What India wastes could feed Egypt

Indians waste as much food as is sufficient to meet an year's requirement of a country like Egypt. In a survey, it was stated that in India appx. 67 lakh ton of food is getting wasted every year which is worth Rs 92000 crore. The wastage of food in India is as much as what United Kingdom consumes.

Food wastage is an alarming issue in India. The wastage at weddings, social and family functions, hotels, households' are sufficient evidence to prove it.

Before wasting the food just think about the following facts:

  1. How much water was used to produce the food;
  2. How much oil/ electricity was used to produce food;
  3. Acres of land are deforested to grow food;
  4. Food waste thrown to landfills, resulting in emission of greenhouse gases which causes pollution and change in climate having devastating impact on the environment;
  5. Wastage of food will result in shortage of food and dent the economy in the form of inflation;
It is obvious that we are not wasting the food but national resources.

Food waste from production in plants to plate can be classified as preconsumer (uneaten food) and post-consumer (thrown away food). The wastage of food resulting from the stage of production to retailing can be termed as pre-consumer food wastage. The post –consumer food waste reflects the food thrown away by consumer from plate after procuring from the retailer.

For reducing food wastage in pre- consumer category infrastructure improvement (transportation, storage and distribution) for handling the food will help.

In case of avoiding food wastage in post-consumer category the change is required in our cultural habits and social behavior. In this category, here are some easy ways to do your bit:

  • In case of invitation to attend wedding/ formal/ social party, confirm your presence/absence as it will help the host to avoid over ordering. This small change in habit will help in reduction of food wastage immensely;
  • For dinning out on buffet, take small quantity/portions first;
  • Procure the food smartly based on weekly consumption to the extent possible. If you buy more than what you consume then the difference will naturally result in wastage;
  • Make sure you cook the food keeping in mind a realistic requirement. You can always complete your meal with few fruits than keeping extra food in refrigerator. It is a better and healthier practice;
  • Use FIFO (First in First Out) as a rule especially for green vegetables and fruits. Consume what you bought first;
  • Reuse the left over if possible, for instance, stale rice makes good fried rice;
  • Educate your children of the importance of food;

In a nutshell, food should reach not garbage bins and landfills but find place in human stomach. It will bring smiles on hungry faces.
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