26September2022

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The Netherlands: Food Waste Dinner for 5000

On Saturday 29 June, Museumplein in Amsterdam will be transformed into one big open-air restaurant where 5,000 people can sit down to a delicious lunch made from ingredients that would not normally be sold just because they do not 'look good enough' or have nearly reached their 'best before' date. Various parties, Wageningen UR among them, are organising this event.

When you consider the environmental impact caused by production and processing, and the fact that people elsewhere in the world go hungry, throwing food away is a complete and shameful waste of resources. Because we waste approximately one third of our food in the Netherlands, 'Damn Food Waste' has been aptly chosen as the motto for the 'Feeding the 5,000' event in Amsterdam.

Wageningen UR performs widely ranging research into the possibilities for feeding the world's growing population. This includes, for example, methods for increasing agricultural yields and improving efficiency throughout the food supply chain in order to reduce waste. We actually produce enough to feed everyone in the world. If we did not throw so much food away or waste it in other ways, nobody would have to go hungry. Tackling the problem requires awareness and joint action. The 'Damn Food Waste' event in Amsterdam on 29 June will supply the impetus needed for generating broader support.

Dinner for 5,000
'Damn Food Waste' will be one of the largest 'Feeding the 5,000' events to be held in Europe this year. 'Feeding the 5,000' is an initiative of Tristram Stuart, who organised the first dinner for 5,000 people in Trafalgar Square in London in December 2009 to demand attention for food waste. Tristram Stuart is also involved in the EU project FUSIONS, which was set up with the aim of reducing food waste on a European level and is coordinated by Wageningen UR.

'Feeding the 5,000' in the Netherlands is one of the plans launched by USIONS to create more awareness for the problem. Various organisations in the Netherlands have joined forces to organise this one large-scale event. These organisations are: Food Guerrilla/NCDO (the National Committee for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development), the Youth Food Movement, the Netherlands Nutrition Centre, the Netherlands Society for Nature and Environment, Feeding the 5,000 and Wageningen UR.

FOOD Battle
Wageningen UR has been researching methods for reducing food waste and highlighting the problem for years. A recent appealing example is the Food Battle, in which consumers compete to minimise waste as much as possible. This will also receive attention during 'Damn Food Waste'.

In addition, live cooking and tasting sessions will be staged in which Wageningen UR, a supermarket chain and a catering company will team up in the framework of the 'CHAMP project' to prepare a sumptuous and nutritious meal from products that have nearly reached their best before date. The results of the European Interreg project GreenCook, which was involved in the F5000 in Paris in 2012, will also be presented.

Social movement'Damn Food Waste' is therefore by no means a one-off event, but one of the first in a series of coordinated actions. FUSIONS is organising a follow-up conference in Amsterdam on 17 and 18 October and the next Food Battle is already being planned. The unique cooperation between chain partners, social organisations and citizen-supported initiatives can provide significant momentum for an increasingly larger social movement that stands for less food waste.

Source: HortiBiz - The Netherlands: Food Waste Dinner for 5000