What to do with blemished or expired food? This restaurant is selling it.

What are the chefs at Restlos Glücklich serving today? Waste.

Food waste that is.

This Berlin restaurant is giving blemished ingredients a second chance by turning them into exquisite, mouthwatering meals.


Chef Daniel Roick holds a creation made from discarded groceries. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Restlos Glücklich (which loosely translates to "completely happy") works closely with an organic grocery store chain to procure its ingredients.

Most of the bread and produce they receive is imperfect and might otherwise languish on the shelf. And incorrect deliveries can result in accidental surplus, so the restaurant puts that to use too.


Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

From there, chefs let the ingredients inspire appetizing and inventive vegetarian dishes.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

And they serve them in the restaurant Wednesday through Saturday.


Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

There's even a three-course fine-dining option available on the weekends, where you might enjoy these bite-sized appetizers...

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

...or this delectable entree — deep-fried sesame balls in carrot sauce. Yum!

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

From end to end, the process has an eye toward conservation and sustainability.

Not only does the restaurant work to minimize food waste, workers also pick up the daily haul on bicycles.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

And their effort doesn't end with the restaurant. The staff hosts cooking classes to help kids and adults learn to cook more sustainably using ingredients they may already have.

Efforts like Restlos Glücklich highlight the moral, environmental, and economic impact of food waste.

Each year, around $1 trillion in food is wasted in production or consumption (what you scrape off your plate or leave behind in a restaurant). That's about one-third of all the food produced worldwide!

Volunteer workers sort food waste and rubbish for recycling at the Glastonbury Festival. Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images.

In the U.S. alone, each person contributes over an estimated 20 pounds of food waste per month. It's no wonder organic material is the second-most common item in our overcrowded landfills.

And all of this while millions go without. There's got to be a better way.

That's why it's important to take responsibility for our production, consumption, and waste habits.

Whether it's using exploring how your local stores handle damaged or blemished goods, cooking more with less, starting a compost pile to give organic refuse another life, or stopping in to Restlos Glucklich, we're all capable of doing something to better our community and minimize waste.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

RELATED: This fascinating comic explains why we shouldn't use some Native American designs.

Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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