Cooking for one can be one of the most depressing things about belonging to the lonely hearts club. Enter a Swedish matchmaking site called Restdejting (roughly translated: Leftover Dating). Here, a guide to the "charming" website that pairs up people based on what's sitting in their fridges or missing from their cupboards:
How does Leftover Dating work?
Singles tell the company about up to five ingredients they have stocked in the kitchen. That info is then posted to Facebook for other Restdejting users to see. There is even a speed-dating option that allows you to select a date based on ingredients needed for a meal. For example, one ad reads, "Leftover lettuce looking for steamed crab. Meal for three? Please let me know." Another says, "Large walnut looking for strong cheese."
Sounds nutty. Who came up with this idea?
It's the brainchild of a farmers cooperative called Lantmännen. The organization is a major food supplier, with 36,000 farmer-owners and 10,000 employees. It created Restdejting to call attention to waste — a fifth of all food in Sweden ends up being thrown away. (34 million tons a year is wasted in the U.S.) Restdejting aspires to give environmentally-conscious single people a way to fight the problem by letting them find like-minded people they can share leftovers with instead of putting them in the garbage.
Does it work?
It gets results. The service has been credited with hooking up around 600 people, many of whom have been inspired by the site's suggestions for their leftovers. But Lantmännen spokeswoman Jenny Svederman says the cooperative has also reaped a publicity bonanza, calling attention to its cause. "Throwing away every fifth grocery bag we buy is a big problem for both the environment and the economy of the households. As a food company, this is an area where we can be relevant and contribute," Svederman tells the British Wired.