During the European Week for Waste Reduction, held from 21 to 29 November, the Association of Businesswomen and Professionals of Valencia (EVAP) carried out the A-provecho initiative to show the population that it is possible to avoid wasting food at source by highlighting those foods that, because they are not sold, are normally thrown away.
The EVAP’s proposal began with the collection of foodstuffs that are discarded every Friday in the Mercavalència’s Tira de Contar, a historical space that dates back to the 12th century where farmers sell fresh and seasonal products directly to the customers. Mercedes Herranz, Consultant in Circular Economy and coordinator of the EVAP Circular Economy Committee, notes that “this discarded food is not rubbish and can—and must—be used. If the food goes into the bin, the resources used for its production also go to waste”.
The discarded food, which was in perfect condition, was collected and then distributed to each restaurant that volunteered. There, three prestigious chefs, Miriam de Andrés, María José Martínez and Alejandro del Toro, prepared a starter, a main course and a dessert. Since the activity coincided with the large-scale food collection event organised by the València Food Bank, the Bank was responsible, among other things, for distributing more than 200 rations of the “EVAP Aprovechamiento Menu” to socially vulnerable people.
Despite the complications of carrying out such an action in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the proposal quickly gained support. “All it took was to publicise the initiative for the people involved in the Tira de Contar, top-level chefs and restaurants in València to offer their help. We are excited about the ease with which people joined the project”, added Mercedes.
Soon, EVAP will make available on its website their free e-book “A-provecho: recetas sin desperdicio” [A-provecho: recipes without waste]. It is a book about zero-waste cooking, compiling recipes, tips and easy solutions to reduce food waste. Click here for details on this initiative.