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Food Heroes: Giving kids a better planet on their plate

Food Heroes
AIESEC in Malaysia
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Food Heroes campaign is an element in Clean Our Plate project by AIESEC in Malaysia that focuses on eating habits & food choices. It is an educational initiative developed as part of UNICEF’s World’s Largest Lesson for kids and young adults. They will learn about the important relationship between healthy food for both our bodies and our environment through interactive workshops.

Since 2018, over 40,000 kids have been reached by Electrolux Food Foundation, AIESEC, and Worldchefs across 31 countries. Later in 2021, AIESEC in Malaysia decided to launch this initiative to build up relevance and exposure of more Malaysians towards food waste knowledge in the country.

In Short

The objective: To contribute SDG Target 12.3 – reduce the world’s food waste by half through engaging and inspiring Malaysian kids (8-12 years old) & young adults (13-17 years old) to make sustainable eating their preferred choice.

The approach: Delivering food waste knowledge to the Malaysian students in upcoming November through online lessons.

The result: a total of 425 youths impacted through 19 virtual lessons with AIESEC in Malaysia, Electrolux Food Foundation, and World Association of Chefs Society in November 2021.

Why launch Food Heroes?

One third of the food produced in this world goes to waste, which is 1.3 billion tonnes per year. (United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 2011) Meanwhile, 800 million people in the world go to bed hungry. (Food Aid Foundation, 2020)

Food waste leads to climate change. It is estimated that 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions originate from food waste. (UNEP, 2021) If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest greenhouse emitter after US and China. (FAO, 2013)

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development reflects the great concern of the issue as target 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls for halving per capita global food waste at retail and consumer levels by 2030, as well as reducing food losses along the production and supply chains. 

In collaboration with the Electrolux Food Foundation and Worldchefs, AIESEC in Malaysia is committed to educating and spreading awareness about food waste. By nurturing Malaysia’s mindset since young, we can prevent more food waste in the country for years and decades to come.

Reduce food waste for a more sustainable future

While kids talk about food like any other Malaysians, they should also understand that our planet needs to be better cared for. Combining both aspects together to explain how better eating is healthy for both our bodies and our environment is the essence of what our Food Heroes program is all about.

Earlier in 2018, Electrolux Food Foundation, AIESEC and Worldchefs developed a joint lesson plan to inspire children to challenge and change their own food habits. The education program is based on a newly launched education toolkit that contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals on responsible consumption and production.

In November 2021, AIESEC in Malaysia then launched this initiative to build up relevance and exposure of Malaysians towards food waste knowledge in Malaysia. The aim is to inspire the next generation to eat more sustainably and teach them about the important relationship between food and the welfare of our planet. 

Develop children to Food Heroes

By the end of this campaign, we impacted 425 students to be aware of sustainable food habits & their food consumption & choices. Food Heroes gets up close with some facts, figures and fun in an interactive workshop. A series of Instagram challenges was also designed specially to captivate children’s minds using activities, videos, workbook materials. Once they completed the program, a Food Hero certificate will be rewarded.

Special thanks to a fabulous team of facilitators in schools, offices and kitchens including Electrolux employees, chefs and AIESEC volunteers. We anticipate greater impacts to educate over 30,000 children around the world through workshops to be certified Food Heroes. 

Campaign in Focus
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11, Student, ELC International School

The food heroes lesson is really educational and interesting. I now know how to protect the environment better by eating more plant-based food than meat-based food. This lesson was really fun! There was even an ice breaker! We played a quiz afterwards, which was what made the lesson exhilarating. Overall this was a relaxing lesson and I now have more valuable knowledge to share with other people so that we can stop all harm to the environment together as one community.

14, Student, SMK Penrissen No. 1

I like how the facilitators explain and present the content. I learned how to waste less food, eat more plants and try new things. I also learned about the environmental impacts of food and learn more about SDG. Something that can be improved is the internet connection. Thank you for your hard work and thank you for holding this event.

18, Student, SMJK Katholik

The speakers were interesting, and always try to heat up the space, so we won’t feel awkward and weird. During the Google jamboard activity, our facilitator was very nice and she did put in the effort to get along with us, although we always give funny examples. The facilitator did a very good job to cueing the activity flow, and I don’t feel boring during the entire activity and even wanted to chit chat with the speakers and friends. From this session, I learned the importance of not wasting food and how much waste humans have produced. It is always better to give the food to the needy instead of wasting it. Hope that food waste can be reduced in the future.

Director of Student Welfare, ELC International School

The workshop was led by four well-trained facilitators who had the right combination of vigour, knowledge, technical know-how and fun approach. Students latched on comfortably to the facilitators. The workshop managed to deliver a serious message on food nutrition via fun activities which made it easy for young children to digest. 

MARDI Research officer, MYSaveFood

I have enjoyed the Food Heroes Campaign, although this is my first experience. Those inputs related to food waste issues were shared with the participants in an interesting approach. Well done AIESEC. Definitely, I would encourage students to join this kind of activity in the future.

Yong Xu Cheng, 21, Bachelors of Electronic Engineering

Food Heroes made me a better speaker. It was a very important and meaningful lesson, I am not only teaching the children and teenagers about the food waste issues but also learning a lot of new things. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.

Dewi Sabrina, 21, Industrial Biology

Before really teaching the students, I get to learn a lot about sustainable eating from the trainers. Well with the fact that methane, gas emission generated from food waste is 25% more hazardous than CO2. Who knows that small actions as discarding food can actually be that dangerous? Teaching and exposing these issues to the kids will make them have a better understanding, prepare, and eventually adapt to sustainable eating. Moreover, because the children of today will become the adult citizens of tomorrow, the leader of the future generation.

Brendon Ban, 23, National Team Project Manager for Clean Our Plate

It was a great opportunity for me to take part in this campaign. I learnt that 30% of global climate emissions come from the production of food yet 1/3 of all food produced is going to waste. Besides, the way we are eating right now is challenging our planet. The food we eat has an impact on our health, the environment, and the welfare of animals and workers. Nonetheless, I am glad to inspire more youth in Malaysia via virtual lessons and educate them to eat, source, and care for food in a way that benefits both people and the planet – without sacrificing enjoyment.

Food Heroes Second Semester 2021

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