NEW YORK, Sept 28, 2015:
About 30 world leaders attending the United Nations global summit on sustainable development agenda on Sunday must have been surprised when they were served lunch made from food waste.
“Landfill salad” was part of the lunch menu made entirely of ingredients which would have ended up in garbage bins.
The aim of the eye-opening menu was to highlight the extraordinary waste in modern diets and its role in worsening climate change.
“Our lunch was produced from food that would otherwise end up in landfills, emitting methane, a potent greenhouse gas,” UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon was quoted in a report by theHindustan Times.
“Food production and agriculture contribute as much to climate change as transportation,” Ban said.
“Yet more than a third of all food produced worldwide – over one billion tonnes of edible food each year – goes to waste. That is shameful when so many people suffer from hunger,” he was quoted as saying.
The “Landfill salad” served at the UN headquarters was made from unwanted vegetable scraps, stalks and outer leaves salvaged from the waste of big food producers, and liquid drained from a can of chickpeas.
There was a vegetable burger made of pulp left over from juicing, which typically wastes most of the produce.
The burger came with fries created from starchy corn that would typically go to animal feed – which along with biofuels is the end product of the overwhelming majority of the 36 million hectares of corn grown in the United States.
Also on the menu was the “Spent Grain Bread” that was baked from grain mash left over from brewing and distilling process, and unrefined oil extracted from squash seeds.
Major world leaders who took part in Sunday’s lunch were led by French President Francois Hollande and Peruvian President Ollanta Humala.
According to UN figures, 28% of agricultural land around the world go to produce food that is lost or wasted.
The loss each year is the equivalent of 3.3 billion tonnes of carbon responsible for climate change – which would make food waste, if it were a nation, the biggest emitter after China and the United States, the report further said.