On April 1, the global campaign against food waste, Feeding the 5000, is heading to Brussels to serve up a free lunch made entirely from fresh fruit and vegetables – including misshapen potatoes, wonky carrots and oversized aubergines – that would otherwise have gone to waste due their physical appearance (failing to meet strict retail specifications). In the lead up to the event, volunteers have been harvesting hundreds of kilos of “unwanted” produce from farms around Brussels.
Bringing together an alliance of organizations working on the issue of food waste – including Slow Food and Slow Food Youth Network Brussels – the event aims to raise awareness of the dramatic amount of food waste that occurs every day around the world and urge the European institutions to take action. The plan is to prepare lunch for 5000 people. The menu will include a delicious curry, along with a salad made by our friends from the Disco Soupe group. The salad will be prepared by volunteers and members of the public: peeling and chopping the huge volume of surplus fruit and vegetables, accompanied (in true Disco Soupe style) by live music, DJs and dancing!
According to the UN, roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tons — is lost or wasted. Meanwhile over 840 million people worldwide (12% of the world population) are undernourished. Given these facts, EU Food Sense (the European Parliament’s Cross-Party Sustainable Food Steering Group) and Feeding the 5000 are organizing a conference in the EU Parliament the following day. The aim of the conference – The Commission’s Imminent Food Policy: Sustainability or Standing Still? – is to engage EU politicians on this issue and provide an opportunity to identify specific solutions that could be implemented, both at the EU level and in the EU member states. The event will be opened with a speech and Q&A from the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, followed by food waste campaigner Tristram Stuart and a panel of expert speakers, including European Commission representatives.
Alongside the lunch on April 1, the Slow Food network is also organizing a number of different educational activities, as well as a live cooking demonstration on the topic of food waste with Terra Madre chef Philippe Renoux from the restaurant Orphyse Chaussette. So if you are in town, why not drop by?
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