The challenges that this social enterprise aims to address at the national and local context is the food waste issue in France. This production of food waste from restaurants, merchants, and supermarkets is an issue that can be addressed and affect both environmental waste and economic access needs.
The governmental, donor support, and citizen’s involvement (or lack of) is not present. This is because formal funding requires the respect of all official norms of hygiene, which are very strict. However, there are not many costs. The youth hostel is used free of charge and the sold dishes are bought at a fair free price for their quality.
No-Mad Kitchen was established in 2017 as an non-governmental association by two passionate cooks. Today there are 23 members, 10 of which are active members.
The principles of work that No-Mad Kitchen follows include the continuous fight against food waste by opposing the passive contribution to consumerism with respect to food. The principles of work include proposing alternative ways of consuming and producing meaningful interactions with food and community.
No-Mad Kitchen believes that effective change happens through active participation to become aware of issues, not just from discussions. Therefore, a principle of their work is to promote awareness through active participation instead of awareness campaigns.
No-Mad Kitchen is an action against food waste. The scope of their work includes the recuperation of food from local merchants and the transformation of this food into dishes during workshops and cooking in-group settings. These are all collaborative spaces that encourage the sharing of food and cooking knowledge. These meals are either shared amongst the participants or sold for a free price, which means that customers pay what they estimate to be fair and appropriate for the quality of the dish.
The objectives of No-Mad Kitchen are to act against the waste of food, primarily the everyday waste from restaurants, merchants, and supermarkets when the food is not sold within the day; and to exchange and share cooking knowledge.
The activities of No-Mad Kitchen include cooking workshops every Thursday afternoon, hosted at a youth hostel. These workshops are spaces to collaborate and share knowledge on cooking and food, while sharing free meals or preparing meals to sell for a free price. Once a month, there is a shared dinner with debates and live musical performances in a local open space. This dinner promotes the discussions of food waste, consumerism, and community.
No-Mad Kitchen opposes consumerism and fights food waste by recovering food waste and food unfit for sale. This food is still fit for consumption.
By using the free price when selling the dishes from the food waste, No-Mad Kitchen is not participating in the systematically imposed market value on a service or a product.
The target group of No-Mad Kitchen is not only people who cannot afford food. This social enterprise wants to reach anyone who wishes to change his habits of consumption and actively participate in the reuse of what is deemed food waste.
The prospective contribution for this project are the support for the issue of food waste with respect to the economic access to food and the environmental impacts of food waste, volunteering to enable the project to expand, and donors and funding to increase No-Mad Kitchen’s ability to reach more people, produce more meals, and recuperate more food waste.
The challenges of this project include the inability to use currently organic food because organic food waste is typically used for composting. Therefore, No-Mad Kitchen is limited to the food that is wasted and does not have the choice for quality.
The impact that No-Mad Kitchen has is against food waste, which has the direct impact on the waste from an environmental standpoint, as well as the social impact on those who cannot afford to eat healthy food that can benefit from the dishes created from the recuperated food.
There is also an impact on the experience of food. Encouraging the spontaneity, flexibility, and creativity required to create pleasurable dishes from recuperated foods through working as a team and facilitating a community around food.
Heloise has learned through No-Mad Kitchen that to be successful, you must participate in making change at the level that you can. This means that you must be aware of your abilities, and use them to your advantage to create meaningful social change.
On the national level, similar initiatives can be expanded and replicated through collaboration and sharing of best practices. This allows for the lessons learned to be applied elsewhere, having multiple communities benefit from social enterprises like No-Mad Kitchen. With communication and collaboration on the national level, more work can be accomplished since more social entrepreneurs can produce and share their creative practices and help one another to be more effective.
On an international level, social entrepreneurship projects as this one can be expanded and replicated for the sharing of best practices and inspire the principles of work from other countries and cultures. This promotes diversity and international collaboration and cooperation.