“Fixing Food Waste: What does it take?” This was the theme that UN Environment chose to unite high-profile guests, who focused on this topic in a panel discussion on 17 June. Much attention was also given to the soup kitchen project from Massimo Bottura, an Italian Michelin star chef. Bernd Jablonowski, the Global Portfolio Director for Processing & Packaging, gave a keynote speech to provide an overview.
The event was part of the program for the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2018 from UN Environment, which discussed sustainability issues from a wide variety of different perspectives from 09 to 18 July in New York.
Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Erik Solheim opened the meeting, followed by a speech from the Italian three-star Michelin chef Massimo Bottura. Massimo Bottura worked together with partners and other chefs to found soup kitchen projects (refettorios) within the scope of the Food for Soul initiative. The kitchen projects help people in need to access high-quality meals which are made from superfluous ingredients from haute cuisine restaurants. This concept was implemented at the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, along with others. Other locations all over the world are now set to follow suite. The participants could get a real picture of the lively concept from the brief showing of the documentary film “Theater of Life”, which followed Bottura’s work.
A variety of UN experts, including those for the environment, climate and agriculture, as well as industry representatives, attended the panel discussion held afterwards. Jennifer McLean was also present. She is COO of City Harvest, a New York food bank which also takes excess food from a large food trade fair and distributes it among the needy.
Bernd Jablonowski spoke of how the loss and waste of food translates into massive consumption of resources in his concluding keynote speech. Combating this problem is an ideal starting point for promoting sustainability. To be successful in this, the powers from political, social and industrial sectors need to be combined. This is the only way to reach effective solutions.
Throughout the HLPF, participants could gain information on the work done by the SAVE FOOD initiative and other information in the Tiny House, a small structure that is energy-independent with integrated optional built-in systems for self-sufficient microagriculture.