What do you serve for lunch at a U.N. food crisis summit?

June 3, 2008

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a U.N. crisis summit on rising food prices at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome June 3, 2008. World leaders opened a conference on the global food crisis on Tuesday with the World Bank and humanitarian agencies demanding action to curb soaring prices that could push up to 100 million people into hunger. REUTERS/Chris Helgren (ITALY)What do you serve world leaders for lunch at a U.N. summit trying to solve a crisis caused by soaring food prices?

You clearly want to impress dozens of heads of state but without laying on opulent meals when up to 1 billion people are threatened by hunger.

U.N. organisers of the June 3-5 food summit in Rome are treading a fine line, putting typically Italian ingredients on the menus, such as mozzarella cheese, pasta, spinach, beans, risotto and parmesan. No pizzas, though.

The main exception to traditional Italian ingredients are pineapples, requiring more energy to transport from the tropics. Veal is on the menu twice and beef once — environmentalists say vegetarianism is best for the climate because cows need to eat about 16 kilos of grain or grass to put on a kilo of meat.

So here is Tuesday’s menu:

Vol au vent with maize and mozzarella

Pasta with a cream of pumpkin and prawns

Braised veal slices with cherry tomatoes and basil

Spinach a la romaine

Fruit salad with ice cream

 They have even gone easy on the wine: today it is the Orvieto Classico Poggio Calvelli 2005; not among Italy’s most expensive.

Any better advice? Maybe they should all go vegetarian?

4 comments

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Maybe they could “brown bag” it.

Posted by Lloyd Hartman | Report as abusive

Looks pretty opulent to me. If this is what they call “toning things down” they obviously live in a very different world to the other 99.99999999% of the world’s population and their pompous ponderings will do nothing to solve the world food crisis (which is not in fact about food, but how to transport it economically to those who don’t have enough of it).

A small bowl of rice with a few flakes of fish, washed down with a cupful of tepid water, for every meal served during the conference would concentrate their minds rather better.

Posted by Mike T | Report as abusive

Maybe they could just roll out the UN charcoal grill and throw on some corn cobs.

[...] UN Lunch Menu at the Food Crisis Summit Environment

[...] UN Food Crisis Summit – Check out the lunch menu. Play the fiddle while Rome burns. [...]

Soup and a roll!

Posted by The Truth Is... | Report as abusive