These chefs are fighting hunger and poverty with gastronomy

Hunger 2018 UN

WFP/Abeer Etefa A mother, displaced with her family, feeds her 18-month-old daughter at a shelter in a village rural Damascus.

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Nicola Gryczka, Chief Executive Officer, Gastromotiva

From memories of that first bite into a ripe tomato lovingly plucked from the vine by your grandmother, to celebrating a milestone birthday at a restaurant where the velouté sauce is so flavourful it immediately transports you to the lavender fields of Provençal, it’s hard to ignore how central food is to our lives and culture. Yet we’re still living in a world where one-third of the food we produce – 1.3 billion tonnes – is wasted, and most of that waste occurs within the food production chain. Every single day 815 million people – one in nine of us – go hungry. The Social Gastronomy Movement (SGM) is providing real solutions to these issues by leveraging the power of food to address social inequality, improve nutrition education, eliminate food waste and create local jobs.

What is social gastronomy?

The concept of social gastronomy has been around for a long time. Food journalist Ryan King, who participated in our recent SGM meeting in Miami, believes the earliest reference dates back to 1903 and “referred to the idea of different social classes dining together at the table”. This definition still rings true for many involved in the current incarnation of the movement. We see it as an inclusive vision of the relationship between kitchen and people, a way of serving others that respects the environment and reflects the culture as well as an opportunity to live in a future that is zero hunger and zero waste.

Today, thousands of projects around the globe are embodying the spirit of the SGM and are finding common ground under the social gastronomy umbrella. The movement began with the work of Young Global Leader David Hertz, a Brazilian chef who founded Gastromotiva in 2006 to inspire and empower the socially vulnerable by providing vocational kitchen training, food entrepreneurship courses and nutrition education to help those at the margins of society find a way out of the urban slums. Today, believers from around the world are engaged, and other chefs such as Gaston Acurio in Peru and Claus Meyer in Denmark have brought their kitchen wizardry to those without hope or a future, while in the UK Jamie Oliver is very publicly committed to health and the nutrition of children. Massimo Bottura, who was famously voted the best chef in the world, is using his talent and position to address food waste while also feeding the poor through his Refettorio concept. As Bottura says: “Cooking is an act of love, cooking is a call to action.”

The Social Gastronomy Movement today

The SGM was officially announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2018 by David Hertz and Devry Boughner Vorwerk, corporate vice president global corporate affairs at Cargill and has since been growing rapidly.

Chefs, of course, are central to SGM’s mission. As food is fast becoming the new medium for social activism, chefs around the globe are using their kitchens to create a platform for social advocacy. They are also partnering with the United Nations to promote greater awareness of the challenges to the global food system, and to help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 to end world hunger by 2030.

Connecting the world’s chefs, social activists and stakeholders

As a first step, SGM aims to connect chefs, stakeholders and projects through two important tools – social gastronomy hubs and an online platform.

Social gastronomy hubs are physical spaces for inspiration and innovation. The hubs will be piloted in Rio de Janeiro, New York, Santiago, London, Zurich and Phnom Penh.

Each hub will be powered by a social entrepreneur and will define its own guidelines to better represent the local community’s needs. Each hub is financially independent and collaborates with other social gastronomy entrepreneurs to promote and enhance the movement’s. The hubs will be launched officially at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos in January 2019.

The online platform will help to take the local global by creating networks and community on a hitherto unprecedented scale. In the spirit of network and connection it is being designed and developed by member of the Young Global Leaders community, Lucian Tarnowski from BraveNew. The SGM is currently mapping social gastronomy projects around the world and will soon launch its Online Platform giving access to a global network of projects, facilitating communication and exchange between hundreds of social entrepreneurs, developing social gastronomy and increasing the Movement’s impact and community reach.

As Georges Schnyder, president of Slow Foods Brazil, puts it: “Social gastronomy is a tool to help people live better and be included in society. It’s a political tool… something very powerful for a better world.”

It is clear we are seeing a new global conversation emerge around food that addresses the economic, environmental and social issues underpinning the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The SGM is helping all those involved in this conversation to leverage their talents, gifts, experience and networks to translate their passion from the micro-level to the macro, global level.

As Rafael Rincón, gastronomic entrepreneur & founder of Ñam, said of a recent meeting of SGM stakeholders: “It was the necessary starting point for the change that unites us all, the reality of a gastronomy that can change the world.” While we may half-jokingly affirm that tasting the velouté sauce was a life-changing experience, the SGM is ensuring that access to food will literally change the lives of millions of people around the world, and this is just the beginning.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

This is how much people would pay to use some of the world’s most popular apps

Why the UN is investigating poverty in the United Kingdom

THE COMMITTEES: ‘All roads lead to the Fifth’

EU migration deal welcomed by UN agencies

World Maritime Day: Commissioner Vălean calls for support and safe return of seafarers

To solve the climate crisis, we need an investment revolution

Eurozone economy desperately needs internally driven growth

Autonomous vehicles could clog city centres: a lesson from Boston

“Decent working conditions for the young health workforce: what are the challenges and can we find solutions?”

“A global threat lies ahead worsened after the EU’s green light to the Bayer-Monsanto merger”, a Sting Exclusive by the President of Slow Food

Brexit poses ‘particular risk’ to British people in poverty: UN independent expert

A digital tax sounds like a great idea. Here’s why it might not be universally popular

5 ways urban transport could step up a gear for women

Drugs cost too much. There is a better way to fund medical innovation

Boris ‘single-handed’ threatens mainland Europe; can he afford a no-deal Brexit?

Tragedy of Mediterranean deaths continues, as seven drown, 57 rescued: UN migration agency

Act now to end violence, Zeid urges Nicaraguan authorities

A Sting Exclusive: “Cybersecurity: Why consumer products must be looked at urgently”, by BEUC’s Deputy Director General

Banks promise easing of credit conditions in support of the real economy

DR Congo: ‘New waves of violence’ likely, UN warns, unless State acts to prevent intercommunal reprisals

Ebola: EU announces new funds to strengthen preparedness in Burundi

Victims of terrorism remembered

Varna (Bulgaria) awarded European Youth Capital 2017

The European Sting @ Mobile World Congress 2014, Creating What’s Next for the World. Can EU Policy follow?

ECB’s billions fortify south Eurozone except Greece; everybody rushes to invest in euro area bonds zeroing their yields

People, not technology, shape the future of manufacturing

Parliament in favour of lifting visa requirements for Kosovars

Africa Forum aims to boost business, reduce costs, help countries trade out of poverty

EU and Australia launch talks for a broad trade agreement

The horrific trend of the anti-vaccine movement in Turkey

FROM THE FIELD: Going the extra mile with vaccines

Luxembourg has achieved high levels of growth and well-being but must do more to preserve and share prosperity

Reducing deforestation means getting serious about environmental crime

Entrepreneurship and strategic planning: the enabler

4 simple ways to make your holiday season more sustainable

Yanukovych attempts a violent and deadly cleansing of Kiev’s center

‘Revved up climate action’ needed to counter ‘prolonged’ and deadly storms like Cyclone Idai: Guterres

Here are 10 of the most urgent health challenges we’ll face in the 2020s, according to WHO

Women Win in the West

This wall of shoes is for the women killed by domestic violence

School closures triple in Central and Western Africa as education comes under fire

COP25: Global investors urge countries to meet climate action goals

Coronavirus (COVID-19): truth and myth on personal risk perception

Why building consumer trust is the key to unlocking AI’s true potential

UN’s Grandi slams ‘toxic language of politics’ aimed at refugees, migrants

Budget MEPs approve €104.2 m in EU aid to Greece, Spain, France and Portugal

UN experts decry torture of Rakhine men and boys held incommunicado by Myanmar’s military

Can free trade deliver cheaper renewable energy? Ask Mexico

How private investment can boost education access and quality in the digital economy

A top economist shares 3 ways leaders can help economies recover

This AI trash can is designed to stop you wasting food

4 essential qualities for digital leaders

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ford trumpets new in-vehicle system, “fundamentally rethinks” transportation

MEPs question whether the new Migration Pact will bring about real change

Force used against protestors in Gaza ‘wholly disproportionate’ says UN human rights chief

Compensation for damages by the State for infringement of EU law: the European Commission refers Spain to the Court of Justice for its rules on the compensation for damages incurred by private parties

Gender is where the feminist and LGBTI movements meet. Here’s why

UK economy in dire straits: leading banks now officially plan to Brexit too

European Parliament the most trusted EU institution

Refugee crisis update: EU seeks now close cooperation with Africa while Schulz is shocked to witness live one single wreck full of immigrants

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s