With the holiday season coming up and Filipinos being notorious for always having so much food on their tables that a lot of it goes to waste, a recent event in Thailand is a timely reminder on moderation.
Prominent chefs from Thailand and Australia recently cooked free meals in Bangkok using ingredients usually discarded to promote awareness of food waste. The event, “Think.Eat.Save,” was organized by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and OzHarvest in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to halve global food waste along production and supply chains by 2030.
The celebrity chefs included Duangporn “Bo” Songvisava, Dylan “Lan” Jones, Chris Miller and Australian OzHarvest “Chef for a Cause” Travis Harvey, who opened early this year Australia’s first-ever food waste pop-up café, with a lunch menu that uses surplus produce saved from landfill or sourced from local farmers and suppliers.
The “Think.Eat.Save” campaign was launched by UNEP, the Food and Agriculture Organization and partners “to change the culture of food waste which results in 1.3 billion tons of food wasted globally each year, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. The total carbon footprint of food produced but not eaten is 3.3 Gt of carbon dioxide equivalent.”
In Asia Pacific, about 20 to 40 percent of food is lost or wasted along the supply chain—lost in transit between rural production areas and urban consumers due to bad roads, hot and humid weather conditions and poor packaging.
Ronni Kahn, founder and chief executive officer of OzHarvest, warned that, if governments, businesses and individuals do not act now, the food systems would be in danger. “We know that by 2050, the global population will exceed 9 billion people. For future generations, we need to make positive and conscious food choices in order to provide food security for all,” Kahn said.
She added, “Most importantly, we need to share knowledge so that, together, countries can unite and find a solution to food loss and waste and to tackle climate change not as individual nations, but as a global community.”
Apple cider vinegar
Chito Fabicon, procurement officer of JIA2, exclusive distributor in the Philippines of Bragg products, allays fears that there is something sinister about the disappearance of Bragg apple cider vinegar from grocery shelves. Fabicon was reacting to an item in this section in which a reader wondered if rumors were true that certain interest groups barred the sale of the vinegar.
A reader complained that she could no longer buy in supermarkets and groceries the vinegar which she used for medicinal purposes. She said there were rumors that certain medical groups were behind the product’s disappearance because people were using it to prevent ailments.
Fabicon gave two major reasons for the limited supply of the vinegar: the drought and inclement weather in the United States West Coast, where Bragg organic apples are harvested, had significantly reduced production; and the demand for the vinegar had risen dramatically in both United States and international markets, such that many orders remained unfilled.
He said Bragg had addressed the shortage issue by sourcing organic apples from other parts of the United States. The company also expanded its production capacity by constructing an additional facility and hiring a co-packer.
Fabicon added that shipments were on the way “that we expect to deliver to supermarkets just before Christmas.”
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