Asylum centers in Denmark are located far away from major cities, social networks and urban conveniences. To cover food expenses, personal hygiene articles, public transportation and other essential amenities, asylum seekers receive a maximum basic allowance of 54.04 DKK/day (approx. 7 €/day).1
In contrast, and according to Eurostat’s 2010 & 2011 surveys, Denmark is ranked as Europe’s most expensive country in terms of costs of food and non-alcoholic beverages.2 Also public transportation costs rank among the highest in Europe at 23 DKK (3.10 €) for a single standard fare.
While the gross discrepancy, between the cost of living and the basic daily allowance that asylum seekers receive, can be endured for shorter periods, the average waiting time for processing applications is 3 years with several applicants waiting more than a decade.3
There is no information on the consequences of asylum seekers’ poor nutritional intake or their inability to obtain a sufficiently healthy and diversified diet on the current basic allowance. The only legal means for asylum seekers to obtain a sufficiently healthy and varied diet is therefore to forage for wild food.
In response opensourcefood invites you and your friends to create field guides for foraging some of the most common wild plants near asylum centers in Denmark.
Opensourcefood was initiated by André Amtoft (DK/US) and Arendse Krabbe (DK/FR) in 2010. Both work within various collaborative and interdisciplinary constellations. They engage a wide variety of media and often take a conceptual and educational approach to sociologically informed themes. André is graduate of the Department of Sociology at the University of Copenhagen and from Malmö Art Academy Critical Studies Program. Arendse received her MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths and an MFA at the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Copenhagen.
- Danish Immigration Service, The ministry of refugees, immigration and integration affairs. http://www.nyidanmark.dk/en-us/
- Kurkowiak, B. “Price levels for food, beverages and tobacco across the European market differ significantly.” Eurostat statistics in focus 30/2010. Eurostat News Release 94/2010 Price levels of food range from one to two among member states. June 28, 2010.
Eurostat pocketbooks: “Food: from farm to fork statistics,” European Commission 2011 edition ISBN 978-92-79-20239-1
- Christensen, E. & Andersen, K. V. “Livsvilkår for born med families på danske asylcentre.” Rapport (2006:26). National Centre for Social Research (SFI). Roure, M. “Draft Report of the Committee on Civil liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on the delegation to Denmark.” DV\731861EN.doc. European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, 2009. Hallas, P., Hansen, A.R, Stæhr M.A., Munk-Andersen, E & Jørgensen, H. L. “Opholdstiden I asylcentre og psykisk sygdom hos asylansøgere – sekundærpublikation” in Journal of The Danish Medical Association 170/11. 10. MARTS 2008