away:

  1. What does my product look like?
  2. Does it still smell good?
  3. How does it taste?

There are also a few tricks on how you can keep certain products such as bread, milk, eggs etc. even longer. Tips are given, such as putting an apple in the bread box to make it last longer, or keeping bananas cool, airy and separate from other fruit and vegetables to slow down the ripening process. You can also find a list of brands that already support the campaign on the website.


Many people’s eyes have now been opened to the fact that it is high time to make a change. In our next article “Food rescuers in action – the new heroes of our time, part 2“, you will find out which organizations you can donate your leftover food to. So stay tuned and join us on our journey to a better world.




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