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Turning Olympic food waste into nutritious meals for the needy

July 8, 2016

Turning Olympic food waste into nutritious meals for the needy

08 July 2016, Rome-Every year around one-third of worldwide food production is wasted or lost around the globe, entailing the simultaneous loss of all the resources - water, soil, agricultural inputs, feed - that went into its production.

The environmental impact of food loss and waste is enormous: A recent FAO study calculated that global food waste would, if calculated as a country, be the world's third-largest greenhouse gas emitter. Meanwhile, a third of all cultivated soils produce food that will never be eaten.

The good news is that initiatives to combat this trend are proliferating at the global level. Among these is the "Reffetto-Rio" project, an initiative presented in Rome today in the presence of Director-General José Graziano da Silva and Maurizio Martina, Italy's minister of agricultural policies.

Thanks to the "Reffetto-Rio" project, surplus food from the Olympic Village during the Olympic Games about to commence in Rio de Janeiro will be recovered and turned into nutritious meals for distribution to the neediest. At the same time, cooking and nutrition classes will be given for the benefit of youth and those in difficulty. Volunteers have been invited to participate alongside 45 chefs from around the world in this project.

The initiative was conceived by Massimo Bottura, an internationally-renowned chef and founder of "Food for Soul", along with David Hertz, a chief and founder of the "Gastromotiva" non-profit organization. Both chefs were present at today's event.

Read more at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States website.

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