Think. Eat. Save. That’s the theme of this year’s UN World Environment Day (June 5). First thing that flashed on my mind when I read it was how mindful was I while choosing what to eat.
I got my first job in 2009. Since then i had the cash-flow coming in. With cash in hand, freedom to eat what I like followed. Though it started off just as a once in a while eating out, it didn’t take long to get into the habit of every weekend and worse off to alternate days. I couldn’t come out of this cycle and got stuck badly, only to spend no less than close to 30% of my pay!! That was huge amount. It’s not all about money. In the name of socializing, meeting, get together, I ate hell lot of food from restaurants, McD, Dominos, etc.
In all those eat outs, I see one thing which was predominant and common. Food wastage. Little did we care. After reading through the WED Theme, i see all of this in a whole new perspective. Like adding salt to injury, it’s not just the food that we wasted but also the resources that were used in making them, there by adding to the already energy deficit world and increasing our ecological footprint.
Even at home I used to ask my mom to cook only to skip the meals either to due to late work hours or mood swings etc. I see what I have done. I deprived not just myself but someone who was hungry on some other corner of the world by wasting it. I should have just been more thoughtful and sensible. It’s never too late.
Am listing out few reasons for food wastage according to my experiences:
- don’t eat more than you can chew:
Over estimating the eating capacity and ordering more than what is required, we end up in leaving out some food for sure.
With ever-increasing complexities of social fabric in our daily life, its important to connect but we have to choose wisely what to eat, when to eat. Probably being opinionated about food should help.
vegetables, fruits , food grains wastage due to improper handling/ storage.
Probably mindful eating doesn’t come that easily, it should be cultivated like all other good habits. I have already started on it but a long way to go. Planned meals and a food diary including grocery list cross check should also help which will give a fair idea of what goes where.
There are some startling facts that are put up in UN website like
The theme for this year’s World Environment Day celebrations is Think.Eat.Save. Think.Eat.Save is an anti-food waste and food loss campaign that encourages you to reduce your foodprint. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted. This is equivalent to the same amount produced in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, 1 in every 7 people in the world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 die daily from hunger.
If you thought using a car/ vehicle is only source of pollution, you have to read What’s behind a glass of milk to know how Bovines are no better than a car in polluting the environment by releasing 100-500 litres of methane!! Can you believe it?
Things I would like to do( already doing some of them) :
1. Take (cook) what i can eat.
2. Carry a bottle with tap water during travel.
3. Pack lunch/ dinner during travel.
4. Self cook and pack lunch to work more often.
5. Finding a balance between hanging out and eating out( will do away with meaningless birthday celebrations)!!
6. There are NGO/ other organisations which will take the food remaining at parties/ events and distribute to the needy.
7. Not being pompous about potpourri of food variety available during events / parties as and when possible( i.e. in my control) and educate others too.
8. Share the facts and discuss the theme about food wastage with family and friends.
9. Plan my meals.
10. Keep a food diary.
I promise to think, eat and save from now on so that our later generations won’t get a chance to badmouth us for exploiting nature for our greedy eating habits. This is such a crucial aspect of saving our environment, I wholeheartedly appreciate UN for choosing to focus on food waste as their theme this year.
What are you planning to do ? Ready to join the campaign ?