Food Wastage- “A Menace to the Society”
It is said that “Wasting Food is a sin and a crime”, but do we really believe in this quote. Do we really understand the importance of not wasting food?
Today, while having dinner at my mess, I saw hundreds of people wasting food. I was sitting alone so I started contemplating “There are thousands of people in the world who die because of hunger everyday and here we are paying 40K per annum and yet wasting food like anything”.
There could be 3 possibilities to explain this negligent attitude-
We don’t respect food and anyways we are paying for it so we have every right to waste it
We are self centered and selfish and we don’t give a hoot about who is dying or who is not
We are ignorant and we don’t know how our wasting food is anyways linked to people dying across the globe.
Whatever may be the reason, the result is always the same “Wastage of food and threat to lives of many”.
Here are some facts about “Food Wastage”
- About 1.3 billion tons of food i.e. US $1 trillion is wasted every year
- The number of hungry people in India has increased by 65 million more than the population of France
- A child dies every 5 seconds as a result of hunger
- According to a survey conducted by Bhook in 2013, 20 crore Indians slept hungry on any given night
- About 7 million children died in 2012 because of hunger/malnutrition.
- Food wastage generates 3.3 billion tons of CO2 , which accelerates global climate change
- 300 million barrels of oil are used to produce food that is ultimately wasted
Hence it is quite evident from the above facts that food wastage not only leaves hungry people behind but also affects the nation’s economy and environment on a macro level.
To explain this point better I would like to quote an example: A farmer works real hard under sun throughout the year to produce wheat grains. A lot of water, manpower, agricultural tools, electricity, logistics, distribution costs, deforestation etc is put in before those wheat grains reach our plate in the form of a chapatti. Now we just don’t think twice and dump it as it is. As a result everything put in making it/ processing it is wasted. According to the reports, the actual worth of money per year in India from food wastage is estimated at a whooping Rs 58,000 crore.
After reading all this I do feel bad!! But what do I do as an individual? How can I optimize the food wastage?
Here are few recommendations that would help you decrease the food wastage-
- Take what you can eat-The most important thing is to “Take what you can eat”. We humans always know our food preferences and capacity we just need to examine ourselves. To do that, I would recommend you start observing your food habits. Take less food in your plate initially and within a week you will know the optimum quantity you can consume.
- Make finishing your plate a habit. Try to inculcate it further to as many people around you
- Respect food. Consider yourself lucky of getting it every day. Make sure to thank god before you begin eating
- Feel what it’s like to truly starve, and I guarantee that you’ll forever think twice before wasting food
It is said that “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. For us wasting food is normal but for someone who hasn’t eaten anything from past few days, it’s a treasure. By wasting food we are not only playing around with their lives but we are also depleting our own environment. Hence in all ways it is a true menace to the society.
Being responsible citizens it is our responsibility to act more proactively and minimize the food wastage. Alone we can do a bit but together we can bring a huge change and make world a better place to live.