Why you should not waste food?26, Jul, 2014, by Seema Bhatnagar
Food is life - can we deny this fact? Our energy, which let us move and enjoy this world, comes only through food. Food is something for which we all are striving hard every day. Only because of this, it is possible to work hard and strive for success in our endeavors. The true value of food is best known by a person who sleeps hungry, not by choice but because of grave circumstances of life.
Inspite of the fact that food is something which gives life, there are stark stats about its wastage throughout the world. Do you know what the world stats for wastage of food are?
- Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year - approximately 1.3 billion tons - gets lost or wasted.
- Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tons) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tons).
- The amount of food lost or wasted every year is equivalent to more than half of the world's annual cereals crop (2.3 billion tons in 2009/2010).
Isn't it surprising, when millions of people are hungry for a grain of food there is such a high degree of wastage. The amount of food that goes waste (1.3 billion tons) could be sufficient to feed a big percentage of hungry people world over.
Wastage of food is nothing but ignorance towards the value of food. Personally, I feel, why it is so because we are not taught the true value of food since childhood. Since food was available easily so we never thought that it is something a privilege to have a food to our satisfaction.
Before giving a thought about, "how to avoid wastage of food?", first, you must feel convinced with an idea of why you should not waste food. Following are some fundamental reasons for which you should not waste food.
Having food is a great fortune.
Respecting team work.
Food is form of God.
You spend less.
Sign of personal growth.
Rapid overcrowding (which includes you as well) of earth, is increasing pressure to grow more and more and at the same time people need land for housing as well. Due to this burden of housing, agricultural land is being used and that results in lesser production of food. In such a scenario, getting food, just plain, simple and basic, not to talk of a sumptuous, on your table is not lesser than a great fortune, as there are millions who fail to get even a single meal due to shortage of food. You might take this fact for granted but this is something for which you should feel grateful. If you are getting 3 meals a day to your satisfaction, you should feel more than grateful.
Right from sowing, cultivating, harvesting, processing, selling, cooking and serving it on a table is a team work of thousands of people. It is a big chain of people engaged in making food available to end consumer. A minor disconnect at one link can disturb this whole chain. You must be thankful to those people who are in pastoral business and haven't made choices of working on white collared jobs.
"The rich would have to eat money if the poor did not provide food." ~- Assyrian Proverb
By not wasting food, you are simply honoring those team members and their efforts of bringing food to your table. By the way, your parents or if you are a parent, then you are also an important part of this big chain for making food available to your family.
It is said that anything which gives life is nothing lesser than a God. With this analogy, food is definitely a form of God. No wonder, in Hinduism, before eating first morsel, prayer is offered to convey personal gratitude for receiving food and it is considered as a dishonor to leave any food in dish or to touch it with feet.
If you really believe in God then you have a solid reason not to waste food at all as you never throw Godly things in garbage, do you? Even if you are an atheist, you know that food gives life and anything life giving must be respected as a power, no rocket science, isn't it?
Not wasting money on food means you spend less which means you are saving more. Saving money means you can use it in pursuing some other important goals of life or to buy things which will last longer, for example books or some courses for personal growth or anything which makes you a happier person.
Waste food need to be disposed off carefully as it emits greenhouse gases, mainly methane, which is more harmful than carbon dioxide. When this food goes to landfills, these vast landfills become the source of greenhouse gases and pollutes city environment which ultimate affects you. To save yourself and your growing kids from harmful effects of greenhouse gases it makes sense not to waste food.
Not wasting food means somewhere you are concerned about others and mother earth. Your one little step can really give life to thousands of others who are hungry and waiting for food. Your concern and thoughtfulness about others shows your conscious living and personal growth.
What can you do to avoid wastage of food?
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." ~ Mother Teresa
If you are even nearly convinced with reasons for why you should not waste food then you should also know what is in your reach and how you can contribute to minimize this problem. Following are some ways through which you can minimize or avoid the wastage of food. You might feel awkward trying some of these but if you are really convinced with the cause you would rather feel proud doing these.
TIP#1 - Get leftover packed.
If you are eating out in a restaurant and you have ordered more than what you can eat which is a very common scenario, get that leftover food packed by requesting restaurant staff. Most of the restaurants nowadays offer this facility, at least in good restaurants they don't refuse, I myself have done it many times. Once you get it packed, either you can give it to somebody else or you may use it for your next meal.
I remember, once I was travelling in a train (Shatabdi express) where food is served on board - I saw that food served to me was much more in quantity than what I eat normally, so I thought of packing this extra food in a bag to feed somebody else. Since I always carry poly bag with me so collecting rice and chapattis (Indian bread) wasn't a problem. I saw that family sitting just across me was also unable to consume the whole plate, so I requested them also to put the leftover in the bag. They liked the idea and added their food also in the bag. Since it was late at night when I reached my destination, New Delhi, so I brought that food back home and fed street dogs near my house. I felt a deep satisfaction when I saw them finished everything in 10 minutes. The reason of my satisfaction was, that food has reached to its right place otherwise this would have gone down to some drain or a bin.
TIP#2 - Cook small quantity.
If you are a person who decides menu at home for meals, then instead of cooking larger quantity of all dishes, try to balance out the quantity by cooking one dish lesser in quantity than other.
Serve your kids with lesser amount to start with as they do not have a regular and stable appetite, and they munch on other things as well. For yourself, serve as little as possible, it is good from health perspective also, you would end up eating lesser calories, which means staying lean and healthy.
TIP#3 - Use leftover food.
Be creative and use leftover food by trying new recipes in next meals. Keeping food in refrigerator gives an advantage of maintaining its freshness for another eight hours so it is not that stale till next meal as such.
TIP#4 - Order less in restaurant.
If you are throwing a party in some restaurant then order less to start with. It doesn't make sense ordering more food to show off your deep pockets and generous heart - rather you can keep an eye on dishes and can quickly order refills or new ones if required.
If party is at home, it is definitely not a bad idea of packing leftover food to your guests for their next meal, of course to only those who can really connect with this cause. Actually, there is nothing wrong in it if you remember that your prime goal is to save food.
At my home, this is something very common on birthday parties and get-togethers, my mother is always the first one to ensure that guests who don't mind taking food back home get their food packets. She has made all arrangements to make it possible.
TIP#5 - Tie up with NGOs
For marriage parties and other big scale celebrations, search for NGOs that accept food and serve to poor children or to homeless people. Search for such noble organizations in your vicinity as food is a perishable item so it must reach to second place as quickly as possible. This needs a lit bit of preplanning.
TIP#6 - Buy fresh
Instead of stocking your refrigerator with tinned and frozen food, buy fresh food. It is a healthier option as there is less need of using chemicals for extending life of food.
TIP#7 - Eat raw
Eating raw once or twice a week keeps your health in perfect shape and minimizes the wastage as you don't have to cook and store it for later use. Fasting once a week is a great idea to avoid wastage of food and for enjoying great health.
"The revolution of consciousness is connected to the food revolution." ~ Bryant McGill
Wasting food is a sign of sleep-walking your life which means not a conscious living. If we do not pay attention to wastage of food, very soon, the count of hungry people will increase and so the proportionate increase in crime and violence around us.
If you are a parent, teach your kids about the value of food and help them to develop a habit of serving less to start with and not to leave anything in dish. This is a strict rule in my home, not to leave anything in dish. For adhering to this rule, I have developed a habit of serving as little as possible to start with, if I like it then I go for refill. Serving less let me enjoy and crave for more, this way, I relish everything I eat. I don't remember when I left anything in my dish.
If you are a personal growth enthusiast it is a part of conscious living. Not wasting food and eating less naturally makes you more conscious about your food choices that ultimately enhance your physical health and thoughtfulness about others.
Just imagine if 1.3 billion tons of waste food reaches 1 billion people, this world will be a better place for billion people. It is possible because every change and revolution starts with you.
If you feel connected to this social cause then please share this post with your friends, relatives, colleagues and peers. Share it on your Facebook page, Google plus or if you have a blog, please link back to this article. Leave no stone unturned to raise awareness about this cause around you and help creating a better world for millions of people.