Fighting Food Wastage In India


Food wastage is an alarming concern, each one of us has come across some scrounger searching for food in a dustbin. Global Hunger Index (GHI), 2013, reflects that India ranks 63rd, out of the 78 hungriest countries. We rank significantly below our neighbours Sri Lanka (43rd), Nepal (49th), Pakistan (57th), and Bangladesh (58th). According to a report in Deccan Herald, India wastes Rs 44,000 crore worth food every year due to infrastructural issues.

Global Hunger Index (GHI), 2013, reflects that India ranks 63rd, out of the 78 hungriest countries.

Can we really afford to waste so much of food when so many go to bed hungry?

A report published by Hindustan Times states that the food India wastes every year is enough to feed the entire state of Bihar for a year. A study shows, India is wasting up to 67 million tonne of food every year, that’s more than the national output of Britain.

A huge proportion of food produced in our country actually never reaches the consumers. Sharad Pawar, a former agriculture minister, noted that food worth $8.3 billion, or nearly 40 per cent of the total value of annual production, is wasted.

In Mann Ki Baat Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also expressed his concerns over food wastage.

He said, “Wastage of food is unfortunate. I know of several youngsters who are using technology and helping prevent it.”

The government now is planning to fix the portion sizes served in star hotels and restaurants. The ministry is in process of drafting a questionnaire for hotels and restaurants to explain what dish sizes they should serve to a customer.

“If a person can eat only two prawns, why should he or she be served six? If a person eats two idlis, why serve four! It’s wastage of food and also money people pay for something that they don’t eat,” said Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

While it is a great initiative we should ensure that food doesn’t get wasted at an individual level either.

Here are few steps that we can take on a personal level to minimise wastage.

1) Buy exactly what you need.

Keep a track on your shopping list. Yes, offers and discounts are lucrative but you are wasting money and the food because you don’t really need it.

2) Don’t waste the food on your plate.

Make it a point to finish what you served yourself, this way you will learn how much you actually need.

3) Order what you need.

Whenever you go out to eat at restaurants make it a point to order exactly what you need, you don’t have to order everything at one go. This way you can avoid food wastage and also save money. Also don’t shy away from asking for a parcel of your leftover food, you can feed a hungry person.

4) Donate the leftover food during family functions.

We all know Indian functions means a whole lot of food. Organise so that the leftover food can be given away to the poor.

Pic Credit: newleafdynamic.com

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