"Dream, Dream, Dream! Conduct these dreams into thoughts and then transform them into action."
- Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Thought for Food!

09-12-2017 03:00 PM | Aastha Dogra

Thought for Food! | My Indian Dream

The world produces sufficient food to feed more than double the world’s population. 

“Rohit, why have you not finished your lunch? Why do you always leave food in your lunch box?” screamed Avanti, ten year old Rohit’s mother. She was sick of the current generation’s apathy towards food, especially home-made food. 

In her childhood, she had been taught that food was equivalent to God and wasting food would bring on the curse of the demons.

Avanti decided that it was time she sat down her child and gently tutored him about the seriousness of the issue. To her child, it meant only wasting half a chapatti and some veggies but the same could mean a complete meal to another two year old across the street.

Her work was made easier when Rohit cam home from school the next day. He was assigned a project on preventing food wastage in the school. He urged Avanti to help him with ideas for the project and they together set forth to collect facts and figures about the topic. As they gathered data, they were shocked to say the least. They discovered that; 

  • The world produces sufficient food to feed more than double the world’s population. 

  • Indians waste as much food as the whole of United Kingdom consumes

  • According to the United Nations Development Programme, up to 40% of the food produced in India is wasted. About 21 million tonnes of wheat are wasted in India per annum.

Not only that, the also learnt that;

  • A child succumbs to death every minute & over 50,00,000 children die before the age of 5 due to severe malnourishment in India. 

  • Food resources do not reach the needy due to acute food wastage at various stages, from food production to the last lap of distribution. 

Rohit listed out stages of food wastage as: 

At Farm

A majority of farmers in India are small and marginal farmers with landholdings below 2.0 ha, and dependent on nature for irrigation. Droughts and floods cause extensive damage and wastage to the crops.  Traditional methods of farming, poor storage and packaging facilities also lead to losses.

In Transit 

There is an estimated loss of fruits, vegetables and grains worth Rs 44,000 crores per year due to inadequate storage and transport facilities in India. Adding the cost of agricultural labour takes it to 58,000 crores per year.

At Weddings and Social Gatherings

A survey shows that annually, Bangalore alone wastes 943 tonnes of quality food, amounting to Rs 339 crores during weddings.  

When only one city can waste so much food in weddings, how much is the whole nation wasting in an year? 

Wastage in Food Business

There is an estimated 20 % food wasted in the Indian restaurants, according to some surveys.

Household Wastage

There is an estimated 25 % food wasted in the Indian households according to some surveys.

Going through all the whopping numbers struck a chord in young Rohit’s heart. From that day, he pledged not to waste food. He also promised his mother that he would try to convince all his friends and classmates also not to waste food. As a member of the young residents’ association, he would try to reduce food wastage in his community and look for means and ways to redistribute food among the needy.