Favela da Babilônia, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

/ Case idea:

Service based on total use of vegetables and fruits  (including skin/peels, generally considered as waste) to prepare buffets, teach how to cook and to create home gardens.

/ Context:

Regina Tchelly cooks since she was 15 years-old. Eleven years ago, she decided to leave Paraíba, northeast of Brazil, to live in Rio de Janeiro, looking for better conditions of work. Her dream was always to become a restaurant chef. When she arrived in Rio, she went to live in the favela da Babilônia, south zone of the city. She started to work as a house cleaner. With the money she saved, she decided to start her own project.

/ Summary of the initiative:

It avoids food wasting and motives the creation of gardens at home, which is interesting for people planting and eating their own produce. The goals of the initiative are:

  • To teach people how to cook using all parts of vegetables and fruits (especially their skin, which is the most nutritional part);
  • To sell dishes produced with the total use of vegetables, which results in unusual recipes (as sweets made of banana skin);
  • To offer workshops in the clients’ own home or company, teaching them how to create gardens in small spaces (permaculture).

/ Collaborative value:

Favela Orgânica represents a system of collaborative connections. Local fair marketers give Regina the rests of vegetables and fruits that were not sold; the local community (especially women) that helps her to prepare buffets and workshops, and the external supporters, as the Slow Food Rio de Janeiro and the Agência de Redes para Juventude, who gave it resources to strength and advertise its services. Favela Orgânica is based on trustful relations among those actors, and Regina Tchelly, with all her effort to make her project succeed, is the main actor, whose personal reputation advertises its services outside the favela.

/ More:

Favela Orgânica (case description document)
Favela Orgânica (presentation/images)