‘Fixing Food Waste: What does it take?’ was the theme that UN Environment chose to unite 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 9-18 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.
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 suit. The participants got a real picture of the lively concept from the brief showing of the documentary film ‘Theater of Life’, which followed Bottura’s work.
UN experts, including those for the environment, climate and agriculture, as well as industry representatives, attended the panel discussion held afterwards. Jennifer McLean, chief operating officer of City Harvest, a New York food bank, was also present.
Jablonowski spoke of how the loss and waste of food translates into massive consumption of resources in his concluding keynote speech.
Throughout the HLPF, participants gained 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.