Why You Need To Think Twice Before Throwing That Chapatti Into The Dustbin

Posted on July 31, 2016 in Environment

By Ishan Arora:

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 every day and here we are paying 40 thousand per annum and, yet, wasting food like anything.”

There could be three possibilities, among others, to explain this negligent attitude:

Possibility 1: We don’t respect food and feel that since we’re paying for it anyway, so we have every right to waste it.

Possibility 2: We are self-centred and selfish and we don’t give a hoot about who is dying or who is not.

Possibility 3: We are ignorant and we don’t know how wasting our food is linked to people dying across the globe.

Whatever the reason may be, the result is the same: wastage of food and threat to the lives of many. Especially for the third category, here are some important facts.

Some Facts About Food Wastage

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 at a macro level as well.

To explain this point better I would like to take a hypothetical example: A farmer works really hard under Sun throughout the year to produce wheat. A lot of water, manpower, agricultural tools, electricity, logistics, distribution costs, deforestation etc. is required before those wheat grains reach our plate in the form of a chapatti. Now, it seems we don’t think twice before dumping it. As a result, everything that goes into making/processing that chapatti is wasted. According to reports, the actual worth of the food wasted in India annually is estimated at a whopping Rs. 58,000 crore.

After reading all this, I do feel bad. But what do I do as an individual? How can I optimise the wastage of food?

Here are few recommendations that would help you decrease food wastage:

  • Take what you can eat:
    The most important thing is to take on your plate only 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 on your plate initially and within a week you will know the optimum quantity you can consume.
  • Make finishing the food on your plate a habit. Try to inculcate it further in as many people around you as you can.
  • Respect food. Consider yourself lucky for getting it every day. Make sure to thank God before you begin eating.
  • Try to feel or imagine what it’s like to truly starve. I guarantee that you’ll forever think twice before wasting food.

Conclusion

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 for the 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 as shown above. Hence, in every way, it is a true menace to society. Being responsible citizens, it is our responsibility to act more proactively and minimise food wastage. Alone, we can still do a bit. But together, we can bring a huge change and make the world a better place to live.

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Featured image for representation only. Credit: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images.

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