Food for Thought

Fact: one third of our food production is wasted throughout the food chain. Instock, a restaurant based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, wants to make a contribution to reducing this amount, and offers you a good read in the mean time.                    

The Instock restaurant has no fixed menu. Instead, the chefs base their dishes upon whatever’s brought in with the ‘harvest of the day’. This ‘harvest’ is the result of a daily collection campaign, whereby an electric ‘food rescue’ car drives to Albert Heijn supermarkets in the area to collect food that would otherwise have gone to waste. Think of ‘strange’ looking vegetables, one day old bread or meat that is close to its expiration date. Products that are past their sellby date aren’t used, because of food safety regulations.


As a result, the menu of the day is always a surprise. Not just for the guests, but also for the chefs. Consequently, the chefs have to improvise every day. Visitors can check the chalkboard in the restaurant to see what’s available that day. The name ‘Instock’ is actually derived from the term ‘Instock cooking’, which means ‘the preparation of a meal by being creative with the products that one has in stock’. On average, 90 percent of Instock’s dishes consist of products that would otherwise have been thrown away.


But Instock is more than just a restaurant. There is also an Instock take-away shop and an Instock truck. The shop sells hot food, salads, sandwiches, soup, juices and pie. If the team was able to rescue the necessary ingredients, that is. The take-away meals are freshly prepared by the chefs of the Instock restaurant. Following up on the idea that we should share valuable things instead of wasting them, the shop also offers their clients the possibility to trade their books - which they won’t read again anyway - for other books from the mini
library in the Instock take-away store.

The food brigade

What once was a shiny red firefighting truck, is now a green Instock truck, which serves ‘rescued’ food throughout The Netherlands, at private events or festivals. The truck can deliver hot meals, soup, smoothies and more.