It was only a few months ago that John Oliver highlighted the huge issue of food waste and how it impacts our society, economy and the health of our world. Throughout this particular segment, Oliver explored the systemic problem in pointing out the issues with misleading expiration dates, aesthetic standards and grocery store politics. It’s a problem that exists on a grand scale, and according to Mashable, the United Nations did its part to raise awareness of the global food waste issue by serving world leaders a lunch consisting of trash.
UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon was joined by 30 leaders from across the globe for what is being referred to as the “Landfill Lunch.” Speaking on the matter, Ki-moon explained the importance of this lunch and how the massive food waste problem contributes to climate change:
Our lunch was produced from food that would otherwise end up in landfills, emitting methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Food production and agriculture contribute as much to climate change as transportation. Yet, more than a third of all food produced worldwide — over 1 billion tons of edible food each year — goes to waste. That is shameful when so many people suffer from hunger.
Sunday’s vegetarian menu — because, seriously, we’re aren’t going to eat expired meat no matter how good it looks — was put together by renowned chef and anti food waste advocate, Dan Barber along with former White House chef Sam Kass. The meals featured on the roster for the day included a “Landfill Salad” which was “made from unwanted vegetable scraps and chickpea water,” a veggie burger that was “made with leftover pulp from juicing,” and french fries that were made up of corn which would normally be used as farm animal feed.
This Paris summit should “strengthen resilience to climate impacts, with a focus on the poorest and most vulnerable” which is a move in the right direction.