Waste Cooking,' Dumpster Diving Reality Show In Austria, Transforms Trash Into Delicious Dishes (VIDEO)

01/11/2013 11:58 am ET

Dumpster diving may seem like a cringeworthy practice to some, but it's nonetheless gained popularity across the world. In Austria, it's inspired a recent reality television program, "Waste Cooking," in which impressive culinary feats are performed with food salvaged from waste bins.

On the show's website, director David Gross writes in German that he was shocked by the level of food waste he found on his first dive in January of 2012. NPR translates: "Although I was prepared for large amounts, the amount of waste left me speechless."

Many episodes of "Waste Cooking" begin with a group of bike-riding divers going off in search of trash cans marked for organic waste. (Austria has required separate collection of organic waste since 1995.)

They later present their finds to food blogger and cooking instructor Tobias Judmaier, who whips them up into tempting dishes in a kitchen set up in a pedestrian area. Passersby are encouraged to take a bite.

Episodes first went online in March of 2011, and in December were picked up by community TV station Okto in Vienna.

Dumpster diving has gained popularity in recent years as food waste becomes an increasingly troubling problem -- a recent study determined that nearly half of all food in the U.S. is thrown away annually.

Watch the pilot below:

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