End to Food Wastage ! Food is essential for life and our society does place a lot of emphasis on food. Over centuries, humans have been constantly finding new innovative ways to prepare and serve food and while this is all well and good, we are often ignorant of the fact that access to nutritious food is a privilege and is not universal.
Food wastage in simple terms is the loss or spoilage of otherwise usable foodstuffs at the various stages in the supply chain from production, transport, storage, processing and consumption. For example, after the harvest and processing of wheat. The wheat which needs to be stored in silos ends up spoiling due to defects in the storage silos resulting in the whole crop spoiling. Improper refrigeration of perishable goods during transport, preparation of more food than required both in restaurants and at home all contribute to the nation’s food waste.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI) has estimated that an outrageous one third of all food produced in our country is wasted. Furthermore, The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in its food waste index report of 2021 estimated that around 50 kilograms of food is wasted for every person of our nation each year. These are atrocious numbers considering the chronic issues our country faces with food security. Farmers face a lot of pressure to increase yields despite many of them lacking the necessary implements to do so effectively. Overall, we should all be concerned about India’s food security. Bring an End to Food Wastage !
With the aim of tackling the issues of food wastage and security, the Indian Government introduced several welfare schemes such the National Food Security Mission, and Indian Food Sharing Alliance by the FSSAI which tackles the issue throughout the supply chain. Furthermore, provision of proper storage facilities and increased government procurement of produce during off-seasons will play a big role. It is a more socialised method of handling food in our country that will lead to less wastage.
Personal responsibility over the food we produce and consume is of paramount importance. In the end, it is in the hands of the individual to take initiative in their own lives. We can start by simply being mindful of our food portions and only taking what we need. Vegetable wastes can be composted to produce a good nutrient supplement for gardening. Having a garden at home develops a new appreciation for food and a satisfaction in producing it ourselves. Children in particular can benefit from this opportunity and gain valuable life skills as well.
The cure for the problem of food wastage is the salvation for the millions of people who live in absolute poverty and the children who would otherwise die of hunger. Hence, it is of utmost importance that all of us recognize the importance of this issue and do our parts for the sake of our fellows and the future of our nation.