What sense does it make to say that – “The nation produces too much food, but we still have millions of hungry stomachs”?
Let’s see where and what the problem of this unbelievable wastage is?
In India, we waste as much food as the whole of United Kingdom consumes. It is an irony that on one hand people in India are wasting food for different reasons but on the same line India is home to 213 million hungry children, as per latest report of Global Hunger Index. India is running world’s biggest food programme in its kitty – still millions of kids are dying hungry- There is the Mid Meal scheme for students up to class 12th and Anganwadi programme under which Infants and children up-to 6 years age are given ‘hot cooked’ meals.
So where is all the produced food going?
Food Wastage is an alarming issue in India. Our street and garbage bins, landfills prove it. Weddings, canteens, hotels, social and family functions, households spew out so much food. According to the United Nations Development Programme, up to 40% of the food produced in India is wasted. About 21 million tones are, wasted in India and 50% of all food across the world meets the same fate and never reaches the needy. In fact, according to the agriculture ministry, INR 50,000 crores worth of food produced is wasted every year in the country.
Looking back at the emerging situation or rather problem of food wastage- is very severe and unacceptable to the developing country such as India which is aspiring to be a Superpower by 2030. It is a very challenging issue. Even though the world produces enough food to feed twice the world’s present population, food wastage is ironically causing billions of children to be malnourished. The number of hungry people in India has increased by 65 million—which is more than the population of France.
According to a survey by Bhook (an organization working towards reducing hunger) 20 crore Indians sleep hungry on any given night. And that means a lot!
Why do we waste Food?
We get food easily, so we waste it without realizing how much of effort has been involved before it is being served on our plates. We don’t realize how much food we throw away every day — from uneaten leftovers to spoiled produce. About 94 percent of the food we throw away ends up in landfills or combustion facilities.
In India, thousands of Children Die of Hunger and Malnutrition Every Day!!!
So, here’s what we can do on a more personal level to contain the food wastage
- Plan out your meal and make your shopping list to determine what is needed. About 20% of what we buy in urban India ends up being thrown away. We will be amazed at how much we buy and what we, can actually-consume.
- Buy in quantities you can realistically use. Avoid impulse buys–it eventually might find its way to the bin.
- If you cook at home, make sure you cook keeping in mind there is no excess. You can always complete your meals with a few fruits rather than keep some extra food in the refrigerator. It’s a lot better and a healthier practice too.
- Select according to their shelf life. Use the green vegetables first. Don’t throw out fruits and veggies with ‘aesthetic only’ blemishes.
- Reuse the refrigerated leftovers if any.
- Make finishing your plate –a habit.
- Let’s develop good habits so we avoid wasting and understand the difference between need and want.
“Last but not least, make sure you don’t waste food (not even a morsel)”. Let’s be more mindful…