Friday, October 17, 2014

We can all make a difference

Foto source: Nexive
Maybe not all of you know this, but yesterday was the 2014 World Food Day.
As explained on the FAO website, the World Food Day is celebrated each year on the 16 October because that is when the Organization was founded back in 1945. The objectives of this day, among other things, are to raise  public awareness of the problem of world hunger and strengthen solidarity in the struggle to fight hunger and poverty.

I was asked a couple of days ago if I was interested in writing about a local charitable initiative to help spread the word and happily accepted. Any kind of contribution, no matter how small, can help raise awareness and as a food blogger I also feel a certain responsibility towards all things concering food and waste.

I did not receive any compensation for this post, but I strongly believe in these initiatives and try to apply my beliefs to my everyday approach to cooking. I try to cook seasonal, local, sustainable meals.
As a mom with a growing family, I also try to cook on a budget, although I do invest more on ingredients like eggs, meat and fish (and by doing this I simultaneously try to sustain local farmers and producers). I counterbalance the cost by cooking a lot with seasonal vegetables and fruitlegumes and grains

The recipes I post usually do not require expensive or extravagant ingredients but when I do buy more "exotic" ones, they are usually staples I find myself using over and over again (spices, fish sauce, miso paste, sesame oil etc.). I try to avoid waste and use leftovers whenever possible.

When I got the email about Nexive's collaboration with Siticibo, the programme launched by Banco Alimentare,  I was excited.
I remember reading a post that Lorraine wrote a few years ago about Food Bank in Sydney and envying her day with them. I thought it was a really interesting experience and a great way to fight waste. I thought at the time that a similar concept should exist in all large cities and am happy to know it exists where I live too. When I googled about these kind of intitiatives in Milan at the time I didn't come up with much so I am more than happy to help spread the word as much as possible.

Siticibo started operating in 2003 and - with the help of volunteers - has been redistributing excess pre-cooked and fresh food from office, school and hospital canteens, in addition to hotels and stores. The schools in Milan adhering to this project are currently 100, which is another reason it is close to my heart.

During the past academic year, Siticibo redistributed over 54 tons of bread, almost 100 tons of fresh fruit and 1,865 pre-packeaged desserts to the city's needy.

Nexive is a private Italian postal operator that started collaborating with Siticibo a few years ago and supplies the programme with 4 vans that pick up fresh fruit and bread from 44 of the 100 participating schools and redistributing it to various soup kitchens around the city.

This year, between January and June 2014, Nexive went a step further, by supplying the participating schools with 615 rolls of excess A3 format paper from its printing division.

By doing this, Nexive is sending out a clear message of change, that goes beyond just guaranteeing another meal to those in need. The aim is to teach people be less wasteful, to learn not to throw away things they no longer use. What you don't need anymore may be extremely useful for others, especially in these times of economic crisis.
This has to become a way of life if we want to sustain our planet and it is a lesson we should all apply to our daily activities.

I am not a preacher and will keep it short, but I am doing my tiny part by publishing this post and checking if my kids' school is adhering to the programme the minute I push the publish button.

What small gesture can you do today to help reduce waste? 


  1. Like you, I really dislike wasting anything. When I trim my veggies, I keep the trims in the freezer to make stock. Actually, I have several bags for this purpose: vegetables, shrimp shells and fish bits, beef bones and trims, lamb bones and trims, and chicken bones and trims. Whenever I need a stock, I just pull out the appropriate bags and add water, wine, herbs and spices. It is a small thing, but it makes me feel better.

    Like you, I also spurge on the meats, chicken, veggies and eggs by getting them at the farmers market. I really want our farmers to survive.

    And then, in my small way, I give to our Food Bank, and once year asked all subscribers to my recipe newsletter (which I send to them for free) to make a donation to the Tucson food pantry or to one of their choice, we raised over $2,000 that holiday season. Some continue to give, which was my hope.

    Thanks for reminding me - as we near our U.S. feast of Thanksgiving - that we should all be grateful for what we have, and share what we have whenever we can!

    (Sorry for the iPad typos!)

    1. I also save trims and bones etc., although I will admit I do not have all that wonderful variety. I get lazy sometimes.
      I think your initiative to get readers to donate is wonderful! Thank you David for sharing your story. It is inspiring to read how each and every one of us can do something, big or small, to change things.

  2. That's such a great initiative. I truly believe there is more than enough food in the world for no one individual to be starving but that there's a problem in the distribution. This is a great way to see that what would normally be wasted is instead given to those in need xx

  3. This is a very thoughtful post to raise awareness-well done for that and for asking the questions and for making people think. We have some great programs here and it would be wonderful to see them replicated in other countries. Thank you for the lovely shout out! :)


Leave a suggestion, opinion or your own experience. I love hearing from you.