3 November,2014: The whole world requires food. It is the common universal ground on which we all depend to run our lives, and to fuel our biological engine. But, when we intake a spoonful of food, we are not only taking the nutrients. In fact, that spoonful of food is much more than just a combination of chemicals that sustain us. It takes a substantial amount of effort and resource to grow, harvest and prepare them. Growing food is definitely not an easy task. And in addition to that, the food has to travel all the way from the farm to the market even before it reaches our plates. Thus, when we are wasting our food, we are wasting the entire energy the universe has had to put into producing it.
But, despite all the struggles it takes to feed humanity, a lot of food often goes wasted. Though reliable data are hard to come by, roughly 40 percent of food in the developed countries goes waste. Further, considering the fact that a developing country like ours is often ill equipped to preserve foods and vegetables, we can safely assume that the amount wasted is certainly higher.
On one side of the spectrum are people who donâ€™t have qualms to waste the food and/or expertise to prevent it from getting wasted. The other side of the spectrum is filled with millions of gaunt, famished, malnourished faces who donâ€™t get enough to eat. In fact, roughly 21,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, which roughly translates into one person every four seconds, according to the United Nations. Further, out of 1.2 billion people on this planet who live in abysmal poverty, 805 million people struggle to feed themselves every day. And, sadly speaking, the ones that are worst affected by hunger and poverty are the children.
Each year, 2.6 million children
die as a result of hunger-related causes.
So, wasting food is a matter of global shame for all of us, especially when we know that somewhere in the planet people are starving. We cannot send our leftovers to the starving children in Africa, neither am I advocating for such a measure. But, at least, we can think about how much we really want to eat, be blessed with what we have, eat our food and save the rest for the next day instead of throwing it away. And since we have the power to take some initiativeâ€”at least in the household levelâ€”and the knowledge to save what we have, letâ€™s not wait for someone else to prod us into doing it. Letâ€™s save our food, our energy, our environment and our humanity. Because every little step we take today makes a lot of difference. Letâ€™s start it from today. Letâ€™s not allow the food on our plates to be wasted.
Dahal is an A-levels student at Kathmandu University High School, Kavre.