MAPUTO (Aug. 21, 2015) — Renowned chefs Cat Cora, Carla Hall, Antonia Lofaso and CARE Chef Ambassador Spike Mendelsohn joined the global poverty-fighting organization CARE on a Learning Tour to Mozambique to learn how they could become stronger advocates for combating global hunger and malnutrition. The chefs witnessed how U.S. investments in global food and nutrition security are paying off for healthier families with reduced malnutrition and stunting, but the trip also gave them a chance to understand where gaps remain.
- In Nampula, Mozambique, the Chef Advocates got their hands dirty in the kitchen where they learned how to prepare matapa, a traditional Mozambican dish rich with Portuguese and African influences.
- Iron chef and TV personality Cat Cora met with Deolinda Amade, a mother and smallholder farmer who is improving her family’s health and nutrition through better farming techniques.
- Chef and TV personality Carla Hall traveled to Omuive Island off of the coast of Angoche to learn how community members are applying the use of sustainable fishing practices to prevent overfishing and to improve food and nutrition security in their community.
- Top Chef alum Antonia Lofaso spent a day in the life of a farmer when she and the other chefs visited a farmer field school and learned how new and innovative farming techniques are empowering local farmers and promoting the sustainable use of natural resources.
- Iron Chef and Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn reflected on the similarities and differences he saw between his first trip with CARE to Peru in 2014 and now in Mozambique.
Hunger and malnutrition remain the number one risk to global health, killing more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Globally, more than 795 million people don’t have enough food to eat and nearly 2 billion people are malnourished. CARE believes that the U.S. can, and should, play a more effective role in ending hunger. The Global Food Security Act of 2015 (S.1252 and H.R. 1567) requires a comprehensive and coordinated U.S. strategy for global food security that focuses on women and smallholder producers and leverages natural resource management practices. This bill maintains and improves U.S. programs in developing countries that increase sustainable and equitable agricultural development, reduce global hunger and improve nutrition. The Global Food Security Act also requires a strategic, effective and transparent approach to U.S. food security assistance, with annual reporting to both Congress and the American public.
The chefs started their trip by traveling to Nampula, Mozambique where they visited a local market and saw the various foods that families are eating to improve diet diversity and nutrition. The chefs then got to test out their cooking skills, taking it to the kitchen with local chefs to try their hand at working with local ingredients and preparing traditional Mozambican dishes. As they cooked, the chefs learned about the challenges of family nutrition and food security in Mozambique.
The next day, the chef delegation traveled to Omuive Island off the coast of Angoche, to visit the Primeiras e Segundas project run by CARE and the World Wildlife Fund as part of the CARE-WWF Alliance. The goal is to conserve and improve the fragile ecosystem of the Primeiras e Segundas Environmental Protection Area (PSEPA) while strengthening the livelihoods of the people who depend on the area’s marine and terrestrial resources. Natural resource management and women’s empowerment are critical to feeding millions and ending the cycle of hunger in developing countries.
The chefs toured the island and learned about the benefits of sustainable fishing practices and the importance of protecting the local mangroves. They later continued this conversation at the home of Azaliha Amisse, a community member and participant in the program, where they cooked lunch and learned about the ways improved fishing techniques are ensuring food security for communities, as well as benefitting the environment by protecting local fish populations. Small-scale food producers – especially women – are particularly vulnerable to changing weather patterns, from rising temperatures to increasingly unpredictable rainfall patterns. Building their capacity – through knowledge, skills and techniques – and empowering them to make decisions are vital to ensuring that they can manage this increased uncertainty.
The following day, the chefs visited a farmer field school run by CARE and WWF to see how farmers are receiving integrated agriculture training and education to improve their livelihoods by increasing food production and access to nutritious foods. The chef delegation visited the home of Deolinda Amade to see how her training has improved her own family farm at her home. Antonia Lofaso even helped till the land and saw how cassava is being harvested and used in many traditional dishes.
In Mozambique, agriculture is a key component of the economy, contributing to 29 percent of the GDP. Mozambique has the potential to become a breadbasket for the region, with its vast amounts of fertile land and ideal location along major trade corridors and ports. However, one third of the population is chronically food insecure. An alarming 43 percent of children are chronically malnourished, or stunted, and rates are even higher in the north. The majority of Mozambicans rely on subsistence agriculture, and many live in the north, a region traditionally neglected. Poor diet diversity, low meal frequency, high levels of disease, poor hygiene practices and a lack of education further exacerbate chronic malnutrition.
The chefs took in the sights and smells of Mozambique, buying and cooking native dishes that are helping families improve their nutrition. This was all of the chefs’ first trip to Mozambique, and they left feeling like stronger advocates for the people they met in Mozambique and for those around the world living in extreme poverty.
For more information on CARE’s Learning Tours, please visit www.care.org/learningtours. The CARE Learning Tours are funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year, CARE worked in 90 countries and reached more than 72 million people around the world.
Nicole Harris, +1-404-735-0871, email@example.com