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FOOD

Fight against food waste, Massimo Bottura appointed new UN ambassador

Awarded the social commitment that the three Michelin-starred chef has been carrying on for years with his project against food waste
food waste, MAssimo Bottura, News
Massimo Bottura appointed new UN ambassador against food waste

On the occasion of the “International Day of Food Loss and Waste Awareness” the new recognition for Massimo Bottura has arrived and he has been appointed “Goodwill Ambassador” by the UN as part of the Environment Programme (Unep). For the three Michelin-starred chef (elected number 1 in the world in 2019 by the weekly magazine “Time”) who with his Osteria Francescana has brought contemporary Italian cuisine to the forefront of the world, there is a new medal to pin on his chest. Bottura has long been proving to be sensitive to the theme of the fight against waste and social isolation. Evidence of this are his projects such as “Food for Soul”, the non-profit organization founded with his wife Lara Gilmore (a project for which he was recently awarded the prestigious Compasso d'Oro award, signed by Adi-Associazione for Industrial Design), or “Kitchen Quarantine”, an idea born during the lockdown to infuse, through the values of food, a message of positivity in a particularly difficult moment.
“If we can use all the ingredients to their full potential - said Bottura - we reduce the amount of waste we are generating and we will do better shopping. In my new role as Unep Goodwill Ambassador, I will fight to reduce this global shame". On the other hand, there is still much to improve: 800,000 people in the world suffer from hunger every day with waste that is harmful to biodiversity and the environment without forgetting the repercussions on individual finances. Just today, the Minister of Agriculture Teresa Bellanova recalled that "food waste costs 80 euros per family”.
Bottura stressed that we all need to start asking and understanding where our food comes from, intervening to preserve memories and food techniques that can help us innovate the future and be careful not to repeat consumption practices and behaviors that have challenged the system today. The act of cooking, in the vision of the Italian chef, must become an ethical choice, not just a matter of taste.
The global numbers are a cry of alarm calling for an immediate change of course: it is estimated that about one third of all the food produced - 1.3 billion tons - is wasted or lost every year. 14% of global food, and up to 40% in some markets, deteriorates before it even reaches retailers due to market connection problems and lack of sustainable cold chains. A problem also in Europe, in the Old Continent food waste costs about 143 million euros per year, 12% comes from the catering sector. A situation that has environmental repercussions (contributing to 8% of greenhouse gas emissions) but also economic.

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