“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” – Mahatma Gandhi
In this era of rapid growth, we are so busy into our own tiny world without even bothering what implications our habits are going to have on other humans. It’s a common sight to experience the wastage of food because it doesn’t go with our taste. Most of us have wasted food one day or the other, and continue to do so. The bins filled with our half-eaten food bring shame to humanity every day. But why would we even trouble ourselves by thinking about it because we belong to that particular section of society that has a full plate of food every day with an additional privilege of opting to waste it if it doesn’t please our taste buds? We have an excuse that I can’t eat everything whereas on the other side there are people who say that they can eat anything.
Ever wonder, how long does it take to bring food on your plate? The majority of us don’t! Just for the sake of humanity, take a minute and picturise a farmer working day and night with minimal income and bare minimum food for his own family. Picturise a kid who lost life due to malnutrition (according to UNICEF, 69% of 8.8 lakh deaths of children under the age of five years in India, in 2018, occurred due to malnutrition alone). Picturise a poor family that sometimes doesn’t have access to food even once a day.
We are turning into utterly selfish beings with every passing day. It is no less than a sin to leave extra food on our plates which later leads to the food shortages, unnecessary bio-diversity loss, water stress, increase in emissions of greenhouse gases and leaving a large population starving. We cannot deny the fact that the privileges we enjoy are somewhere the exploitation of others. If I have the right to waste food, somewhere someone is being denied the right to food in one form or the other. Being hungry is a normal ‘living-being phenomenon’ whereas living with hunger is painful. The alarming 102nd rank of India among 117 countries in the report of Global Hunger Index 2019 shows the grubby picture, with high levels of starvation, malnutrition, and hunger levels. We talk the least about the food wastage at our ends.
“Hunger is not an issue of charity. It is an issue of justice.” – Jacques Diouf
Many people lose their lives daily due to no proper availability of food. The images of a small kid trying to awake his dead mother at a railway station, numerous deaths reported by railways of the migrants returning back to their homes, starving people on the roads of our own land, paint a grim picture of severe lack of food and shelter, humanity being lost and the dangerous plight of being poor. Food wastage on our end stays a big contributor to such happenings. The food which we waste consciously can feed a stomach, can save a life, can bring a smile to someone’s face.
I think if we stop wasting food on our end now, we can do our bit to save a life. It may result in food availability for starving people. As Paul Polman says:
“It cannot be right that almost a billion people suffer food insecurity while we waste a third of the food produced.”