Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 13 April 2024 2.37 AM IST

Global disaster of wasting food


Globalization has led to many changes throughout the world. This includes both good changes and harmful changes. In the last two decades, there have been revolutionary changes in people's lifestyle, food habits and the way they spend money. This change has also rippled in Kerala. Some years ago, food from restaurants used to be an occasional thing. Nowadays, families regularly eat food outside their homes. Malayali's traditional food items are less to be seen on our dining tables. Kuboos, burgers and pizzas have become the favourite foods of the new generation. The change in eating habits is such that one wonders how long it will take for rice and curry to become a myth.

With the advent of technology and other facilities, one can order food from a restaurant to one's home at any time. No one can deny these changes of the new age. However, the Food Waste Index report published by the United Nations points to the fact that everyone should pay attention to ordering only what is required and not wasting excess food. Although the report was published in 2024, it contains figures from the year 2022. This report contains the shocking information that the world just throws away 100 million tons of food every year. On the same earth where about 80 crore people suffer without getting adequate food, one-time food for 78 crore people is wasted every day. People often buy excess food. The surplus goes to waste without benefiting anyone.

The food and the money it costs are wasted. According to the UN report, the cost of wasted food alone will be 83 lakh crore rupees. It accounts for one-fifth of the food available on the global market. Households are the largest contributors to food waste. About 60 percent of the total food waste is thrown away from households. Restaurants, canteens and hotels contribute 28 percent of food waste. The remaining 12 percent is from butchers and vegetable stores.

In a world where there is severe hunger and poverty, the report describes the wastage of so much food as a global disaster. In this context, the Dubai model of food banks is one that many countries can follow. There, freezers of the food bank are placed in front of major supermarkets. Expired food packets in supermarkets are shifted to these freezers. Anyone hungry can pick it up for free, cook it and eat it. Apart from this, people can bring the excess food from households in packets and keep it in this freezer. It is high time that Kerala also starts thinking about such ways.

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