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Brazil: Efforts to reduce food waste

At the age of 19, Regina Chailly left her home in northeastern Brazil to move to Rio de Janeiro to pursue her dream of becoming a famous chef.

Chaali was taught from childhood not to waste food. After reaching here, she was saddened to see that shopkeepers throw even edible food on the streets.

This inspired Chaly to do something different. She began taking home discarded food from her work as a domestic help and then turning it into innovative recipes such as banana ginger bread and broccoli stalk quiche. This experience led her to become a successful physique trainer at the University of Pennsylvania. Organic Favela Gave inspiration to establish a company named.

Today, through this organization, thousands of low-income individuals, street vendors and chefs have learned ways to prevent food waste, combat hunger and tackle the devastating environmental impacts of food waste.

Chaly, now 42, says, “Food should not be wasted at all. By doing this we are harming our planet. We have to change our behavior. We are going through a climate crisis.”

“Here, people are taught how healthy eating and sustainable habits can benefit both our health and the planet.”

Chaly is part of a movement in Brazil that’s quickly spreading around the world to combat food waste.

In Rio de Janeiro, Regina Chaly, 42, has been working to reduce food waste for 13 years.

© Organic Favela/Nathalie Ran

A recent report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Food Waste Index Report 2024 According to the WHO, globally, 783 million people are unable to get enough food.

But despite this, almost every day in the houses Food enough to feed a billion people is wasted. About 8 to 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from food production and the decomposition of discarded food.

“Reducing food waste is not only essential to tackle food insecurity, but also to reduce food pollution,” says Ruth Jugman do Couto, head of UNEP’s climate change mitigation branch. Climate change, nature and biodiversity lossAnd pollution and waste It is also essential to combat the triple planetary crisis of the world.

“With an estimated 80 percent of food consumed in cities by 2050, it is critical to engage local governments to take action on food waste. We can use cities’ dense networks to redistribute, recycle or recycle food and nutrients.

Changes to the menu

In 2010, Brazil established a national policy on solid waste that requires municipalities to install composting systems. However, the law does not clearly state measures to prevent food waste.

UNEPIn collaboration with nonprofit organizations and city leaders, a new national policy on food waste reduction and composting is being developed in Brazil. It is expected to be implemented by early 2025.

This policy will provide guidelines to mayors and other relevant stakeholders across the country to implement food waste prevention and composting projects.

Brazil is also developing its first national strategy on a circular economy, which will focus on improving food systems to reduce waste during production, distribution and consumption.

“With the help of UNEP, we realized that the central government needed to make everyone aware of this problem through an integrated effort,” says Adalberto Maluf, Brazil’s National Secretary for Urban Environment and Environmental Quality.

“We are wasting more than 22 percent of our food. So, (without action), we will never reach the goal of ending hunger.”

Experts believe that food insecurity can be tackled by reducing food waste and promoting sustainable consumption.

© Rovena Rosa/Brazil Agency

The importance of local food

Brazil’s government is already changing its approach to food waste, according to Maluf, thanks to the Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) is also partnering with several partners.

Embrapais a public research agency affiliated with the country’s Ministry of Agriculture.Embrapa Gustavo Porpino, an expert from the UNEP and contributor to the UNEP Food Waste Index 2024, says eliminating food waste could have far-reaching benefits.

“The food systems agenda is economically beneficial. It has social benefits, it has environmental benefits. It can have many positive impacts,” he said. Brazil is hosting the G20 summit this year and the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP30) next year.

Porpino says community leadership is key to making government efforts successful. While citing examples of grassroots campaigns to tackle food waste, he praised the extraordinary work of Favela Orgânica.

winds of change

In Rio de Janeiro, Regina Chaly is delighted to hear praise for her organization: “This is a place where we work in collaboration, not competition. Here, we try to show that everyone is capable, and everyone helps each other.

Under Chaly’s leadership, Favela Orgânica organizes workshops on “alternative gastronomy”: promoting the optimal use of ingredients, home composting, and growing plants in small spaces in cities. This helps community members reduce waste by rethinking their food habits.

The organization is currently training 160 women in villages in Rio de Janeiro on the importance of urban gardening and a lifecycle approach to ensure that leftover produce returns to the food chain.

Experts believe this is especially important for the villagers of Rio de Janeiro, who often suffer from food insecurity and lack of electricity, drinking water and sanitation. Under the current circumstances, working at the community level becomes important.

“The integrated use of food must be part of our daily lives, and for this it is very important to work together with schools. We provide people with seeds, teach them how to plant the seeds, harvest them and return the seeds to the earth,” says Chaly, who has worked in different parts of Brazil.

this article earlier Here Was published.

David Dass
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