Who we are / Frequently Asked Questions

About GZG

When have we been founded and by whom?

GZG was founded by Myrthe Frissen and Balthazar Sieders back in 2017. The first public dinner was held on October 17th of that year, just 3 weeks after registering the name and getting permission from WMO radar to use their kitchen. Thanks to a positive snowball effect of people willing to help out, the rest is history!

What do you aim to achieve?

The goal of GZG is to be a positive antidote to the excessive waste and individualism present in our society. We do this primarily by organising free social dinners, in which we turn food which would have otherwise been discarded into a delicious and healthy buffet, which everyone is welcome to share. In this manner we hope to take better care of our planet, our bodies, and of eachother.

About food waste

How do you manage to collect so much free food?

The idea for this project was born after witnessing two garbage trucks being filled with leftover food at the Blaak market in Rotterdam. Market sellers have to pay for this disposal so when we went around with flyers they were happy to have an official project to donate to instead. By now every stall on the market recognises our wheelbarrows so we are usually spoiled for choice when we walk around to collect whatever they are no longer able to sell.

How much food do we save per week?

[Coming soon]

Is it safe to eat “leftover” food?

With the right precautions and common sense the answer to this is absolutely. All our meals are 100% free of animal products so this already reduces the risk of food poisoning substantially. We also spend a lot of time sorting and washing the ingredients we collect and our kitchen meets professional hygiene standards. The remaining dry ingredients we receive via donations are checked regularly and since our cooks always eat with us you will never find them serving a bad dish that is off.

About the dinners

Why don’t you charge for your dinners?

First reason is that by using that which is already there (leftover food, leftover appliances, spare time etc) our running costs are deliberately very low. We are therefore in a unique position to avoid the capitalistic model and keep our dinners as accessible as possible. Second equally important reason is that our free dinners also free up a lot of time and money we would otherwise have to spend on all the accounting/taxes/and legal requirements that comes with making a profit.

What can I do to help?

That depends on what you like to do! Our golden rule at GZG is “if it’s not enjoyable, it’s not sustainable!” so if you are interested in cooking (or learning to cook) you should definitely join our Food Magicians team. If you are more interested in combatting food waste then we can highly recommend joining our Market Runners on Tuesday. And if you are more interested in the social aspect then the Table Managers and Clean Sweepers are the teams to join. First step is to join our Whatsapp group, then you can sign-up whenever you feel like lending a hand.

If you can’t physically join us but still wish to contribute then check out this page for ideas.

What if I have allergies?

If you have allergies or follow a specific diet, please reach out to our weekly cooks. They will let you know what you can eat and what you should leave for other to enjoy. All our dishes are always 100% plant-based and made from scratch with minimally transformed ingredients.