Food is the most powerful basic necessity for every living being. It’s essential to keep us alive, it keeps us going. Wastage of food is such a clear indication that there is something fundamentally wrong with our social well-being.
When we were a kid we were often shielded from the misery of the world, most of us never had to worry about the next meal, by God’s grace there was always enough .
You might think that your personal actions don’t have a significant effect on food waste, Well! your perception is wrong as we do play a major role in this wastage of food every day.Our actions do have consequences , because of globalization the decisions we make in our local supermarket can have consequences on some other side of the planet.
Some of that waste occurs at the start of the food processing cycle (at the farm or at transport) but most of that waste is perpetrated by us, as the consumer. Globally around 1.3 billion tons of food goes to waste every year.
There is poverty and malnutrition in our country and to see people wasting food during social gatherings is quite distressing, this issue needs to be addressed right away.
One of the simplest ways to reduce our environmental impact and lower our grocery shopping bill is to cut back on the amount of food we throw away.It doesn’t matter that an ugly potato still tastes like a potato, or that a small apple is just as nutritious as a large one. The issue is “We want what we want and the rest goes to waste.”
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HERE ARE FEW TIPS OR EASY WAYS TO REDUCE ON FOOD WASTAGE AND SAVE YOUR MONEY TOO –
1. People tend to pick the best-looking fruit leaving the ones with an ugly shape or color in the shelves. So, shop at stores that offer those ugly looking fruit at a discount as lot of those fruits and vegetables are perfectly edible. So why are they thrown away? Just because they don’t look nice.
2. Stick to your shopping list and buy the quantities you actually need. Just because something is “Buy 2, get 1 free” doesn’t mean you should go for it. If you buy more than you need then most of it goes to waste.
3. When unpacking groceries, move new cans, boxes, etc. to the back of the fridge & freezer and put older products up front to be used first.
4. Plan your meals for the week, Meal plan is one of the best ways to make sure you only buy what you need and use everything you buy, check which ingredients you already have on hand and only buy the extra things you need to complete your cooking plan.
5. Eat your leftovers, it can either be served up the next day or frozen for future lunch etc. Even if the amount of left over doesn’t make up a full serve it can probably be filled out by adding pasta, rice or more veggies.
If you don’t like or eat the leftovers make only what you will truly eat in a given meal.You’ve spent your time and energy to prepare the ingredients and cook the meal, don’t let any of it go to waste.
6. Buy fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables as when you buy them in season, you’re getting fruit and vegetables that have spent the least amount of time in any kind of storage facility and will last longer after the purchase.
7. Store fresh food appropriately. Make your food last as long as possible by storing it correctly. Keep biscuits, cereals and dry goods in airtight containers. Make sure your fridge is set to the correct temperature so fruit and vegetables will be kept fresh for as long as possible. Freeze items that you don’t need or won’t use up straight away.
8. Find a way to use overripe fruit and veg or freeze for later use. Fruit that has started to go soft can be stewed and served with ice cream, put in smoothies, made into crumbles or blended and made into popsicles. Spotty bananas make great banana cakes, soft tomatoes are perfect for making pasta sauce, and veggies that are starting to wilt are fine to go into soups and great for making stocks.
9. While eating out resist the urge to over-order, If already ordered too much take home leftovers. Start with a salad or tomato juice it helps curb initial hunger so you place a more reasonable order.If you eat out and can’t finish your meal, don’t be embarrassed to ask for a doggie bag. Many dishes, like curries and pizzas will make a great lunch reheated the next day.
Try to use every last bit of food that you already have stocked up, cook leftovers, share food with your neighbours. Donate Food. Use it up all.
Also, I would like to add here that If you are a traveller, as a traveller you need to educate yourself on what you should and shouldn’t do when visiting a new locale. Food is such a big part of travel, it’s important to learn the dining etiquette of each nation.
IT DIFFERS GREATLY FROM PLACE TO PLACE. LET’S HAVE A LOOK AT FEW OF THEM –
1. In JAPAN, Japanese consider it rude to leave food on your plate, whether at home or at a restaurant. It’s related to one of the fundamental concepts in Japanese culture, mottainai, which is a feeling of regret at having wasted something.
2. In THAILAND, don’t put food in your mouth with a fork. Only use your fork to push food onto your spoon. Some dishes are fine to eat with your hands
3. In Europe, Continental style calls for handling your fork with your left hand (with the tines facing down!) and your knife in your right. Don’t rest your elbows on the table, but don’t allow your hands to rest under the table, out of sight.
4. In China, however, leaving behind an empty plate is a sign to the host that you’re still hungry. If you don’t want to eat more food, consider leaving a little behind to let the host know you have had enough.
5. Don’t “flip the fish” in Poland or China. Both countries have an old superstition that flipping over a piece of fish on your plate will cause the boat of the fisherman who caught it to capsize. Bad luck.
6. In INDIA, you should finish everything that is on your plate because it is considered a respect for the served food, and food in India is considered sacred. In South India, where food can be served on a banana leaf, it is polite to fold your leaf over from the top ― not from the bottom, because that indicates you were not satisfied.
7. Don’t use salt in Egypt; don’t ask for ketchup in France. Doing so is considered an insult, because it is interpreted as you are saying that the food doesn’t have enough flavor.
8. In Muslim countries, eat with your right hand. Your left hand is considered dirty. If you happen to be left-handed, go ahead and use your left, but keep your right hand away from the action.
9. Burping. In some countries, this is considered a sign of appreciation at the end of a meal. For instance, it’s acceptable in China, and with the Inuit people in Canada. But be careful – despite the popular belief, it is not acceptable in Japan.
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek – Barack Obama
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