Crossing the Atlantic – to make a point

Last week I got a chance to meet Baptiste Dubanchet, a fellow food waste activist, whom I had known virtually for three years.

Back in 2014, Baptiste was making a name for himself having just pedaled from Paris to Warsaw eating only food from the dumpster. His goal was to highlight that we all throw away food, and that this problem stretches across all borders.

To be honest, the circumstances in which I met him this time were similarly unreal. He had just spent about three months in the Atlantic Ocean, having pedaled from Paris to Morocco, and then left Africa for the Caribbean. He is now continuing the journey by cycling from Miami to New York City, with a stopover in DC.

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His arrival fell on the Halloween weekend, a time when the capital is a bit more crazy than usual. There were little monsters and princesses ringing doorbells, masked youth riding the streets, and countless homes with decorations, that kept the street sparkling.

New frontiers

During the layover, we made time for dumpster diving, conducting a small interview session, presenting to a group of students about the voyage, exploring the landmarks of the city, and of course, cooking and eating lots of food.

The most interesting moments were captured on camera to be shared with you. Specifically, we have the interview session, the presentation at the elementary school, and the footage of his search for edible goods.

The interview 

After giving Baptiste a few days to recuperate his bearings, I sat down with him to pick his brain about what it takes to embark on such a journey. As well as, the mission that energized and kept him going, despite the difficulties and hardships he encountered.

1| How do you choose what to eat?

2| Why did you cross the Atlantic?

3| When did you notice the problem?

4| How can freeze-drying stop waste?

5| How does this work?

6| What were your fears for the road?

7| How will this impact the food waste movement?

8| How have you changed?

9| What’s next?

And a little bit extra, for laughs and entertainment:

 

School presentation

One bright morning, we had to wake up super early to make it to an 8am morning meeting, where Baptiste got to present his story to the students at the Friendship Tech Prep Academy. The students had a lot of interesting questions!

We covered topics such as:

– How he pedaled across the ocean.
– The parts of the world he traveled.
– The thoughts he had on the journey.
– What he consumed.
– The moment that sparked his idea.
– The economy of food waste.
– Stakeholders of the food supply chain.
– A highlight from his travels.
– And the next stops on his trip.

Many thanks to Coy McKinney who helped arrange this! Coy teaches urban farming at this school. He also runs a community garden, where kids can grow and try fresh food.

Looking through dumpsters 

On the night we chose to go dumpster diving, it was raining. We didn’t stay long, max 15 min., but we found a good amount of food without searching too much.

Baptiste now has fruits and baked goods to fuel his journey to New York.

Best of luck!
Hokuma

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