Skiplink Navigation

Main Features

World Food Day Our lunchtime leftovers

While people are starving elsewhere, food gets tossed by the tonne in Switzerland. In observation of World Food Day, held every October 16, has been keeping an eye on the food thrown out in the in-house cafeteria.

According to the Swiss association foodwaste.chexternal link, about a third of all food produced in Switzerland gets lost or wasted somewhere between the field and the plate. This adds up to about two million tonnes of foodstuffs per year.

Photographer Thomas Kern has been snapping pictures of the leftovers from the restaurant at the headquarters of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation in Bern. Bircher muesli, vegetables, rösti, meat – there’s usually a bit of everything. What happens to all this food?

It used to be quite simple; restaurant leftovers were fed to the pigs via the slop bucket. However, this practice was banned in Switzerland some years ago for fear of animal diseases. ZFV, the operator of the canteenexternal link at, collects the waste so that it can be converted into green electricity and biodiesel.

“We are a founding member of the United Against Waste Associationexternal link, which actively supports the reduction of food waste in the catering trade,” ZFV told

Concrete measures include using vegetable peelings or unsold bread to make bouillon or croutons, and offering small portions of the daily specials.

(Photos: Thomas Kern, text: Sibilla Bondolfi)

Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line

SWI on Instagram

SWI on Instagram

SWI on Instagram

subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.

Click here to see more newsletters