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Graziano da Silva: Eliminate food waste

José Graziano da Silva

José Graziano da Silva

Eliminating food waste should be a high priority for anti-hunger advocates, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organizaton Director-General José Graziano da Silva said this week.

“Around one-third of all the food produced in the world is lost or wasted every year,” he noted. “That was enough to feed an extra 500 million people without putting additional pressure on natural resources.”

“It would make no sense to change the way we produce our food if we continue to consume as we do today,” Graziano da Silva noted in a speech opening the biannual conference organized by Slow Food International in Turin, Italy.

Graziano da Silva noted that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that hunger should be eradicated “within our lifetimes” and that FAO has taken up that challenge.

According to a news release, Graziano da Silva said that one reason food was wasted was because of "a tendency to excessive consumption in middle and high-income countries.”

The result is that some 1.5 billion people are overweight, compared to 868 million undernourished, he continued. “The figure illustrates one of the great contrasts of our world: the unequal distribution of food, of income and of opportunities,” he said.

The Terra Madre conference, attended by delegates from some 130 countries, discusses food, agriculture, sustainable development, gastronomy, globalization, and economics.

Slow Food International, with 100,000 members worldwide, is a non-profit organization promoting traditional, sustainable, nutritious and delicious food.