You come home tired after a long day, scrub yourself off squeaky clean in the shower, put on some fresh clothes, scroll through your phone for a couple of minutes and then sit down for dinner and a plate of food is put before you. You dig in. You enjoy your meal, watch TV or the “phone scrolling” happens again for a while and then you hit the bed. Wait a minute. Let’s reverse this a little.
Let’s pause after dinner, and zoom into your plate, to see the amount of food you are about to toss into the dustbin.
It may be the veggies you don’t like or even curry leaves and mustard seeds, that you put a lot of effort into picking out. But darling, food is food and every bit counts. Many of us go to bed satisfied at night and so we forget those who go to bed hungry. Hunger is one of the most heart-wrenching issues in the world. Parties, weddings, and social gatherings are the main contributors to the increasing piles of food in the garbage. When we can spend months planning our weddings, why not spend a couple of hours to ensure excess food reaches the needy? Many of us are fond of trying new food, some for passion and others for Instagram. We try different cuisines, different flavours, and different restaurants, even if that means waking up early or driving longer.
Either way, if we don’t end up liking the food we order, it ends up in the pile of garbage. Our justification? “Well, I didn’t know it would taste bad and it’s my money so it’s ok.” Buddy, this isn’t about money. This is about wastage of resources and about the number of mouths you could feed with that food. It is about respecting the effort that so many people have put in, to get that food from the farm to your plate. There is a saying in my mother-tongue which implies that all that we do is to just to satisfy our most basic need, food. We work so hard and earn money, which is basically, to fill our tummy. But do we eat the right way?
Do we enjoy and relish what we eat? We are either engrossed in TV or phones and are oblivious to what’s on our plates unless it’s something we hate.
At our workplaces, we eat while simultaneously typing away on our keyboards, or sometimes ignore our lunchboxes because the deadline is looming over our heads. Given all this, our good luck is to credit for us staying healthy. It is high time we muse over our food habits and try to adopt better ones. It is not that we don’t know how to reduce food wastage, it is that we aren’t bothered or affected by it to make any efforts.
The next time you have leftovers, remember and visualize the desperate gaze of the starving and malnourished children in underprivileged countries, or three-year-old rummaging breadcrumbs in the rumble of war-ridden countries.
That should do the trick.