Consumers are being urged to use their imagination and create recipes from food that would otherwise go to waste, as part of a campaign to raise money to tackle global hunger. The World Food Programme has launched a social media movement, #RecipeforDisaster, with the aim of making the public more conscious of the food waste they generate. It is hoped the initiative, which is being launched in Britain first before being rolled out globally, will encourage people to share recipes online and make a donation. Although there is enough food in the world to go around, one-third of the 4 billion tonnes produced each year is wasted, costing the global economy nearly $750bn (£530bn) annually.
A recent study found that no African country is likely to reach the UN target of ending childhood malnutrition by 2030 and that malnutrition indicators remained “persistently high” across the length of the Sahel, with 14 countries affected. “If we can tackle the problem of food waste, we could feed 9 billion people every day,” said Corinne Woods of the WFP. “In developing countries, the majority of food is wasted in storage and production, which WFP is helping to address with new technologies and community education. However, in the developed world most food is lost on the plate. Recipe for Disaster aims to confront this issue and get people to take action by creating a meal and making a donation.” On a typical day, the WFP has 5,000 trucks, 20 ships and 70 planes on the move, delivering food and other assistance to those most in most need. Every year, it distributes approximately 12.6bn food rations.
The campaign encourages consumers to check for food close to its best-before date that is still edible. Despite concerted efforts to reduce food waste through the entire supply chain, the British government’s waste advisory body, Wrap, says £13bn-worth of edible food is thrown out in the UK every year. With consumers often unaware of the difference between a use-by and a best-before date, Wrap is overseeing a major simplification of labelling.
Credit: Rebecca Smithers for The Guardian, 12 April 2018.