As Patron of the 2018 World Food Summit – which she officially opened on Thursday – Princess Marie was a guest on Aftenshowet, Denmark’s biggest evening show, on Monday evening to talk about the summit and the fight against food waste.
Princess Marie will make the opening speech at the summit, and when asked what essential messages she would talk about, she said: “There are more than one message, but one of the most important is that we can all make a difference if we have the right knowledge. It is important to teach our children and young people about healthy and good food. Another important message is that we need to think about our planet. Food waste is a waste of important resources that are already limited. The production of food costs a lot in the environment so we should at least eat it! Now in Denmark, we became really aware of food waste, and we are the pioneer country in this area. There are initiatives and organisations who are really involved in the fight against food waste. Danes and Danish companies really want to focus on this.”
Princess Marie stated several times that the fight against food waste was something she had known since she was a child, and she gave more detail about this in the interview: “It’s deep in me and food is a huge part of French culture – and of course also of the Danish culture- and although food waste is reduced, we still throw away 700000 tons annually in Denmark as you said but there are 800 million people who are starving. These are terrible numbers, and it is an important cause to support. […] It was a natural development in my upbringing. We had great respect for food, and I remember clearly the hunger disaster in Ethiopia in the 80s and the terrible pictures of the very thin children. I was very shocked and tried to never waste food.”
If Princess Marie learned about food waste during her childhood, she now wants to teach her children about food waste: “It’s very important to me to teach my children about it. They are very curious, and they want to contribute. They are proud when they do something good. They are very interested. It’s not a fight, it’s fun. […] They do not understand all of the perspectives of doing something good in the world, but they do understand that they are doing something good. They listen to me telling them about my travels with DanChurchAid and about the children I met and they ask many questions, so they end up understanding.”
Princess Marie also said that she’s not the best cook but that she tries her best to make meals exciting for her “hungry children and hungry husband,” adding that her children often join her in the kitchen when she cooks, if not to take part in the preparation of the meal, at least to enjoy some time with their mother and watch her cook.
While Princess Marie mainly talked about the fight against food waste in this interview, she also briefly spoke about how important it is for her to support causes: “It was important to contribute to society and take on tasks which helped to lift Denmark and of course help people in need. Most importantly, I’m using my heart in what I do. That way, I am stronger. Fortunately, there are many people fighting for these causes in Denmark, so you get inspired very quickly.”
She also said that she didn’t feel pressured by the expectations the Danes had for her as she sees her role as a tremendous opportunity rather than an obligation: “I can use my position to raise awareness about important causes and thus make a difference so that’s a natural expectation from the Danes.”