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Woman wandering at Reffen street food market in Copenhagen

10 of Denmark's most exciting sustainable food initiatives

Foto: Boyan Ortse - Copenhagen Media Center

We know that we shouldn't play with food, but sometimes we just can't help it. Denmark's food culture is characterised by sustainability, new thinkers and innovative ideas. Come on in and discover the future of food!

Foto: RUNI Photopop - VisitAarhus
01

Mushrooms made from coffee grounds

The Fra Grums til Gourmet association in Aarhus has found a pretty smart way to recycle old coffee grounds from local cafes: they use them to grow oyster mushrooms! These gourmet mushrooms are delivered to restaurants, sold to private individuals or used for other projects. And as well as cultivating mushrooms, the volunteer group also holds workshops and lectures on sustainability.

The Botanical Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark
Foto: Birgitte Rubæk - VisitCopenhagen
02

Busy bees

Hundreds of thousands of hardworking bees live on the roof of the Scandic Hotel Aarhus City, producing 200 kilos of fresh honey for the hotel restaurant per year. The distance from beehive to breakfast buffet couldn't be shorter! 

In Copenhagen, a social project called Bybi involves the local community in honey production, selling by-products of beekeeping and jars of lovely honey. They aim to counter the decline in bees and create a more diverse environment.

ØsterGro
Foto: Matteo Acitelli
03

A farm on the roof

There is a 600-sqm farm on the roofs of Copenhagen. You read that right: ØsterGro grows organic vegetables, fruits, herbs and edible flowers above the city, and has a greenhouse, a chicken coop (!) and several beehives. You can enjoy its produce at Gro Spiseri in a cosy greenhouse, heated by the multi-function oven in the kitchen. 

Restaurant Bæst Copenhagen
Foto: Malin Poppy Darcy Mörner / Copenhagen Media Center
04

...and a farm of ideas

A slightly different farm is the Farm of Ideas, founded by top Danish chef Christian F. Puglisi. Today the farm delivers its sustainably grown products to a number of Copenhagen restaurants and aims to stimulate dialogue between chefs and farmers with its initiatives. With vegetable boxes delivered weekly, private individuals can also get a taste of the products.

Amass
Foto: Guiseppe Liverino, Copenhagen Media Centre
05

Sustainable fine dining

In 2020, Michelin rewarded 11 Danish restaurants at the forefront of sustainable gastronomy with a new sustainability emblem, including noma, Amass, Alouette and Alchemist. They also published a list of 14 other restaurants in Denmark taking positive steps towards sustainability. 

Reffen street food market in Copenhagen
Foto: © Rolands Varsbergs
06

Sustainable street food

Sustainability is also on the agenda at street food market Reffen in the Refshaleøen area of Copenhagen. Most of the market is made from recycled materials and the stalls are built from old shipping containers. A special focus is placed on reducing food waste and energy consumption overall.

07

An app declaring war on food waste

Too Good To Go is a pioneering app from Denmark now available in numerous countries worldwide. With just a click you can order leftover meals or groceries from cafes, restaurants and supermarkets that would otherwise be thrown away. Great food at great prices, served with an environmentally-friendly touch.

08

Supermarkets that think differently

Supermarket in Denmark are getting more sustainable every day. Just two examples include  

LØS-Market, a packaging-free supermarket, which asks its customers to to bring their own containers to go shopping, and Wefood, Denmark's first supermarket to sell goods with damaged packaging, incorrect labelling or expired best-before dates donated by other supermarkets or companies. 

Bier der dänischen Brauerei Bryghuset Møn
Foto: Markus Spiske
09

Green packaging

Nine out of 10 beverage bottles and cans in Denmark are brought back and reused in a nation-wide deposit system where we get money back if we return our bottles and cans to supermarket recycling facilities. There's more: in 2019 Carlsberg released the world's first sustainable beer bottle, made from sustainably-sourced wood fibers and is completely recyclable. We say skål to that!

A cricket
Foto: Wolfgang Hasselmann - Unsplash
10

The food of the future

BuggingDenmark's mission is to introduce edible insects as an integral part of our food culture and future food production. The insects are bred in Denmark's first urban insect farm in northwest Copenhagen. Are you ready to see crickets make a leap on to your dinner plate? 

Denmark's organic restaurant app

If you want to find organic restaurants, cafés and hotels in Denmark, along with a little information about Denmark's organic certificate, the Bio-Local app is a great place to start.

Bio-Local app in the Play Store

Bio-Local app in the App Store

Let's go even greener

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ØsterGro
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