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Roy Graber, staff reporter for WATTAgNet, combines his Midwestern farming background with his knowledge of economics and agriculture policy to offer a deeper look at the poultry and pig industries.
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A gold-medal winning effort to cut food waste

Olympic Food Waste

Chefs create program that will take food from Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games that might have been wasted and feed those in need

July 12, 2016

A continuing concern among those in the agriculture industry is how to produce enough food to feed a growing global population.

Numerous companies – whether their main focus is poultry production, pork production, livestock feed or animal health – have stated their commitments to help meet the growing demand for food.

However, of equal concern is how we can utilize the food that has been produced to minimize food waste and make things better for those who are hungry and malnourished. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, one third of all cultivated soils produce food that will never be eaten. That’s a pretty shocking statistic.

Wasting food is something we’re all guilty of to some extent in our homes, but I think restaurants, food service outlets and special events where food is sold or served are where it can be seen the most. Luckily, some are aware of the problem and are making efforts to make a change.

According to a news release from the FAO, such an effort will be made at the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva and other officials recently heard a presentation on the Reffetto-Rio project.

Reffetto-Rio project to make good use of Olympic food waste

Under the Reffetto-Rio project, surplus food from the Olympic Village during the Olympic games will be recovered and turned into nutritious meals for distribution to the neediest. At the same time, cooking and nutrition classes will be given for the benefit those in need. There will be 45 chefs from across the world participating, and volunteers are invited to also take part.

The project was envisioned by Massimo Bottura, an internationally known chef and founder of Food for Soul, and David Hertz, a chef who founded the Gastromotiva non-profit organization.

The idea drew praise from the director-general, and deservedly so. While the Olympics are fun to watch and there is a sense of pride when your country has the fastest sprinter or the most skilled gymnast, the games are also a good way to bring people from across the globe together in a peaceful manner to promote doing well for all of humankind. Making sure your fellow humans don’t go hungry is an ideal way to do so.

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