Humans of GZG / Myrthe
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What I really like about Rotterdam is that if you want to start something new, you will always find people who put their shoulders under it. It still has that can-do harbour mentality baked in.

We started this project after watching garbage trucks at the end of the market crushing all the leftover food that had not been sold. We asked one of the garbage guys “do you always throw away this much?” and they responded “Yes it is really absurd … but I can’t take it all home either.”

After a summer of brainstorming about how best we could contribute, Vegetables Without Borders was finally set up within a week. What I really like about Rotterdam is that if you want to start something new, you will always find people who put their shoulders under it. It still has that can-do harbour mentality baked in.

People often ask questions: “Is that possible?”, “Is that hygienic?”. When we lived in Brazil for a while, for example, people often reacted quite negatively to the concept, “why would you want to eat leftover food?”. I am also quite a critical person. From my background in the medical world, I am also very critical of nutrition and health. I am convinced that eating as much vegetable food as possible is best for people, but at the same time I do not want to impose anything on anyone.

Through Vegetables Without Borders I can therefore work on it in a positive way. That does help for my own peace of mind. The name does not refer to Doctors Without Borders, but rather to the limitless amount of ‘waste’ streams. Do you know the numbers for Rotterdam? 32.5 million kilos of food per year. You can feed more than 86,000 people for a whole year with just the residual flows. The boundless also means that everyone is welcome. Doesn’t matter where you come from, who you are, or what language you speak. Whether you hate vegetables or are a fanatical activist vegan, you’re just welcome.