Conscious Food Consumption at Berlin’s Restlos Glücklich

From by Allyn Rosenberger
Conscious Food Consumption at Berlin’s Restlos Glücklich

Restlos Glücklich, which translates to "Completely Happy" in English, is an organization that encourages the conscious consumption of food by emphasizing appreciation of food. To achieve this mission, they have adopted a multidisciplinary approach, offering educational projects and cooking classes in addition to operating a small restaurant in Berlin, Germany, where they are based.

Throughout all of their activities, Restlos Glücklich focuses on fostering an awareness of how food is an indispensable, important resource deserving of conscious use. For example, they often offer classes and workshops to students with the intent of nurturing positive relationships between children and food.

Their adult classes take a more practical focus, providing strategies for meal planning and food waste reduction in the home. They also focus on the difference between best-by and use-by dates to prevent individuals from discarding safe, edible food. In addition, last winter, they offered a class on sustainable agriculture. With new equipment and techniques, agriculture in Germany and Europe is becoming increasingly industrial. The class educated participants on this shift and fostered discussion on how to advocate for legislation supporting more sustainable practices.

In an interview with Paste Magazine, Restlos Glücklich co-founder Leoni Beckmann explained, “In Germany, there’s around 13 million tons of food waste every year. We thought, that’s way too much—what can we do to prevent this? We need to find a delicious way to show people what they’re actually throwing out.”

Restlos Glücklich’s cooking classes try to further advance their mission of fostering food appreciation, for each incorporates a trip to local farms. The organization firmly believes in the importance of understanding a food’s source, a value their restaurant also embodies. Their small restaurant, operated primarily by volunteers, receives the majority of their produce from local supermarkets, whole sellers, and farmers. They acquire products that these sources can no longer sell for reasons such as taking away storage space, possessing an unappealing shape, or displaying damaged packaging.