World Leaders Eat Lunch Made of 'Trash' At U.N.

Chefs served up dishes made out of unwanted and would-be wasted produce to some of the world's most prominent politicians on Sunday at the United Nations, in a culinary move to draw attention to global food wastage and its detrimental effect on the environment.

The lunch was attended by 30 world leaders including French President François Hollande, his Peruvian counterpart Ollanta Humala, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

"Our lunch was produced from food that would otherwise end up in landfills, emitting methane, a potent greenhouse gas," Ban told reporters. "Food production and agriculture contribute as much to climate change as transportation. Yet more than a third of all food produced worldwide—over one billion tonnes of edible food each year—goes to waste. That is shameful when so many people suffer from hunger," he added.

On the menu for the lunch at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit were dishes such as a "landfill salad", made from vegetable scraps, rejected apples and pears and chickpea water, and a 'burger and fries' dish constructed by using off-grade vegetables, not sold in stores because they are blemished or misshapen, as well as pickled cucumber scraps and cow corn fries with bruised beet ketchup on the side.

For dessert was "cocoa husk custard", made from the pulp of coffee cherries, the shells of cocoa beans and the skins of nuts left over from the pressing process to make oil.

The waste menu was brought to life by Dan Barber, a New York-based chef and owner of the Blue Hill restaurant, and former White House chef Sam Kass, the man who spearheaded U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" anti-obesity campaign in 2010.

"It's the prototypical American meal but turned on its head. Instead of the beef, we're going to eat the corn that feeds the beef," Barber told AFP news agency. "The challenge is to create something truly delicious out of what we would otherwise throw away."

According to 2014 estimates from the U.N.'s Food and Agricultural Organization, a third of all food produced for consumption is wasted every year. The annual cost of wasted food is $750 billion and 10 percent of the world's greenhouse gases is produced by rotting food waste. Despite this, 840 million people around the world are estimated to live in a state of chronic hunger.

World Leaders Eat Lunch Made of 'Trash' At U.N. |