Nestlé reveals the universal recipe against food waste

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Nestlé, the global food and beverage company, warns about food waste in Romania, which can cost each family several hundred to several thousand lei annually. The campaign initiated by Nestlé Romania is supported by the Federation of Romanian Food Banks – FBAR, Horeca School and Chef Stefan Popescu.

The universal recipe is simple and accessible to anyone, and is described in the NutriPortion principle, which postulates what the ideal portions of food should look like, i.e. proteins, carbohydrates, and vegetables, and shows what the right amounts of each food group are for the main meals of the day. NutriPortion is a method that divides the plate into 3 parts that guides you, so that half of the little one’s plate is covered by vegetables and greens, a quarter – by protein-rich foods, and a quarter – by cereals/pasta/rice and other carbohydrate sources.

The equivalent of one billion meals of good food is wasted every day globally, just in households. According to the European Commission, 131 kilograms of food is wasted annually by each EU resident. In other words, we throw away 350 grams of food per capita every day. 70% of this amount is represented by household waste, that is, each o f us throws away 250 grams of food every day.

In our view, no one should go hungry. Every food count and giving food is the most concrete form of help to meet an essential need. That is precisely why we believe that the attention and responsibility of not wasting a single morsel of food reflects the care and respect for people and the planet, for the resources and budgets invested”, according to Gabriel Sescu, president of the Federation of Romanian Food Banks – FBAR.

The Federation of Food Banks in Romania – FBAR and the nine Regional Food Banks in Bucharest, Cluj, Roman, Brașov, Oradea, Timișoara, Constanta, Craiova, Galați form a national network of solidarity, a bridge between the existence of surplus food and those who they need food the most. Banks save food from loss and waste by taking it from companies in the agri-food chain and donating it to charities that care for vulnerable people, thus helping to reduce poverty and the negative impact on the environment.

FBAR is inspired by and shares the model of the European Federation of Food Banks (FEBA) and is recognized and supported as an associate member. Since 2016, when the first Food Bank in Romania was created in Bucharest and until today, the Food Banks have saved over 22,100 tons of food, worth over 48 million euros, from loss and waste. These foods turned into approximately 44.2 million servings of food for more than 256,650 people in need.

Food waste also has a negative impact on the environment, as natural resources such as water, land and energy are used inefficiently to produce food that is subsequently thrown away. Food waste also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions (16% of total emissions in Europe alone) and climate change.

In the face of food waste, each of us can become a protagonist of change. Each saved food represents a gesture of responsibility and respect for the environment and the surrounding community”, says Cristina van der Schaaf, the founder of the Horeca School.

Food waste is a huge problem in Romania as well, where over 6 million tons of food are thrown away annually, incurring unnecessary costs for Romanian households – sums that could be better used for other purposes.

Together with Chef Stefan Popescu, Horeca School and the Federation of Food Banks in Romania, we are starting a communication campaign regarding the importance of reducing food waste, through simple and accessible gestures. Such a gesture can be represented by consulting the NutriPortion method, which considers two essential principles: diversity and quantity”, explains Irina Siminenco, Corporate Affairs Manager, Nestlé România.

Through the long-term partnership with the “Food Bank”, Nestlé Romania contributes to the reduction of food waste, donating tons of products, month after month, to the Bank’s beneficiaries. Starting from 2018, Nestlé Romania donated over 269 tons of products to the Food Bank, of which 60 tons last year alone.

According to Chef Popescu, nutrition education and steps against food waste can be learnt from scratch from early ages.

Take the challenge to waste as little food as possible for a few weeks, the challenge applies to the whole family! Children will have fun measuring how much food is wasted in the family and come up with ideas on how you can avoid food waste. If your family succeeds, you all get a reward!”, said Ștefan Popescu, Chef Popescu.

At the invitation of Nestlé Romania, Chef Popescu cooked five recipes together with the children from the Horeca School. So, Sebi, Cristi, Teo, Sofia and Clara cooked five recipes within one hour, each inspired from an international cuisine: French, Italian, Mexican, Romanian and Arabic.

After that, the menu thus created was donated in its entirety to St. John’s House within the Caritas Association Bucharest.

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