In 2017, the United Nation decided to observe the 29th of September as the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste. Though some may ask how it is going to affect the global population who themselves is more obsessed with showing virtual consolation to the real people. Flabbergasted? Well everyone was when United Nations decided to bring up this very particular thing on board to let the people know that there are many more other important and vital things in the real world than money, fame, war, and others. This awareness program not only brought the utter realism of the left aside section of our society but also questioned our leaders and intellectuals that is there anything more than those small children who could not even get a square meal per day to survive?
In India alone, we have 46.6 million children below the age of 5 years who are victim to the vicious malnutrition, which if accounted comes out to be one-third of the world’s global malnutrition data. Adding to it, when India saw one of the biggest rural migration because of the lockdown implemented due to coronavirus, we saw some of the most odious cases where people died due to hunger and non-availability of food and water. We as responsible citizens asked the authorities who are responsible for this but at the same time, we as responsible human beings failed to question ourselves too.
Now why I have stressed on this thing is because of this very vital fact which I am going to present over here. About 14% of the total food which is being produced is lost during harvesting and retailing. This in turn means that we are left with only 86% of consumable produced food. And in this remaining 86% of the consumable food, we waste 40% of it. These facts and figures might not be appealing to a few people, but these very facts and figures do matter when India has 190 million undernourished people. The problem is not with the producers and to an extent not of the authorities too, but to a large extent, it lies within us only who are much careless and has, in short, no respect towards what we are consuming. This thing may seem provocative but annually it is estimated that India wastes around 92,000 crores of food. This finding can further be strengthened by the fact that in 2019 India alone wasted around 21 million tons of wheat. So while you throw your leftover Mess or Canteen Food, remember that at that very night 21 crores of Indians would sleep hungry.
So what can we do as responsible citizens? We can do wonders if we become a little practical and a little cautious about what we are placing in our plates and what is getting in our stomach. Here are some of the few things which one can do:
- Don’t take excessive food on your plate. Start with minimal. If you think it is not enough, you can go again and can replenish the same. But if you fill up your plate with an excessive amount of food, one thing is pretty clear that there are 60% chances that whatever is in your plate is going to be in the dustbin.
- Be practical with your needs and requirements. Don’t buy those things which are not necessary. Overstocking things like what we saw during this pandemic would disturb the supply chain of producers-retailer-consumer. And if this chain is disturbed, it will bring additional liability which may lead to the non-availability of food to the needy ones. If you are throwing a non-perfect looking fruit or anything, it will in turn create a chain of food wastage.
And if you can follow the above-mentioned things even to the slightest, congratulations you have saved 21 crores of Indians from sleeping hungry.
Image source: https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/food_waste/international-day_en