(Fixes typo - she sted he in penultimate graf)
By Umberto Bacchi
ROME, March 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Some of the
world's largest hotel chains are taking part in an initiative
aimed at cutting food waste, which includes re-thinking menus to
prevent food from ending up in the bin, an environmental
organisation said on Tuesday.
About a dozen hotels across the United States run by groups
including Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott International will take
part in a 12-week pilot programme to cut food waste in
hospitality, according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
"Imagine every hotel breakfast buffet or conference luncheon
eliminating food waste," Pete Pearson, WWF director of food
waste, said in a statement.
About a third of food produced around the world is never
eaten because it is spoiled after harvest and during
transportation, or thrown away by shops and consumers.
Yet almost 800 million people worldwide go to bed hungry
every night, according to United Nations figures.
In the United States, some 133 billion pounds (66 million
tons) of food was wasted by consumers and the retail sector in
2010 at a loss of almost $162 billion, according to estimates by
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Pearson said some of the hotel chefs would work to make sure
menus for banquets and large events could be quickly adjusted if
necessary, and part of the excess food reused for other meals.
"No chef likes wasting food," he told the Thomson Reuters
Foundation by phone.
Throwing out food wastes the water, energy and fuel needed
to grow, store and transport it, campaigners say, while
discarded food ends up in landfills where it rots, releasing
harmful greenhouse gases.
Launched with support from the American Hotel & Lodging
Association and the Rockefeller Foundation, the initiative will
also focus on training staff and raising customers' awareness.
"We've already seen that hotel guests are more than willing
to conserve water and energy, simply by placing a card on their
pillows or hanging their towels," said Devon Klatell, associate
director at the Rockefeller Foundation.
"Our hunch is that they'll also take action to be part of
the fight to cut food waste," she added.
Reducing food waste is a good investment for companies that
can save an average of $14 for every dollar spent on it, a
recent study showed.
(Reporting by Umberto Bacchi @UmbertoBacchi, Editing by Katie
Nguyen.; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the
charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian
news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate
change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org)