It is said that 5% of Americans’ leftover food could feed 4 million people for 1 day. France’s leftover could feed Congo and that of Italy’s could feed Ethiopia’s undernourished. (Source: The Yomiuri Shimbun 28.07.08)
Moneywise it is not smart to pay for food which you do not eat. According to WRAP, the UK government’s waste watchdog, British households throw away 20% of the food that they buy even though it is till edible. Food waste cost the average household ?420 (RM 2,394) a year.
For example, a cup of coffee accounts for about 140 litres of water that is used in growing, producing, packaging and shipping the beans. Meanwhile a shirt made from cocoon grown in Pakistan soaks up 2,700 litres of water (Reuters, 22.08.08).
The decomposition of food and other organic waste material in landfills produces methane, which is 20 times a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
We should have a campaign against food wastage. (UK started a Love Food Hate Waste campaign in 2007.) The campaign should encourage proper planning of meals, saving leftovers, ordering sensibly when eating out and using a doggy bag for leftovers. The campaign should inspire consumers to exercise restrain during festivities and during celebrations of birthdays, reunions and weddings. All these simple measures can go a long way in reducing food wastage.
Throwing away food whilst others go hungry is morally unacceptable, financially wasteful and environmentally harmful. To continue to waste food would be tossing our moral compass into the trash can together with our uneaten food.
Let the war on food wastage begin today!