American artist Debra Soloman was working with students at the Nanjing Arts Institute, China in 2004 to map street vendors when she realized that sky high construction was moving at mass speed where hutongs had once stood. She witnessed the former residents recycling their possessions to adapt to their new environments. When Soloman moved to Amsterdam, she used this survival technique to incorporate a successful and eco-friendly food waste recycling program. Image courtesy of Metropolis Magazine.
Basically Soloman has sought out the working class neighborhoods' food wastes in Rotterdam and creates eclectic recipes from the food she collects and sells them via the "Lucky Mi Fortune" snack truck above. Food products nearing the date of their shelf life from groceries and green markets attribute to her "super-use". Some of the favorites have been Kimchi, Pumpkin Roti, Watermelon Juice and Veggie Masala Polenta. With the help of architect Dennis Kaspuri and artist Jeanne van Heeswijk Lucky Mi Fortune Cooking has helped transform and impact neighborhoods by engaging the residents in a collaboration of this top-down process. The snack truck was designed by Rotterdam's 2012 Architecten and it is parked monthly at a local outdoor market. Soloman plans to turn the revenue-generating operation completely over to the community in June. She loves that the concept has brought together previously separated ethnic groups and how the communities have learned to optimize food flow using design.