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Dustbin to dinner: Ministers served binned food to highlight waste

Published on Feb 20, 2013 6:03 AM
A waiter serves rejected green salad, grown by Kenyan farmers but rejected by UK supermarkets due to cosmetic imperfections, on Feb 19, 2013 during the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at the UN headquarters in Nairobi. The campaign aims to promote actions by consumers and food retailers to dramatically cut the 1.3 billion tonnes of food lost or wasted each year -- which, aside from the cost implications and environmental impacts, increases pressure on the already straining global food system -- and help shape a sustainable future. -- PHOTO : AFP

NAIROBI (AFP) - The green beans are fresh, the broccoli crunchy and the baby corn sweet, but having failed "cosmetic" tests of international supermarkets, the Kenyan-grown food was hurled out as waste.

On Tuesday however, vegetables considered too ugly for shop-shelves were served at a special dinner for some 100 global environment ministers and top-level delegations to highlight the "scandal" of large scale but entirely unnecessary food wastage.

The meal, held at the Nairobi-based UN Environmental Programme (UNEP), was organised by anti-food waste campaigner Tristram Stuart, who collected some 1,600kg of unwanted fruit and vegetables in Kenya for the meal.

"No economic, environmental or ethical argument can be made to justify the extent of food waste," UNEP chief Achim Steiner told the dinner, where the previously binned food was served up by top chefs.

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