Food Wastage


Just Eat It

Ms. Komal Ahmed is a Berkeley alumnus. She did a commendable job by founding an organization by the name of Copia in her hometown. What Copia does is that they collect leftovers from different restaurants and give them to different organizations. In short, they connect the person who says, “Hey! I have food.” to the person who says, “Hey! I need Food”. Let’s suppose you had an event at your place and you have food left for 50 people. You just have to type the major details into Copia App, a driver will come and pick up the food. In a recent interview, Ms. Ahmed revealed very appalling facts about the food wastage, “If you imagine the world’s largest football stadium filled to its absolute brim that’s how much food goes wasted every single day in America, and that is untouched, uneaten, perfectly edible food.”. According to her this should not hard thing to give food to other people and clear the space. So, Ms. Komal is trying to make food donation pretty easy and intuitive. 
According to the recent report of United Nations 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every single day, that is roughly 1/3 of the total food is produced. In the same report they have mentioned 815 million people go to bed daily without having anything. Just imagine about the cost that we are spending on making food which goes to trash untouched. I think people should contribute in giving food to the needy. Because when food decomposes it is not just stinky, it releases potent greenhouse gases. If we calculate greenhouse gases emitted by wasted decomposing food with countries infamous for it producing greenhouse gases, it would have been the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases lagging behind China and USA. So, avoiding food wastage is actually the easiest way of addressing climate change. The recent report of the Boston Consulting Group warned that food wastage will increase by 2030 from 1.3 to 2.1 billion tons. This rise will see 66 tons of food being wasted every second. In India 2 out of 10 people die daily due to hunger. Statistics ask our immediate response to address this effect


People like Ms. Komal Ahmed are doing great work by solving these issues diligently. Similarly, Will and John invented a FoodCam all the way back in 1999. That is placed in MIT’s (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) media lab. This is actually quite amazing, you just put your food under the camera and push the button. That device will automatically upload pictures of food on social media with captions like: “Come and get it!”. Students can come and grab the food. There’s another group of volunteers who work in this domain to save food, and they call themselves ROBIN HOOD ARMY. These are really interesting people working in the seven countries to tackle this issue. They operate in Karachi, Pakistan too. They do the same work but they have one distinct feature, that they collect food and distribute in slums. While distributing the meals they actually teach kids how to eat with a spoon and teach them table manners.
So here the question arises why the food wastage has spiked in recent past. There are several reasons. Firstly, analysts say that the average size of a plate has increased by 36% since 1960. When you have a big plate, you tend to put all the food whether you can eat it or not, which most of the time goes to trash bins. This thing was noticed by Jill Horst, Director of residential dining services at UC Santa Barbara. She banned usage of trays in dining halls and replaced with simple plates, so that students can take as much food as they want without unnecessary piling. She reported that the average food wastage per person decreased by 50%, that’s a huge amount. Secondly, the size of an average refrigerator has increased by 15% since 1970. People don’t like empty spaces in terms of refrigerators, so they buy more food and put it in the refrigerators. Once you have put a thing in the refrigerator you won’t feel the same excitement when you bought it. Another reason of wastage comes down to our choice to have something to eat at any time. This thing forces us to buy unnecessary food items and eventually goes to waste. 


Food wastage is inevitable but we can at least try to minimize it with our actions. We should follow the footsteps of people like Ms. Komal Ahmed and Robin Hood Army. Small actions have great impact like removing a tray or changing the size of plates can have such a deep effect on the results. We should be playing our part and it all depends on our behavior. None of us is perfect. Rather than wasting food, we should transport it to the people who could use it. In Pakistan 36 million tons of food is wasted each year and we should remember that it is our religious teaching to consume whatever you have put in the plate. In the same way food wastage is great contributor to climate change and Pakistan is among the top 10 countries which will be affected badly by the climate change. We need to change our behavior completely regarding food consumption. I have memorized the statement of Pope Francis, “Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry.”.

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