Food wastage is a global problem. According to Food and Agriculture organization (FAO) of the UN, approximately one third of the food produced for the human consumption, which amounts to 1.3 billion tones, gets lost or wasted.
India is second largest population in the world. In 2012, government announced that about 22% of Indian population lives below poverty line. According to FAO estimates in ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the world, 2017’ report, 190.7 million people are undernourished in India. This represents 14.5% of the Indian population, which makes India, the home to largest undernourished population in the world.
In spite of this, it is estimated by the UN that nearly 40% of the food produced in India is wasted or lost. And this cost India one lakh crore rupees every year.
Food wastage in India is happening at every level; from harvesting, transporting, processing, packaging and consuming.
Weddings, events, restaurants, hostels and houses are a major source for food wastage of cooked food. There are many organizations in the country who are working towards helping to reduce this food wastage by collecting the food and distributing it to the needy. But they are all scattered and most of the times, the poor people in India still rely on their luck to be able to find a proper meal.
Majority of food wastage in India is caused before it is packaged. This is caused due to the loopholes in the transport and infrastructure system in India. The government has looked into this and started finding investments to develop better technology to reduce this wastage.
For reducing the wastage of cooked food, the government can set up a service where they collect food from every source, and set up a shelter where the hungry people can come and feed themselves for free or at a subsidized rate. This way they do not have to hunt for the hungry people, who might be staying at a remote place and wouldn’t get an advantage of the service if not present at a particular time, or might not come out and stay undernourished for their pride.
All the efforts by the government and organizations would not succeed if there is no individual involvement. In order to participate in the movement to save food, there are certain things every individual has to do.
One is to not waste food. Serve yourself with the amount of food that is less than what you can finish. There is always a second serving available. But do not over serve and contaminate more food.
Be careful and alert about the food wastage. Always remember, every grain counts.
Compost the food that is cooked and spoilt because of improper storage. This way you would give something back to the environment.
Re-use the food that is available and experiment with different ingredients to enhance a dish and reduce the wastage.
Organize your grocery shopping well after planning a meal schedule, while avoiding impulse purchases.
Lastly, make a habit of completing every grain of food present on your plate. That in itself will teach you lot of lessons.
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The CSR Journal Team