Dubai: When a select group of people was invited to a cooking class at the Top Chef Cooking Studio in Dubai this week, the idea was to rustle up and promote some very different dishes. USP of the recipes? They were all “stop-the-waste-friendly”.
Held as part of the World Food Programme (WFP)’s #StoptheWaste campaign in the UAE, the kick-off event was addressed by UAE’s Minister of State for Food and Water Security Mariam Al Mheiri, who in a video message, said, “We make around 200 decisions every day that revolve around food. Unfortunately, one third of all that food produced globally for human consumption gets lost or wasted, and the number of people going to bed hungry every night is climbing.”
She said, “The simple fact is that if were to save all the food we waste, we could feed every undernourished person on the planet twice over.”
Pointing out that the UAE has joined forces with the WFP’s #StoptheWaste campaign to support the efforts to prevent food loss and waste, she said, “You can do you part too by simply not over-ordering food, eating everything on your plate, and reusing leftovers. Simple said, avoid putting any edible food in the bin. By collectively taking these small steps, we can make a big difference.”
Among those who attended the event were influencers Alreemsaif , Suzi Nassif, NourAldin Al Yousuf, Anthony Rahayel and Maya and Toni Shushani. They took part in cooking the “stop-the-waste-friendly” recipes and shared their experience on their social media accounts/platforms. Also present were United Nations resident coordinator in the UAE Dr Dena Assaf, International Humanitarian City CEO Giuseppe Saba and director of UNWFP in the UAE and representative to the GCC Mageed Yahia.
What is #StoptheWaste? Some facts – and stark figures
• #StopTheWaste is a movement for change launched by the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP). It aims to spotlight the global issue of food waste and highlight simple solutions we can all take to prevent it.
• Food is lost or wasted throughout the supply chain, from initial agricultural production to final household consumption. In industrialised countries, food is wasted mainly at later stages in the supply chain: near the consumer, in shops, homes and at the table. #StopTheWaste aims to confront this issue and get people to take action.
• In developing countries food losses occur mainly at early stages of the food value chain, because of undeveloped harvesting techniques, poor storage and cooling facilities. WFP is helping to address these issues through new technologies and community education.
• Globally, one-third of the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted, amounting to about 1.3 billion tons per year. The financial costs of food wastage amount to about $1 trillion each year. The goal is to reverse this and achieve Zero Hunger by 2030.
• If we could reverse current food waste trends, we could save enough food to feed 2 billion people.
• Food losses represent a waste of resources used in production such as land, water, energy and more.
• Food waste accounts for over 3 billion tons of greenhouse gas per year; if it were a country, it would be the 3rd largest producer of greenhouse gas after the US and China.
• Of the world’s arable land, 28 percent produces food that ends up in a bin rather than in a needy stomach.
• By reducing food waste, we could reduce global emissions by 8-10 percent.
• We use enough water to produce food that is wasted to fill Lake Geneva three times.