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Foodswapping spreads around the world  

Food swapping with homegrown and homemade produce is increasing. Image: Jo Ann Santangelo

A model for sharing homemade, homegrown and foraged food has spread all over the globe after beginning in the USA five years ago. 

Kate Payne co-founded Foodswapnetwork.com in 2011 after helping organise a food swap model in Brooklyn, New York, in 2010. She created the site to explain more about the model: to help prospective swappers find swaps near them, for prospective hosts to find the information they need to establish new swaps, and to enable an ever-growing community of food swappers to share information with each other.

Kate and her team define a food swap as a recurring event where members of a community share homemade, homegrown or foraged food with each other. Swaps allow direct exchanges to take place between attendees – a loaf of bread can be swapped for half a dozen eggs or a jar or jam for example – as well as usually including a ‘potluck’ shared meal.

Food swapping includes 'pot luck' shared meals. Image: Jo Ann Santangelo

Many events take place with around 10-15 attendees, but some host as many as 40. Since 2011, events based around Kate and co’s model have taken place in people’s homes, community centres, businesses, farmers’ markets, schools, community gardens, faith communities and even food banks.

Kate, Foodswapnetwork.com co-founder, said: “Food swapping using this centralised model is sweeping the world thanks to the DIY and real food movements embraced over the last five years. Food swaps are ways for food-loving community members to get to know each other, share homemade and homegrown goods and participate in the sharing economy.”

She added that food swapping is a good way to diversify your diet as well as meet members of the food community where you live. The website offers a downloadable DIY Food Swap Toolkit for people who wish to establish a new food swap in their community.


By Lucy Purdylucy.purdy@recycleopedia.com


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