A Protocol Worth Pushing

I spent the last few days in Milan at the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition 2014 Forum on Food and Nutrition (you can watch the food waste panel). It was thrilling to be a part of a gathering with the humble little goal of reforming our global food system.

How does the BCFN plan to have such an impact? Via the Milan Protocol, which they launched at the Forum. The Milan Protocol is a global initiative to be officially unveiled at Expo 2015 (also in Milan) that pushes for reforms in three main areas:

  1. Food Waste: parties commit to a 50 percent reduction by 2020 of the over 1.3 billion tons of edible food waste
  2. Sustainable Agriculture: parties commit to promote sustainable forms of agriculture and food production, paying particular attention to environmental, agricultural and socioeconomic issues.
  3. Eradicate Hunger and Fight Obesity: parties commit to eliminate hunger and undernutrition by implementing a series of actions…

First of all, I think there’s a reason that food waste is at the top of the list. It does seem like the most concrete step. Then again, I’m a bit biased.

Secondly, halving food waste by 2020 is incredibly ambitious! Then again, why the heck not? It’s time to get serious on food issues and its human and environmental impact. Plus, the Protocol pushes for adopters to cut their waste by 50 percent, not for a global halving of food waste.

Also, you should know that its framers created the Milan Protocol to address three absurd global paradoxes:

  • We waste one third of the world’s food.
  • We channel more than one third of all food production is channeled to feed animals and automobiles (via biofuels).
  • Hunger and obesity coexist. There are now two obese and overweight people for every malnourished one.

What’s next? Well, it’s not officially finished. It’s now up to “civil society” to comment on it and the final version will be presented at Expo 2015. In the meantime, the BCFN is looking for as many endorsements as it can get. So you can add your name or your organization to an impressive list that includes celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Slow Food International.

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