Save money. Don’t waste food because you are adding to the global warming.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), every year 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted in the whole world. This is equivalent to the same amount of food produced in the whole sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, it is also said that one in seven people go to bed hungry in the world, and more than 20000 kids up to age 5 die daily from hunger. These world figures include us.

This wastage is caused by farming, private companies (hotels, restaurants etc.), and individuals. Companies are said to be taking the larger portion of the waste. Individuals however waste food also and I would hate to know the value of money being thrown down the drains and bins.
I suppose there is a lack of appreciation for where food comes from. Food does not just magically appear in our supermarkets. Mass production and industrialization of the food industry has made it possible for us to just walk into a supermarket and pick up packages of ground steak, chicken breasts, peppers, tomatoes, pasta, pizza, milk etc. without needing to give a second thought about how that food came to be there. We don’t even think about the process involved in making sure that the product sits in your favorite shelves.

I bet the majority of us wouldn’t know how a lentil or rice plant looks like even if it came and hit us in the face. There is a wide disconnect between us and the food we eat. Understand that food doesn’t come without a price.

Picture that bowl of rice crispies and milk that you eat or give your kids. You fill up more than what you can eat. Whatever you didn’t finish, you dump down the drain. How did that serving of cereal come to be?

Rice is grown in Indonesia or some other country in the east and probably oxen used to carry it. The oxen need grain to eat for energy to carry heavy loads. It is shipped to a processing plant by either boat or airplane where it is mixed with malt made from barley grown with fertilizers likely made from non-renewable resources. Water is needed to irrigate it, and then shipped to a factory where malt is processed, packaged then shipped to another factory where it is mixed with rice and other ingredients to make rice crispies. Then plastic is made out of more non-renewable resources and made into a plastic bag to hold the cereal, which will then go into a cardboard box. Trees must be cut to make that box. Boats and airplanes use gas (non-renewable) energy which pollutes our environment hence the global warming. All of this work, for a bowl of rice crispies. Imagine the process of producing milk!

So just understand that every food that we buy in the store, especially processed food, has left footprints on the ecosystem. Eat it but be mindful of wasting it.

Think also about your money. I have no doubt that you put a lot of effort into getting the money, you have dedicated so much time and energy going to the job you hate, grinning and bearing every abuse in order to earn this very money that you are now wasting. So to throw away food that was bought with hard earned money shows lack of appreciation for the effort exerted to earn that money.

The solution is simple. Be mindful of what you buy. Plan your meals ahead of time and buy only what you need. If you make a mistake of buying more than you need, quickly find those who battle to put bread on their tables and give it to them. With so many people going hungry even in our country, it should be made a ‘criminal offense’ to throw away food.