Friday, March 23, 2012

Food Wasting

If there's one social sickness that our society has yet to curb, it's food wasting.
The birth of the internet era has generated more erudite elite than all other eras in the course of human history combined. We have more lawyers, teachers, engineers, pharmacists, and doctors today than there ever were, so these people should naturally have the sense to not to waste food, no?

Unfortunately that is not the case.

Two years ago a university student in my college decided to throw away his food. We got into an argument and I was so enraged I literally trembled with anger, because he said: "why live a torturous life just to finish the food you can't finish, when throwing away is a much easier option?"
We rarely talked since.

Two weeks ago a friend of mine decided to waste her food. Yesterday I saw a lady ordered a set of chicken rice, only to finish the meat and ignore the rice. And I saw, just moments ago, a friend confessed she wasted food recently.

Well I guess I've put too much hope in humanity. One who has had the highest level of education one can get may not necessarily acting like one. But the reason they're wasting food, I think, is because they do not know how not wasting food can save those hungry children.
Our planet is capable of producing food to feed twice the current population, but still famine is rampant. There can be a myriad of factors which may be regarded as the causes of famine--wars, disease outbreak, drought, natural disasters, and the rising cost of food. Of all these, our action can at least help to alleviate the rising cost of food, which causes millions who live on less than $1 a day to go hungry.

An example;
Wealthy people constitute only a small percentage in a population, but they normally demand for more food than they can take. As a result, the price of food goes high. Under the circumstances, the poor can never outcompete the rich for food.
So when you throw away your rice because you thought it was unnecessary to tell the auntie to give you kurang nasi, you're indirectly causing someone in Africa or India to go hungry for another day because they couldn't afford to buy the RM0.40 rice which you've chosen to throw away.

But if everyone takes only what they need with zero waste, then the demand for food will not be as high. When the demand drops, so does the price. So when the price of food comes down, millions of people living under the poverty line in India and Africa can afford to feed their family.
Make sense ?
According to a 2005 World Bank estimate, 41.6% of the total Indian population falls below the international poverty line of US$ 1.25 a day. According to 2010 data from the United Nations Development Programme, an estimated 37.2% of Indians live below the country's national poverty line. 40cents may not sound a lot to you, but for those living on US$ 1.25 (RM3.85) a day, feeding a family of five (average family size in India) is a daunting task.

If you have a small appetite, share the food. If you only want the chicken and not the rice, you can always tell the uncle to exclude the rice, and you can pay less for your food. If your order comes in a large portion, you can always share, learn the lesson and order less the next time.
There is always a way to do our part. We cannot control natural disasters and droughts, but we can choose to not to waste our food. That's the least we can do, and it doesn't cost a lot, so why not?

p/s: for those corporate rascals that said I dont really care, you should be dropped in the middle of Sahara.


  1. i have similar feelings about wasting food. thank you for the article. It helps to know that others care about this problem.

  2. Absolutely, people need to understand the seriousness of wasting food.



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