A little while ago, we got the opportunity to speak with one of the board members of a MAD organization: Conscious Kitchen. This organization aims to promote a conscious and sustainable living. They do so by organizing weekly dinners in The Hague and Leiden with leftover food. During our meeting, we sat down with Anu, who told us more about the initiative.
What is Conscious Kitchen?
‘At the Conscious Kitchen, we organize weekly dinners to promote community, conscious living and sustainability. We aim to bring people together over food, and in doing so create awareness about food waste and show how to cook with any fruits and veggies given to you and how good plant-based food can be. We make sure that all our dinners are produced in a sustainable way, either by using food from local markets that would otherwise be wasted, or by sourcing it from local and organic producers.’
How did Conscious Kitchen start?
‘I was living in The Hague and I noticed that a group of students were rescuing food and cooking meals for the local community. I thought that was a very interesting initiative, so I joined. I like cooking. However, after a few months this group stopped, because it was far too much for them. I thought it would be a shame if this initiative was dropped. So, I teamed up with another guy and we tried to keep it going. After a while, more and more people became enthusiastic and our organizing team was growing. Since then, we have been organizing weekly dinners.’
How does Conscious Kitchen make a difference?
‘We are a nonprofit and we try to make a difference in three ways. Sustainability, community and conscious living. They speak for themselves except for conscious living. That is more about raising awareness. We aim to be an inspiring organization where people can learn about new things or see how things can be done differently when it comes to a more conscious lifestyle. One of the ways we make a difference is the community aspect. We bring people together and a lot of people find their sense of belonging here. There are so many internationals and people living in their own bubbles. Conscious Kitchen connects all these people. We do that by rescuing fruit and vegetables and on a weekly base, we make delicious vegan meals out of that. We charge 6 euros per meal. During those dinners, new connections and friendships are being born.’
How do you spread the goals of the organization?
‘Every week, we start our dinners with a pitch about why we are doing this. After the pitch, we start eating and on the table, we discuss different topics of conscious living. Nowadays, we have around 80 people joining our dinners, so during those dinners we reach quite some people. Every week, we have also new people coming since we have started this initiative. It is amazing to see new faces every dinner. People usually see it on facebook or they hear it from acquaintances. We do not distribute flyers. We are only active online and somehow everyone knows about it. I guess it is the whole social thing.’ Want to get involved? Every week, Conscious Kitchen organizes dinners made from rescued fruits and vegetables in The Hague. Everyone can get involved in the creation of the event. You can volunteer to help them pick up food, cook, serve or clean. If you are unable to donate your time, you can also donate some money to support the dinners and make sure they continue. You can check out their website for more info: https://www.consciouskitchen.nl/