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Javier Zanetti: Everyone at San Siro for Child Nutrition

Lifestyle / -

Javier Zanetti

Javier Zanetti, who has been flying the flag for Inter Milan football club for twenty years, has organized an evening featuring many soccer champions, on May 4 at the San Siro Stadium in Milan. The aim is to raise funds to improve child nutrition in Italy, as well as in other parts of the world.

Monday, May 4, at 20:45, the Giuseppe Meazza stadium, better known as San Siro, opens its gates to football stars past and present as well as fans, enthusiasts, and visitors from all over the world who have come here for Expo Milano 2015. The objective: to improve child nutrition
Vice president of Inter, Javier Zanetti, together with the PUPI Foundation has masterminded Zanetti and Friends Match for Expo. A few days following the opening of the Universal Exhibition, the Argentine champion – who is also an Expo Ambassador – is back on the field. This just one year after retiring and taking up his new role: that of promoting the values ​​of sport, in addition to the importance of proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.
Your story, your connection with the San Siro stadium in Milan dates back exactly 20 years... to August 1995. Are you able to mentally travel back to that particular summer?
I made my debut at San Siro against Vicenza, that was my first official match as part of the Inter Milan team. I quickly realized that playing in that stadium is something really special. That day the fans were out in force and created a very special atmosphere. From that moment I understood what it means to play at San Siro, I felt its history. And May 4 will be another special moment because it’s exactly one year since my farewell match, so this event will generate some very strong emotions in me for sure.
Who will be playing at the match on May 4?
There will be many players who have made history at Inter and AC Milan. There will be Lothar Matthäus, Andreas Brehme, Walter Zenga, Beppe Bergomi, Ivan Zamorano, Ruben Sosa, Youri Djorkaeff, Hernán Crespo, Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta, Franco Baresi and Beppe, Zvonimir Boban, Andriy Shevchenko, Cafu, and Edgar Davids, as well as many others. All international players who have shown a willingness to participate in this initiative!
Back to your career as a player. What was the most important moment for you in the almost twenty years you spent on the pitch?
The most important was the night of the Madrid game, the final of the Champions League 2009/2010 against Bayern München, where the result was 0-2 to Inter. For all that this meant to us, for the company, for the fans. The fact that I was captain of that team, to have had the privilege of holding the trophy and bringing it back to Milan is something I cannot describe. That day we arrived at San Siro at 5.30am and the stadium was already packed with fans who were waiting for us.
I was one of those fans ...
These are all images that have made it an unforgettable memory.
Do you remember what you ate before that event?
Before a game I used to eat pasta and a little meat. In particular bresaola seasoned with olive oil, parmesan and lemon. And that game was no exception, because this type of food always made me feel good, it’s a healthy food, one that allowed me to play at a high level for many years.
Eating well, eating healthily is important for those who play sport, correct?
It’s very important because these two things are directly related. If you eat well, you feel good. And this feeling allows you to express yourself, to be in top condition and be able to give your all, in football, and in any other sport.
What is your favorite dish?
As an Argentine I love “asado”, although Italian cuisine is among the best. I eat a lot of pasta because they don’t make it the same as they do here anywhere else in the world. And I really like “cotoletta alla milanese” (breaded veal cutlet).
You have two restaurants in Milan, El Gaucho and Botinero. Do you follow any particular rules when choosing your produce and ingredients?
These are two different types of restaurants. El Gaucho offers the best of Argentine cuisine, so we carefully choose the very best meat that comes from my country of origin to ensure that customers can really taste something typical, that for which Argentina is world famous for. At Botinero there is more choice, and you can also order pasta dishes, or fish. Again we are very fussy about quality. We know that good nutrition is important, and not just for those who play sport, and we want people to leave the table feeling satisfied.
The PUPI Foundation can be considered a long-term victory. Together with your wife Paula, you have created something that helps many children in need in Argentina. What are the most important results you have achieved with the foundation in this area?
First I have to thank the Italians because they have proved to be very alive to these issues of solidarity. It is thanks to them that the PUPI Foundation exists, because of the great participation at all the events that we organize here in Italy. The Foundation was established in 2001 and is now known around the world. I am very happy about this, but it also means we have great responsibility. Working with children is not easy, but those who work for the Foundation always give of their best to ensure that these children can have a future and are able to grow into valued members of society.
Our most amazing result so far was attained by Jonathan, a child who started his journey with the Foundation when he was five years old. Now, at 18, he has offered to volunteer to help other children. This for me was the greatest reward because it made me realize that the work of the Foundation is extremely important, and the kids really feel at home.
What is your involvement with Expo Milano 2015, and what legacy do you think it will leave to us as citizens and to Milan?
Expo Milano 2015 can give us many things. It's an opportunity to welcome millions of people and raise awareness of a wonderful city like Milan, of Italian cuisine, and our culture. Nutrition is vital and we must know how to handle and pass on the values ​​surrounding this topic.
For those reading this interview, can you explain what buying a ticket for the Zanetti and Friends Match for Expo means?
It is an event for those who have lived or currently live in this city. But the most important thing is that the proceeds will go to many associations and voluntary organizations working in the territory to create a better Milan.

Ban Ki-Moon. In a world of abundance, everyone must have access to food

Editorial / -

In his video message to "Italy 2015: the country in the year of the Expo," Ban Ki-Moon has recalled the role of the UN in the Exposition: the Zero Hunger challenge.

Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon has intervened with a video message at "Italy 2015: the country in the year of the Expo", the second stage of the path that will lead to the drafting of the Charter of Milan.
"The United Nations is proud to be here to promote the issue of food security,” said Ban K-Moon. “In the world we produce more food than needed to feed every member of the human family, but one in nine people suffer from hunger. That's why I issued the Zero Hunger challenge: a global call to action to eliminate hunger. We brought this challenge to Expo Milano 2015, where everyone can do their part: we can do it if we work together."
The UN takes part in Expo Milano 2015 with an 18 installation path cutting across the entire Expo site.
And it will be Ban Ki-Moon, on World Food Day on October 16, 2015, that will receive the Charter of Milan: the act of commitment proposed by the Italian government to the world as the intangible legacy of Expo Milano 2015.

Italy, reduce food waste to help those in need

Innovation / -

Il magazzino di Fondazione Banco Alimentare smista le eccedenze tra le varie associazioni aderenti.

Fondazione Banco Alimentare recovers excess food and transforms it into a resource for those who need help. A system that improves food safety in Italy. With optimal results for many years.

The problem with food sustainability results from a paradox: the food for nourishing everyone is theoretically available, but a part of the population has enough while another part is malnourished. Plus, it is estimated that one third of the food produced every year is wasted. But what if someone would be able to decrease this unjust imbalance? This was the question that led to the establishment in 1989 of Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus (the Italian Food Bank Network Foundation), a non-profit organization located in every region and that is already present in other countries. The goal is to provide daily meals to the poor by recovering food that was not consumed. The force and effectiveness of this initiative lies in its ability to combine various aspects that concern nutrition: reducing food waste, guaranteeing food for everyone and providing healthy and well-balanced meals. This social responsibility that the Food Bank has taken on is becoming more important every day, especially if you think about the current crisis where the number of people who require help continuously increases.
Volunteers as an essential force
The strategy that has been created involves and coordinates all the actors, such as the public institutions, the for-profit companies as well as the non-profit sector. For example, the Food Bank has signed agreements with almost 1,000 producers and collects foods in the cafeterias of 130 companies and 180 schools. But it is the volunteers of this non-profit that represent the backbone of this organisation, with their support for tasks that range from packing boxes to driving the van.
Plus, one day a year Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus organises the "Food Collection" day: volunteers collect donations in front of grocery stores in form of food prepared by the local residents. 
One of the other activities they carry out every day is called “Siticibo”. This initiative was started in 2003 as a result of an idea from a mother to not waste the excess food at schools. This involves recovering the fresh and already cooked food from cafeterias (companies or schools) that must be consumed within 24 hours, which is then transported using equipped refrigerated vans.
Concrete help
Every year, the food collected by the Bank helps more than 9 thousand charity organisations and reaches almost 2 million people (one third of the poor in Italy, according to ISTAT - the Italian National Statistical Institute). In 2013 “Siticibo” distributed 800 thousand complete meals by collecting cooked food in companies and fruit in schools. Reducing food waste also has a positive impact on the environment because it reducing the cost of disposing of expired or unused food. For the future, the work consists in continuing to convince companies and institutions to support the Food Bank in the fight against malnutrition.

Over a million people are already #FoodConscious. What about you?

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