21 May 2012, Rome - FAO and Brazil's Serviço Social da Indústria (Industrial Social Services, SESI) have signed a new partnership agreement that will seek to adapt a successful Brazilian food educational program to other countries of Latin America and the Caribbean as well as to Africa, with an eye to improving household nutrition and reducing food waste.
Established in 2008, SESI's Programa Cozinha Brasil (Brazilian Kitchen Program) teaches people how to prepare affordable, nutritious meals while at the same time avoiding food waste in the kitchen.
Targeted in particular to poor and vulnerable households, the program teaches participants how to use all parts of food supplies they are working with, rather than just tossing items like stems, seeds or leaves in the bin. Mobile learning kitchens pair nutritionists with chefs who offer recipes that not only meet nutrition goals but which also aim to please food tastes while respecting regional food preferences, produce, and cooking techniques.
The agreement signed by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and Jair Meneguelli, President of SESI's governing National Council, commits the two organizations to working together to adapt the model for deployment elsewhere in Latin America and Africa.
"Each year 1.3 billion metric tonnes of food goes to waste. By promoting food and education we can reduce this waste and improve diets," said Graziano da Silva.
Added Meneguelli: "The Programa Cozinha Brasil is a model that has worked very well for us at home, and with FAO's support I am confident that it can be adapted to local contexts and cultures and will have a positive impact in people's lives."