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If your parents sit at the dinner table eyeing you finishing your food clean off the plate, this news may come as a shock to you. When it comes to wasting food India runs ahead of China, says a UN report.
WHAT IS FOOD WASTE?
Food waste is food material that is discarded or unable to be used. But the definition often varies with different political organisations and entities. The cause of food waste are said to be numerous & occur at the stages of production, processing & retailing.
WHO SAYS INDIA IS THE CULPRIT?
The Rome based Food and Agricultural organisation’s report said that in Asia, India & China are the worst perpetrator losing 1.3 billion tonnes of food every day.
Agricultural minister Sharad Pawar recently informed the parliament that agricultural produce of Rs 50,000 crore (about 40% of the total produce) is wasted every year in India.
WHAT IS WASTED?
India has been alleged with the highest wasted of cereals, pulses, fruits & vegetables. Meat accounts for 4% while 70% of fruits and vegetables are wasted of the total production. All of these translate into 40% of the economic loss.
SO WHY ARE WE WASTING?
At house-hold level, even people who think they are doing well with food management, waste a lot. Throwing out food has become a norm and the main reason people give for this are:
- Left on the plate
- Passed its date
- Looked smelled or tasted bad
- Left over from cooking.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
At domestic level, we must keep in mind that every home is different. And every home has different food habits therefore different sorts of waste food. Some may have kids who don’t eat well, some may lack freezing system at home or some may be simply casual about wasted food because they have enough money to buy some more.
But every house has an option to reduce waste food and save money as well. Start with keeping a track of what goes into the bin and then begin with your food managing mission. 10 free tips as to waste not-want not food that you can educate your parents with, ask your mother to –
1. Make a shopping list (of thing you need). Stick to the list & don’t be lured by offers.
2. Keep your kitchen well organised to avoid keeping things & forgetting them later.
3. Avoid stuffing you refrigerator that may lead to tumbling out of food articles and damaging them.
4. Maintain healthy temperature in the refrigerator. 1 & 5 degree is suggested for maximum freshness.
5. Plan every meal carefully. Your casual approach, while cooking will be accountable when faced with large leftovers.
6. Become innovative, use leftovers for making new dishes, salad, sandwiches or anything you fancy. (Leftover recipe check-out)
7. Fruits that become soft can be used to make dessert & veggies that are close to wilting can be made into soup.
8. Avoid wasting food at social & religious functions. Get into this habit.
9. In case of packaged food, fall into the habit of checking the manufacturing date as well as the expiry date while purchasing.
10. And if you have a brimming wealth added with a habit of buying extra, you need not go to a neuro-psychologist, just get in touch with any NGO who will help you get rid of your guilt by giving it away to people who really need it.
Living in a country where 870 million people go hungry every day, it is time we buckle our seat belt and renounce wasting food for good.
Our Grandma would be real proud.
About the Author: Howdy, I am Sufia Banu. Never not reading, never not writing. You can reach me on Facebook.