Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana is the best chef in the world. He’s currently using his culinary skills and prominence to throw light on the subject of food waste, preparing meals for the needy in Rio using edible food waste.
Over one billion tonnes of food (or around one third of groceries) makes its way from our plates to the bin. Massimo Bottura, owner of the world’s best restaurant, Osteria Francescana, has long worked to combat food waste, cooking meals for people in need using leftovers or food that would otherwise get thrown in the trash.
To coincide with the Olympics in Brazil, Bottura is currently cooking up a storm in Rio together with the non-profit organisation Gastromotiva and a handful of other top chefs, preparing meals for residents in the Lapa neighbourhood. Under the banner RefettoRio (‘refettorio’ being the Italian word for ‘refectory’), meals are prepared using ingredients from leftovers from the Olympic Village, supermarkets and sponsors. The idea builds off a similar project carried out as part of Expo 2015 in Milan in which Bottura and a team of chefs cooked meals for those in need using edible waste from the event.
Beyond addressing food security issues, the project also does some good for the climate.
Food Waste the Climate Killer
Many people are already aware that too much food ends up in the bin. This waste already begins in the field as food that is sellable is separated from food that is unsellable. From there, food continues to go to waste whether in the supermarket, in a restaurant or at home. The paradox is, of course, that worldwide 795 million people go hungry. Alongside this, the agricultural sector accounts for between 10 – 15 per cent of global greenhouse gases. If we add to that the CO2 footprint for processing, packaging and transport of food, it quickly becomes clear that a more responsible approach to food is not only morally required, but would also play an important role in climate protection.
Massimo Bottura’s campaign is a good way to bring attention to the need for more thoughtful treatment of food and food waste. You can find some other innovative ideas on food waste here.
Translated, in part, from this article by Laura Wagener that orignally appeared on our German-language platform.