Wastage Of Food, A Cause Of Concern

OPINION

Food wastage is a major problem in India. Weddings, canteens, hotels and households spew out so much food. To see the extent of damage, all you have to do is peek into a street-corner garbage bin. People do not think about what goes into the food on their table.

Statistics Speaks

Today, most of us don’t even spare a thought for the time, energy, and resources it takes to produce our food. Moreover, food that is produced, but not eaten, occupies close to 30 per cent of the world’s agricultural land. It is estimated that one out of every seven people in the world went to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of five died from hunger. To be fair, food wastage is indeed a major worry for India. A government study had found that the country wastes Rs 92,651 crore worth or 67 million tonnes of food in a year. Efforts need to be taken to protect and preserve foodgrain for the benefit of the large number of poor in our society who are struggling to survive on a single meals a day.

The root cause

Though our people rarely waste much food in restaurants, we as a nation waste a lot of food during marriages, festivals and other occasions without caring about the large percentage of our people that go hungry each day. The levels of poverty, hunger and deprivation are so high in our country and little attention is paid to this by the well-to-do citizens and the politicians of our country. The condition of the godowns in the country is not good and that is resulting in the rotting of good grain.

Citizen’s Responsibility

If only the foodgrain wasted in the country due to lack of storage facilities was saved, the burden of subsidy would have come down to that extent and thus saved the tax-payers money. It is time to take note of the obligation of every citizen of this country to ensure that the food wastage is totally avoided. The untouched food left in the mess is eaten by the people of mess but the food left in the plates goes wasted and is served to cattle near the campus.

Spare a thought

Weddings, canteens, hotels and households spew out so much food. Each morsel thus wasted, in a way, contributes towards hunger. Today, most of us don’t even spare a thought for the time, energy, and resources it takes to produce our food. We generate mammoth amounts of food waste. The causes of food waste or loss are numerous, and occur at the stages of production, processing, retailing and consumption.
Huge amounts of food is getting wasted by the people belonging to the upper strata of economy as there is no proper channel to utilise unused food.

Apart from this, wasteful food-consumption is also leading to unsustainable demand for natural resources. Assessing food loss and waste and developing effective policies along the value chain can help solve the food waste problem and thus contribute towards food security and sustainability.

Don’t we think a thought for our choice of food will save our natural resources and can keep us healthy ?

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