There’s probably nothing on the planet that we need more than food for our survival. No wonder it is the first and the most important of all our basic needs. But this essential ingredient, responsible for sustaining and nourishing us, isn’t available in abundance. According to the Food Aid Foundation, 795 million people (one in nine) in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy life. A United Nations report stated that the hunger problem will be further compounded by conflict and climate change. But despite this scarcity, food as a commodity isn’t treated with a lot of respect. As a sizeable part of the population suffers from insufficiency of food, the others have no qualms wasting it, especially in places where hunger isn’t existential issues. One-third of all the food in the world is discarded, which equals to a whopping 1.3 billion tonnes annually. To focus attention on this problem and to understand the importance of food in our lives, October 16 is celebrated world over as World Food Day. If you wish to do your bit towards conserving food and preventing wastage at a personal level, here are 5 steps you can take.
1 Don’t Buy in Bulk
We tend to overestimate our needs and buy in excess. While it may be convenient, it is not the smartest thing to do. Many food items like milk, fruit, bread, fish and meat are perishable and don’t have a long shelf life. Soon enough you will have to throw the excess away because they got spoilt. Buying in bulk would mean you don’t have to bother about food shopping for the next couple of weeks. But this attitude is what leads to overestimation and wastage. Go for short, modest shopping trips and don’t load your cart every time. World Food Day 2018: India Ranks 103 on Global Hunger Index.
2 Be Practical
You may be tempted to purchase four packs of bread because they are on discount at the supermarket. But be practical. Will you and your family be able to finish them before they expire? Study your family’s food consumption and how much they eat in a week. This will give you an idea about their consumption patterns. Shop accordingly and you will be amazed by how much you save. World Food Day 2018: Date, History, Theme & Significance of Day Dedicated by FAO to Eradicate Hunger.
3 Encourage Everyone To Finish Their Food
Make it compulsory for everyone at the table to finish their food. Inculcate these values in children by explaining to the importance of food. World Food Day 2018 Quotes: These Famous Sayings Will Give You Food For Thought to Eradicate Hunger.
4 Serve Smartly
Let each person serve for himself or herself. In a bid to be polite and courteous, we tend to serves guests by filling their plates with food, which in all fairness, they may not be able to finish. This leads to wastage. Adopt a self-service tradition at home, even with guests.
5 Donate To Food Banks
There are many food NGOs that accept excessive foods from homes and restaurants and donate them to the needy. There are such institutions such as the Roti Bank and the India FoodBanking Network that aim to establish a network to plug the food gap and banish hunger. Use community fridges to store leftover foods.
The objective of World Food Day is to remind us how we take food for granted. Remember, as you discard a big sandwich in the garbage bin because it’s too big for you, somewhere in the world, the hungry are scouring through trash cans to find food. Follow these steps and encourage others to do the same. Educate children so that they learn to respect food and how many others like them don’t get to have two square meals a day. Reducing food wastage saves money, conserves resources and leaves more for the ones who need it the most. Every step counts.