A worker dumps pre-consumer food waste before being fed to black soldier fly larvae A worker dumps pre-consumer food waste before being fed to black soldier fly larvae 

Pope to IFAD: Our food waste could feed all the hungry

In a message to the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Pope Francis warns of the dangers of food waste, highlighting that it damages the climate whilst it could feed the world's hungry.

By Francesca Merlo

Pope Francis sent a message Wednesday to participants in the 47th session of the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

He expressed his gratitude for the commitment, time, and energy devoted to “striving for a better world where no one's dignity is violated and where fraternity becomes a reality, a source of joy and hope for all.”

The Holy Father noted that our world today faces a heartbreaking dichotomy related to food.

“On the one hand, millions of people are plagued by hunger, while on the other hand, great insensitivity is seen in the waste of food,” he said.

This foodwaste, the Pope noted, each year produces masses of greenhouse gases, while proper rationing would be enough to feed all the hungry.

“We are pushing the world to dangerous limits," warned the Pope, describing the change in the climate, the plundering of resources, and the countless conflicts threatening the livelihood of millions of people.

Pope Francis noted that in the face of crises, whatever they may be, it is always rural communities that suffer first.”

"Indigenous peoples are also victims of hardship, deprivation and abuse”, he continued, stressing that “their knowledge of natural resource management and their connection to the environment can help conserve biodiversity.”

Pope Francis then spoke of another neglected group of people: women, whom he said are the mainstay of more than half of the food insecure households in rural areas, where many young people lack training, resources, and opportunities.

“This reality moves us to confront existing problems, in particular hunger and poverty, not by settling for abstract strategies or unattainable commitments, but by cultivating the hope that springs from collective action,” said the Pope, before inviting all those present to “work together to build a more inclusive agricultural and food system.”

Finally, Pope Francis prayed that a spirit of loyal cooperation and service “may guide your deliberations so that the causes of exclusion, poverty, and mismanagement of resources, as well as the effects of climate crises, can be eliminated.”

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14 February 2024, 14:58