Updated: Sep 8, 2020
That India suffers from acute hunger is no secret, but what shocks is that roughly 40% of the food produced in India goes directly to a landfill. It is no surprise then, that even after adequate food production, India is home to the largest number of malnourished children in the world; upto 37% of all Indian kids below the age of 5 are underweight according to one report.
Some problems that dog the nation when it comes to adequate nutrition distribution are: inefficiency of government programs, lack of transparency in revenue generation, insufficient and inefficient storage facilities, and lack of comprehensive and accurate inventories. While the Indian Government had voiced the need for regulation of food wasted at hotels, restaurants and weddings, in early 2017, it hasn't yet specifically addressed concerns posed by the retail sector.
There are various practices we, the citizens of this nation, can adopt to tackle this issue.The University of Massachusetts, for example, came up with an innovative solution to their food surplus problem: “Food Cameras” were installed around campus under which extra or unwanted could be left. The cameras would post pictures of the items on social media with an enticing “COME AND GET ME” caption leading to a campus wide scavenger hunt and virtual elimination of wasted food..
Some Simpler ways to reduce nip this problem in the bud are:
1. Shop efficiently: Never go shopping on an empty stomach. The sight and smell of the food will entice you into buying things you wouldn’t normally purchase. Also, just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you need 10 boxes of it, buy just what you need.
2. Proper food storage: Investing in good quality airtight food containers saves money in the long run. Also understanding the proper way to store different types of food can increase their shelf life..
3. Understand Best Before dates: Some dates on products can be misleading. “Best before” doesn’t really mean the food needs to be binned. Although it is best to tread on the side of caution, if something smells and looks alright, it is probably safe to consume past the mentioned date.
4. Leftovers: Friends not foes: Although they sound unappealing, leftovers can be given a new lease on life by refreshing its sauce with a squeeze of lemon or adding some grated cheese or fresh veggies to amp up the oomph. There are literally dozens of youtube channels dedicated to helping you do just that.
5. Composting- A small garden or even a large pot can be used to compost kitchen scraps, turning them into the perfect plant food. All you need is organic matter, a soil base and some patience to turn dirt to gold.
6. Share- Sharing of excess food is a win-win: not only does it eliminate waste but also helps feed the needy. Many apps have been developed to help connect the dots and make a small dent in this Goliath problem.
Tauqir | Editing & Proofreading