New European Bauhaus
EIT Community Initiative
Supports are subject to the following rules:
- You can support up to 2 projects.
Adopt the Ugly Foodling (Oulu, Finland)
Adopt the Ugly Foodling action aims at reducing food waste by co-creating ideas for consumers and other food chain stakeholders. Ugly Foodling is food that is still edible, but, because it does not look good, it ends to the waste bin. By creating stories to evoke feelings in the citizens about the value of food and bringing together experienced consumers, who lived in times, and places where food was not abundant and respected, and younger consumers that know how to use modern technology for providing solutions, ideas for consumers, food services and the whole food chain were created. These ideas will be implemented within the framework of Oulu2026, the European Capital of Culture 2026.
Circular economy through actions sticking to the principles of the food waste hierarchy and efficient reutilisation of bio-products and bio-waste, achieving reductions in emissions and waste as well as fostering the second life of products. (Includes tech solutions on safe ‘clean packaging’, smart waste management system). (EIT Food)
Solution proposed, focus area
The main objective of the Ugly Foodling is to create awareness among young consumers about the reasons and challenges of food waste and bring them together with more experienced consumers (elderly) who spend their youth in different conditions (non-abundance of food, participation to food producing etc.). The urban young consumers will come into contact with the various food chain stakeholders, they will get to know how the food is produced and learn to respect it, find out the bond between the food and cultural identity. On the other hand, being technology natives, they can use it to co-create solutions for the first two tiers of the food waste hierarchy. During the process both the groups will find out how art and culture can be used in evoking feelings and creating experiences that can bring changes in our way of thinking and behaving, about the value that each citizen can bring to the common good, as well as about the bond between culture and food.
- Young consumers (16-25 years of age) from urban environment (City of Oulu)
- Experienced consumers (60 - 90 years of age) from rural, semi-urban (rural center) environment
- Solutions will be potentially adopted by the program for Oulu2026, The European Capital of Culture 2026.
Main activities / milestones
- Engaging the two target groups in Oulu’s educational units (Upper secondary, Universities) and in Retirement Associations in Tyrnävä.
- Creation of the Ugly Foodling stories seeking a happy end by the young consumers
- Collecting cultural based information about food habits from the experienced consumers
- Co-creation event (Makethon) to produce solutions for reducing food waste
- Plans for adoption and further development of the proposed solutions
- VTT Ltd.
- Oulu2026, the European Capital of Culture (Cultural foundation and the city of Oulu) the main actor that will further develop the solutions.
- Tyrnävä municipality
- The Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners, MTK in Tyrnävä
- Finpom Oy, food (potato) producer
- Oulu Tours Oy: food services
- The Northern Photographic Center
All of the participants of the activities learnt something new, relevant to the food chain and the ecosystem around the local food; ideas about the reduction of food waste, especially the food that is still edible, but it would otherwise go to the garbage, Through the project the following three ideas-protos were produced and presented:
- A “Don’t leave me in the cupboard” app that will help especially youngsters to prepare food based on granny’s recipes using ingredients that are available at home
- Lunch line for the “School of 2026”, in which everyone collects their own meal that fits to their taste and nutrition regime from food modules, instead of food services producing three or more meal choices every day
- A Food Chain Village, a version of Yrityskylä-concept, where students and - why not- older urban dwellers can familiarize themselves with the local food chain, and be for one day a proud food producer, a canning food industry designer, an ingenious food lab inventor, a reputable food merchant and a responsible consumer of food, using real food, real life tools, places, and concepts.
The results (including the identified challenge areas and ideas protos) will be taken further into implementation, as part of the Oulu2026 activities during the next five years.
For further information please visit the website of the city of Oulu .
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