24-06-2017 05:00 PM
Aastha Dogra      49
Food a necessity, to lead a meaningful, healthy & happy life
Food is a basic necessity for us humans. If there was no food, human species would not have been able to survive for so long. In the past, a man had a strong friendship with food. He stayed in the vicinity of nature, grew his own food and valued it. Because of this strong friendship, Food wastage was minimized. Natural means of farming were used, which helped the soil remain fertile for longer. It was beneficial for the environment too. However, all this changed when urbanization happened and commercialization seeped in every aspect of life, including food. Certain people became rich and had access to unlimited food, while others remained deprived.
Our country India is home to millions of such people who can’t muster up even one meal a day. India has the dubious distinction of having millions of malnourished, underweight children. At the same time, the amount of food wastage in our country is humongous. According to the agriculture ministry, food equivalent to more than fifty thousand crores of Indian rupees is wasted annually! There is an urgent need to bridge this gap between the haves and the have-nots.
Food wastage occurs at pre-consumer stage as well as the post-consumer stage. Food is wasted during production, storage, transportation, processing and distribution of food. A large part of the wastage comes from restaurants, social gatherings, eateries and households. It is the responsibility of all of us to try and put an end to food wastage that occurs in the post-consumer stage. A change in mindset with regards to food is the need of the hour. During social functions and eating outs, all of us should order, serve and eat within the limit. Splurging on weddings and restaurants, in front of family and friends, should not be a yardstick to measure someone’s success. Such behaviors should be discouraged.
At home, food should be bought according to the need. Discounts in supermarkets don’t mean that households end up with food items they don’t even need. Proper storage rules should be followed at home. Plus, recycling and utilizing leftovers is equally necessary. Donating leftovers to the needy is far better than dumping them in the bin. In fact, to put an end to leftovers, family members should be rewarded for clearing their plates. It would be even better if restaurants started doing the same too!
Food provides us the energy to work throughout the day. It helps us fight diseases. We should not waste it by overeating, overcooking, over ordering or leaving on our plate. Respecting food is important. Friendship with food is a necessity, to lead a meaningful, healthy, happy life.