INDIANS waste as much food as the whole of United Kingdom consumes – a statistic that may not so much indicative of our love of surfeit, as it is of our population. Still, food wastage is an alarming issue in India. Our street and garbage bins, landfills have sufficient proof to prove it.
Weddings, canteens, hotels, social and family functions, households spew out so much food. According to the United Nations Development Programmed, up to 40% of the food produced in India is wasted. About 21 million tonnes of wheat are wasted in India and 50% of all food across the world meets the same fate and never reaches the needy. In fact, according to the agriculture ministry, INR 50,000 crores worth of food produced is wasted every year in the country.
Wasting food is not good for anyone in anyway-to the economy, to the environment or to our own ethical justification. So if things are going wrong, we have to put them on the right track and so first we have to do fault-finding. Here we go- The basic reason behind this is degradation of ethics in men irrespective of caste, colour, creed, race ,region and religion.Scientific Inventions are creating plenty but commercial conventions are creating scarcity. Production units have become partly destruction units. Civilisation is moving forward-only to say but our values are actually moving backward. Frankly telling, there are lot of justifiable and unjustifiable reasons behind the above citations. No one can and should be blamed wholly for disrespecting this living God.
Why is food wastage a problem?
25% of fresh water used to produce food is ultimately wasted, even as millions of people still don’t have access to drinking water. When you calculate the figures in cubic kilometers, this is a bit more than an average river.
Even though the world produces enough food to feed twice the world’s present population, food wastage is ironically behind the billions of people who are malnourished. The number of hungry people in India has increased by 65 million more than the population of France. According to a survey by Bhook (an organization working towards reducing hunger) in 2013, 20 crore Indians sleep hungry on any given night. About 7 million children died in 2012 because of hunger/malnutrition.
Acres of land are deforested to grow food. Approximately 45% of India’s land is degraded primarily due to deforestation, unsustainable agricultural practices, and excessive groundwater extraction to meet the food demand.
300 million barrels of oil are used to produce food that is ultimately wasted.