The “Landfill Lunch” was designed to emphasize the importance of agriculture as an often overlooked aspect of climate change.
Food waste is a big concern in many areas of the world. In the United States, for example, it is estimated that nearly 40% of the food purchased and prepared is discarded. This travesty exists even when 795 million people still go to bed hungry each night.
To discuss the issue and collaborate on potential solutions to ease the crisis, thirty world leaders met at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit and received an extraordinary – yet fitting – lunch to go along with the theme of hunger and climate change.
Former White House Chef Sam Kass and fellow Chef Dan Barber prepared the delectable lunch which featured everything from a salad made from vegetable scraps and veggie burgers made from leftover pulp from juicing, to a “cocoa husk custard” dessert created with parts of the cocoa bean normally discarded when making chocolate.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, French President Francois Hollande, and Peruvian President Ollanta Humala were among 30 leaders Sunday who dined on the innovative and eco-conscious fare.
“Food production and agriculture contribute as much to climate change as transportation,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters at lunch. He said the dinner conversation revolved around ideas to fix climate change and poverty. As TrueActivist has reported before, a vegetarian and/or vegan diet is much more sustainable for the environment than a high meat and dairy diet, mainly due to the amount of water needed to produce grains to feed livestock vs people.
Disgustingly, about one-third of the food produced worldwide is discarded – some of it simply because it doesn’t look good on store shelves or on a restaurant’s plates. Furthermore, that wasted food ends up in landfills where it produces greenhouse gases and contributes to climate change. It is not only better for the populace to utilize all food produced – regardless of its aesthetic appeal, it is better for the environment.
Ban said the consensus among diners was that the UN must “strengthen resilience to climate impacts, with a focus on the poorest and most vulnerable.”
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