10 of Denmark's most exciting sustainable food initiatives
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!
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.
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.
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.
...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.
Sustainable fine dining
The flagship restaurant of the Ark Collection, this 100% vegan restaurant was awarded a Green Michelin star in both 2021 and 2022, amongst many other accolades. Delicious and thoughtful food – not to be missed. Be sure to try their other restaurants, like the newly opened Souls in Carlsberg Byen.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
Find your closest organic eatery
If you want to find organic restaurants, cafés and hotels or hidden gems in Denmark, look no further than this handy website (and map!)