As Patron of the 2018 World Food Summit – which she will officially open on Thursday- Princess Marie was a guest on Aftenshowet, Denmark’s biggest evening show, on Monday evening.
You can watch the twelve-minutes interview here. I tried to translate as much as I could based on the Danish subtitles (please credit me if you use the translation elsewhere).
Interviewer: Now I welcome Princess Marie! We must talk about the fight against food waste on the occasion of the World Food Summit in Copenhagen. You will give the opening speech , what is your main message ?
Marie: 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 of 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 organizations who are really involved in the fight against food waste. Danes and danish companies really want to focus on this.
I: So you are saying that we are well in our way but that there is still a lot to do. Statistics show that 700000 tons of food are thrown out annually in Denmark. When did you notice that this was a big problem in Denmark?
M: Unfortunately, it’s a problem throughout the western world. There are some terrible numbers. We produce and consume too much. We must address that.
I: We should see examples of your commitment
[ a clip about Marie is shown
“A Princess with a passion. It’s the fight against food waste. It’s one matter that Princess Marie has been fighting for years. Princess Marie is the Patron of the World Food Summit.
It was the love of this man [Prince Joachim, a clip from the engagement announcement is shown] that bought the Princess to Denmark ten years ago.
In May 2008 took place the wedding of Princess Marie and Prince Joachim. In the years since her wedding , the Princess has been involved in this important cause. In 2014, she went to Ethiopia as Patron of DanChurchAid to focus on hunger and malnutrition. This year she received ten children from Helsingor in her own private home to have lunch off so-called surplus food. Moreover, the Princess takes part in openings of stores fighting to avoid food waste.’ ]
I: I will return to why your heart is close to this cause. That’s something you got from your childhood. But you are committed to a lot of causes like AIDS-Fondet, the Association for Epilepsy and DanChurchAid. When did it became important for you to engage in these topics that are also close to the Danes’s hearts ?
M: 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.
I: Do you feel that the Danes have had high expectations about your contribution ?
M: Yes, but they are reasonable expectations. I can use my position to raise awareness about important causes and thus make a difference so that’s a natural expectation from them.
I: Have you felt pressured by that ?
M: No, I feel like it is as a huge opportunity not as a requirement.
I: You said you could use your position to raise awareness about important causes. As a Princess, you are like a spoke-person but there is many causes to choose from but with food waste, it comes from your childhood right ?
M: 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 thrown away 700000 tons annually in Denmark like you said but there are 800 million people who are starving. These are terrible numbers and it is an important cause to support.
I: How was avoiding food waste in your childhood home ?
M: 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.
I: Is it bad that consumers in our part of the world are wasting food while others are having a hard time and are starving ?
M: Yes, it’s the odd distribution of food in the world that I struggle to understand. We can all make a difference, it’s not that hard.
I: We can do that in very real ways in our own homes but is it also important for you to do it in your own home ?
M: Yes, 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.
I: Do you actually help your children understand the perspective of doing something good in the world ?
M: They do not understand it all but they do understand that they are doing something good for the world. 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.
I: We have a few questions for you from the Danes because too many would like to do better in their everyday lives. Are you ready to answer a few questions ?
M: Of course.
1st question : With children in the house, I often end up with leftovers after dinner. What helps the Princess to make leftovers more exciting ?
M: That’s a good question, I’m not the best cook but I do my best. There are many different ways , for example to add cheese or use different spices like coriander, soy, lemon and ginger. Make it a little different. A new taste, a new dish!
I: That may be something that we need think about to give it a different taste!
M: Yes, adding spices do a lot!
I: It’s a simple and good trick! Do you bring your children into the kitchen?
M: Yes, I do ! They do not always bother but they like to be around. It’s also a great way to teach them about healthy foods and what to do if a vegetable isn’t entirely fresh , you can cut a part of it off for example.
I: Are you children willing to eat everything ?
M: Well, they try! It’s important that they try! I am not too strict but it’s important that they at least taste it.
I: Most parents may recognize that having children in the kitchen does something relative to the extent of they willingness to try.
M: Yes, it gets them more motivated.
I: We have another question.
2nd question: Do you also cut the remoulade off and use all the content of the fridge, and turn yoghurts around to avoid food waste?
M: Yes, almost everything in the fridge will be used up, we try to use everything. We also have a dog who likes to eat what’s left!
I: We have one more question.
3rd question: Does your Royal Highness have any tip to avoid food waste whether you’re single or a family?
M: It is important to think sensibly when shopping. One has to know what is already in their fridge, imagine meals and avoid impulsive purchases. You must also remember how many you are and not buy more than necessary. It is also possible to use smaller plates.
I: Does that work?
M: Yes,and I prefer to serve twice rather than throwing out. At least for the children.
I: Do you think a few meals in advance? So that you can use everything ?
M:We usually eat everything because I have very hungry children and a very hungry husband and we try to think sensibly.
I: Thank you for your answers! And all the best for the World Food Summit.
M: Thank you so much, thank you!
For this tv appearance, Princess Marie debuted a new dress by Goat Fashion. She chose the Gaynor dress in blush. It is still available here.
She paired it with her Jimmy Choo ‘Romy’ suede pumps and her Christine Hvelplund ring.