Home-cooked meals that fight food waste

The scent is hardly surprising, once you learn that over 8 million Kg (yes, that’s 8,000 tonnes) of “home-cooked” meals are prepared here over the course of a single year.

Codfish being prepared in Pingo Doce's central kitchen

The 180 people working in this kitchen only produce hearty homemade food using only fresh produce, with no colorants or preservatives.

The whole outfit works like clockwork: orange, cabbage or courgettes, that look ugly and were previously left in the field are now recovered to become practical, sliced, ready-to-eat fruit or salad solutions.

It is in the food waste department that the Central Kitchen has made a real difference: fresh produce like fruits and vegetables are procured directly from farmers around the region, using products that would fail EU normalization tests, thus would never be sold in retail, becoming instant waste for the farmers.

This guarantees maximum produce freshness while helping the farmers to value their produce that otherwise would have gone to the bin.

Furthermore, €30,000.00-worth of ready-meals are donated directly to the various charitable organisations in the Lisbon area, supporting the surrounding communities near Odivelas.


Kitchen from the future

The Odivelas central kitchen is equipped with state-of-the-art technology (get ready for the complex set of features): automated systems for water cleaning using enzymes into waste water (allowing water savings of 20%), motion sensors and LED lighting or closed-circuit steam production and water heating through a heat exchange system.

Even the packaging of the raw materials used to make the dishes has been replaced. When switching small olive oil containers for big tonne deposits, around 12 tonnes of plastic waste per year was saved.

Makes you wish you had your own football field to install a kitchen, doesn’t it?