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Rio Olympics: Chefs use leftover food to feed the poor

Rio Olympics: Chefs use leftover food to feed the poor

Leftover food from the Olympic Village is being cooked by a group of top international chefs and served to the poor.

Massimo Bottura, an Italian chef, and David Hertz from Brazil were inspired by an initiative in Italy last year, Refetterio Ambrosiano, that brought 65 chefs together to cook meals using donated ingredients from the Milan World Expo.

And Mr Bottura’s team now aims to produce 5,000 meals daily from the leftovers of the Olympic Village – currently home to 11,000 competitors.

“RefettoRio Gastromotiva is going to work only with ingredients that are about to be wasted, like ugly fruit and vegetables, or yoghurt that is going to be wasted in two days if you don’t buy it,” said Mr Hertz.

“We want to fight hunger and provide access to good food.”

Gastromotiva will continue through the duration of the Olympics and Paralympic Games, after which it will function as a “social business”, Mr Hertz said.

Italian chef Massimo Bottura in Rio de Janeiro.

Italian chef Massimo Bottura in Rio de Janeiro.

The business will also provide vocational training for aspiring restaurant professionals, including cooks, bakers, and servers.

Between 30 and 40 per cent of food produced around the world is never eaten because it is spoiled after harvest and during transportation, or thrown away by shops and consumers.

Yet almost 800 million people worldwide go to bed hungry every night, according to UN figures.

In Brazil, hunger has dropped to under 5 per cent of the population in 2015 – from almost 15 per cent in 1990, UN data shows.

Yet, in a country of 208 million people, that means millions still don’t have enough food.

Mr Hertz said he would like to see the initiative replicated in every city hosting the Olympics in future.




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Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

Twitter: @syd_field