Following are excerpts from a CNBC Conversation with Tania Bryer and Sam Kass, David Hertz and Patrick Honauer from the World Economic Forum 2017
TB: Ladies and Gentlemen welcome. It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you my distinguished panel. So right next to me I have Sam Kass who worked at the White House from 2009 to 2014. And during this period served as President Obama's senior policy adviser for nutrition policy as executive director for First Lady Michelle Obama's 'Let's Move ' campaign and as an assistant chef. Then we have Patrick Honauer food waste expert and founder of Green about. And last but not least of course we have David Hertz the founder of Gastromotiva And of course he's been outside cooking for everybody every day here with his team. Gentlemen how has your Davos experience been so far. David let me start with you because you've been in the thick of it in the action outside?
DH: Well it's my third Davos. I come here as a cultural leader and a YGL (Young Global Leader). But this time we went in here to bring an option of food sustainability and socially driven. So we're here talking about social gastronomy which is taking all the power potential of food and gastronomy to bring dignity to bring empowerment job opportunities to people in need. And to be here with some of our trainees from Brazil who live in the favelas means the world to us because they are the solution and we are curating some of the menus you know food waste. It's one of the biggest topics in the world when we talk about hunger and malnutrition. And I think the chefs here, we're partnering with Sam with Patrick. It gives an opportunity for dialogue to find ways and dialogue with the industry with the government. So it's been a terrific week for us.
TB: Patrick,what about your experience here. Food waste as David said is huge on the agenda so how does having this platform help you?
PH: Yeah it's the first time I'm in Davos but I met David over food waste we were cooking four years ago for the Global Shapers in Zurich with eight hundred kilos of food surplus we created 32 menus. And when I felt the power there, what you can create out of something what is waste in a way. It was just amazing. And the same atmosphere I feel here that people are very open for that topic and I was for lunch with the at the agronomical panel It was very interesting. They really feel committed to that topic. Now it's nice.
TB: And do you think you'll see actions from the discussions Patrick because obviously it's very important to take things forward?
PH: Yeah I when I had lunch today we were talking about increasing the production but one very important part is as well to reduce food waste and we reduce that third we throw away a third of the production is just - lands in a in a waste bin. So if we can really use that food we bring the world quite forward.
TB: Was there any food wastage in the White House when you were there?
SK: Put me on a spot like that. You know like like every like every every place every home every business. You know it's a struggle we always try to do better we luckily had the garden so we could compost a lot of that waste. So you know getting back to the soil but I think. You know food food is at the crossroads of so many of the major issues that we're discussing here and trying to solve. And in a basic nutritious sustainable meal is the foundation of any thriving economy. And if we don't have that the big challenges like climate change for example we're not going to solve. Right now Food and Agriculture account for 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions today in the next couple decades will far surpass energy is the number one cause of greenhouse gas emissions and food waste is you know a huge part of that. If it were nation it would be the third largest emitter after China the United States, just waste itself. So we have a huge opportunity to leverage this one core strategy about making sure we're producing healthy food for everybody which will improve our economy, deal with climate change, help economic development, help education help gender equality all these different issues that we're trying to solve.
This is an avenue that's quite powerful in chefs I think are starting to put the field together to the fork into the consumer and that's the power and that's I think the role that we have is translating this not only into a language that people can understand but making it a delicious meal that we can enjoy and that enjoyment I think is what's actually going to lead to a lot of the change that we seek.
TB: And Sam when you were a senior policy adviser for President Obama for Nutrition Policy what were some of the issues, what was some of the actions that you took during that time.
SK: Well obviously there's a big challenge in the United States around food and our health. One in three of our youngest generations on track to have diabetes in their lifetime. The implications across our society are extraordinary. And we look to find key areas key lever points to help make it easier for families to raise healthy kids. And we have to surround them with good decent food and it has to be affordable. That's kind of the core. We started with the schools one of the biggest things we did was overhaul the school nutrition program 31 million kids eat lunch and about another 10 to 12 eat breakfast every day in our schools. And it used to be you could buy a candy bar or a soda or you could you know junk food was readily available. So we got rid of all that we raised the standards we actually made it where you had to serve the kids fruit or vegetable. You didn't have to do that prior. Not without a bunch of fights and a big controversy but so we made a lot of progress did a tremendous amount of work with the business community because government's aren't feeding people it's businesses that are. And if businesses don't step up and really take the lead in helping shape what consumers are eating we're never going to come close to solving these challenges.
TB: But shouldn't governments take more action David. I mean in Brazil do they support your initiatives?
DH: … this is like I think a starter a dialogue I believe in the part of cities change. And what we're doing with the social gastronomy is said the same time fight food waste train cooks, have an education place and also serve underprivileged communities such as homeless people and we have everyday volunteers going there. So when you bring our sponsors the people from the municipality just to volunteer their to serve those in the underprivileged people. Patrick was there as a guest chef. We had more than 80 guests chefs to lead this project with the team and I think that's when we start to change the mindset we need to go there and experience.
But this project cannot scale because it's a place in a city but we can scale if we partnered with the municipality to find the solutions, to find solutions against poverty. And when you get to the national government I think Brazil has some great policies especially for schools. There is a place where you have to buy 30 percent out of organic but how can you get the people who buy the food inside the school motivated to really work more towards organic. And how can you make the school cook really go back to cooking. You need empowerment. You need self-development So I think we are at this crossroads on how to make this change and I believe it's from experiences from empowerment and is from opportunities not only from the for the low income but for the people who working there and also working on basic salaries and I'm talking again from Latin America from a Brazilian perspective, its different from other places. But over there we deal with poverty and insecurity everyday.
TB: Well of course you know a vital topic here at WEF is inequality. So how does social gastronomy actually help to bridge that gap Patrick?
PH: I think it's a very collaborative idea and that's what we do. That's why Brazil Switzerland U.S. We sit here together. I think collaboration is a very important part. For example we organize roundtable talks with everybody with all the stakeholders even the farmers have to be integrated the consumers have to talk to the farmers. Because what we buy in the supermarket is probably not what the farmer wants or can produce for us. So I see their big chance to build bridges by dialogue and bring people together just to talk to know from each other.
TB: From your experience Sam do people want to work together on these issues?
SK: Yeah look I just think this makes sense from every perspective this is good business it's good for families it's good for our culture it's good for you know interconnected world. And this is the foundation of stability. If people don't have their basic basic needs met it is the direct cause of much of the instability we see in the world. And right now we're really facing some pretty uncertain times. And so the question is Where are resources best Spent and how to do it in a way that's going to be most effective. And I would argue that there is no place that will make more progress with resources expended across all these issues. And if we focus in on that, and I think the will is there because from a government perspective this is just good policy. From a business perspective any under-served community or any under-served country. That's just an untapped market. These are people who are not being served. And as part of the brilliance of what David is doing is he's showing that if you make this small investment the outcomes are extraordinary far beyond just a plate of food. I mean this is job training and economic development. It's community building. It's a it's a peace initiative. So these all those kind of benefits can come and I think that's there's a lot of power there. There's a lot of power to tap into.
TB: And why do you think more organizations haven't done this? Why is it down to individuals for these initiatives?
DH: There are quite some points. I have been working on the social gastronomy movement for 10 years but we started to go to sponsor our strategic partners 'Please sponsor our project'and that's what I've learned especially this last year , it's like when you join forces with the municipality, with our sponsors
Who are Stella Artois Coca-Cola Cargill and now to continue after the Olympics everything that has happened. We are building the social business together to be sustainable to be long term to become a social hub for innovation. And I believe in this power of sitting all of us together. How can we make a five year. But also if you don't bring the people we need to make the solution we first mentioned the farmer here we have in Davos our cook from a favela , the most horrible place I've been in the world, its in Rio de Janeiro 20 minutes from my home and he lives right in the street where the conflicts of the gangs war they fight but he goes everywhere looking because he's searching for opportunities and becoming a trainer. So when he's here he's teaching us what to do. So I think we need to listen more to the community and maybe some movement from the civil society because now when we are talking to our sponsors they say why are we first. Well because if we were not with you I think we're going to get behind and you can bring some innovation to our companies. So I think it's a win win situation and I guess the power of chefs I'm so happy because you know 10 years ago it was very hard to partner with Chefs
I was like what crazy Chef whom you know is going to the Favelas and all the chefs getting all the awards and everything and at some point now when you have Massimo?? coming though number one in the world and telling everyone something that really I learned from him is like when you change the culture you get knowledge and when you get knowledge you get consciousness and from consciousness comes responsibility and I learned this from Massimo when we learn so much there. And I think he's completely right because we are getting the responsibility of the foodways of our city, the training jobs so I get very excited about this topic, it's my mission.
TB: And just finally gentlemen your message here you have the world leaders you have business leaders here what you want to say to them and to everyone else?
SK: I want to say that we can't afford to wait any longer. Maintaining the status quo which is completely unacceptable when you have a billion people who are obese and 800 million malnourished or undernourished. Climate change is going to make maintaining where we are today very difficult. And if we don't get even more aggressive we made a lot of progress than we have already, this situation is going to get much much worse. And so coming here and talking at Davos is great. There's some big ideas that come out but everybody goes back to their worlds and sort of continues to focus on what's in their best interests and that path is running its course. And so it's time to really get serious about getting much more aggressive. On solving some of these big challenges and integrating these kind of solutions that we're coming up with in a big in a big way and they need real money behind that.
TB: Patrick your last quick message.
PH: I follow the vision that good food sustainable food that's a human right. For me to have food. Food has to become more like a collaborative Commons and I would like to have a bit less business in that topic. You know that's probably what social gastronomy tries. It is a social aspect behind. So for me the social food movement beside the social gastronomy that's something I really would like to realize as long as I live here.
You know for me there are two things for the people who are here who are like the most tough leaders in the world and the change makers and they get it go, down and make this – put it at all the levels of your companies teach them and the way they can teach them is go experience. Go talk to the people who need to benefit from you. Use the food the table to connect to open a dialogue because we have a great tool? Its tasteful, and go talk to the people like Luis who can teach you all I've been learning every day.
TB: David to Patrick and to Sam thank you so much for your passion your commitment and your determination to make a difference. Thank you for joining us today.