The 2016 Summer Olympics will kick off in Rio de Janeiro on August 5, but planning for the event have been in motion for years now—including the logistics of feeding 18,000 athletes, trainers, and coaches from around the world.
According to the Associated Press, cooks in the Olympic Village kitchen will be using a whopping 460,000 pounds of raw food a day to serve 60,000 meals, tailoring hundreds of dishes to a diverse range of diets and tastes.
Olympians and their entourages will be able to choose from five different buffets: Brazilian, Asian, International, Pasta and Pizza, and Halal and Kosher. The food will be prepared in a kitchen the size of a football field and served in a dining hall twice as big.
The Brazilian buffet will be filled with national staples like rice, black beans, meat, and 40 varieties of fruit, and representatives from Rio believe the local cuisine will win over the visiting athletes.
"We are confident our Brazilian food is going to be a success, we'll make a bit more to be safe," Marcello Cordeiro, Rio's director of food and beverages, told the AP. Most of the food served will be sourced locally from Brazil, but some regional specialties—like Korean kimchi—will be shipped directly from guests' home countries."We are doing our best to bring the world to Brazil."
Earlier this month, the National Football League warned its players that eating food from certain countries could lead to positive results during PED testings. But the Olympics say ingredients will be checked thoroughly for chemicals and hormones that may affect an athlete's performance.
"To assure that our ingredients are free of steroids and other kinds of chemicals, we are making sure our suppliers have all the certificates that are demanded by our national food and drug agency," Cordeiro explained. "People don't know how complex it is to put out safe food. We know that this is a very sensitive subject that could influence a result or an athlete's medal."
Run similarly to local, buffet-style "Kilo Restaurants," athletes will be able to eat as much and as often as they like—free of charge.
"They can eat all they want,' Cordeiro said. "No scales. We know athletes know exactly what they need to eat."
[via Associated Press]