Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Food Waste : Writing On The Wall Just Got Bigger

This week began with some exciting news :the UN just fed some world leaders trash and that it was great.


Ok, here is how it happened: In New York, Ban-ki-Moon , the UN Secretary General, hosted for 30 of his guests  - comprising presidents, prime ministers and royals - a lunch that was made of  food waste.

In plain words, each dish of each course on the menu - from appetizer to dessert - was made of material that was considered waste and would have ended in a trash bin.

The salad on the lunch was made from unwanted vegetable scraps, stalks and outer leaves salvaged from the waste of big food producers.

There were burgers and fries and these were made of thrown away vegetables including ends of cucumber thrown out by pickle makers. They also used 'cow corn' - corn that are considered too hard for human consumption and so are fed to cows instead.

That is not all. The bread on the lunch table was baked from
grain mash left over from brewing and distilling process.  And last but not least, the dessert - a custard - was made from outer shell of cocoa bean and the dried skin - waste materials from the coffee makers.

As I read these details, I was shocked and amazed at the same time. A series of images passed before my eyes: some of world's most powerful - and resourceful - people, who could (and usually do) have the world's finest food ever, having food made from trash and scraps. And why did they do it? To drive home the point: food waste creates more hunger, more poverty and ultimately, contributes to climate change and each one of us can do something to stop this.

This is the most courageous and loudest anti-food waste statement I have ever heard. I am a bit curious though of what kind conversation happened at that lunch.

Did they just talk the world's problems, or were there also smiles as the dishes were served?

Did any of them crack a joke and did others  respond in laud laughter?

Maybe yes, or, maybe not. But here is another campaign against food waste from the world's richest city (which also has a very high rate of daily food waste) that will definitely make you smile. It's a 2014 video made by the Singapore Environmental Council  which packs a serious message with a punch of humor.

 The video may very well have been made for Singaporeans , but it has relevance across the world because food waste is happening in all countries and communities.

(Don't believe me? Just look around your own family members and friends at lunch/dinner and see how many ACTUALLY finish their food? ).

Food waste is an environmental problem, but it is rooted in our own behavior.  So, if this problem has to solve, we have to change. That's the tough part.

The good news is,  the writing on the wall is getting bolder and bigger : food waste is NOT cool, but stopping it certainly is.

So, lets be cool!  Lets leave that plate of food clean. And, as the leaders are saying, lets rethink and reuse! Maybe throw a fun Sunday lunch Ban ki Moon style. That's going to be super cool too!

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