Matt Homewood on Dumpster Diving to Stop Supermarket Food Waste
Matt is a dumpster diver. He posts photos of what he finds on social media to raise awareness about supermarket food waste. His activism is working.
How can you use social media to take a stand? In today's age, we're increasingly seeing examples of groups banding together on the internet to raise awareness and take action, from finance to politics and now, food waste. Matt Homewood is one of these social media activists.
Denmark’s supermarkets alone throw away 163,000 tons of food every year. But this is not an isolated incident, it’s happening all over the world. In response to this, urban harvesters or dumpster divers have taken a stand, rescuing foods from the bin. Matt is taking this a step further. He publishes his finds on social media, bringing the food waste to the virtual doorstep of CEOs. Listen in as we explore solutions for how supermarkets’ can tackle food waste and how ordinary citizens are taking a stand.
Analisa Winther, Nordic FoodTech Podcast Host 3:23
I'd love to start with how you ended up in the Nordics and just give us a little bit of backstory of how you ended up being in Denmark?
Matt Homewood, An Urban Harvester 3:33
Okay, well actually, the reason why I've ended up in Denmark was because I initially moved to Sweden. But I'll start further back. I grew up in London, to French and English parents. Just a normal upbringing in London. But I watched a lot of wildlife documentaries, which kind of inspired me to learn more about nature. And in between school and university, I traveled a lot and I went to a lot of wild places. And that kind of inspired me to go on to study zoology in Edinburgh, Scotland. And they have the American style system where it's a four-year degree and your third year you often spend abroad. And that's when I went to Sweden to a town called Uppsala, which actually isn't a town. It's the fifth largest city. But I had a great time there. It really opened my eyes to the region of Scandinavia. And during that year we had a quick visit to Copenhagen to visit some other friends who were also on exchange, and it was a great city. Bicycles everywhere. A slightly slower pace of life compared to Britain. And so, when I finished my Bachelor degree, it's a complex world. So, I realized that I wanted to study more about the issues we're facing. And that's what brought me to Copenhagen to study climate change. So, that's how I've ended up in Denmark and that was five and a half years ago. So, time really has flown by.
Analisa Winther, Nordic FoodTech Podcast Host 4:57
Okay, so then you came to Copenhagen and now you're pretty much well known for this thing called urban harvesting. So, can you tell us what that is?