The impact of food wastage on the environment is adverse. However, we first need to understand what food wastage exactly is. Food waste refers to the items which are perfectly consumable by us, but we choose to throw it away.
Now once we understand that, we need to understand why food wastage exists. To understand this, we need to know that it is the abundance of food in the industrialised industries that lead to wastage of food. This, however, is not the only factor; the habit of us consumers towards wasting food is a very big contributor to the problem that is food wastage. We as people who can easily afford the food we need to take it for granted, the abundance of it available for us makes us think that it’s alright to do what we’re doing.
If you ever give close concentration to the plates left in dustbins at parties and functions, you’ll come to realise how the amount of food wasted is enough to feed a lot of hungry people.
The all you can eat buffets are also a great place to hold observations. We are creatures of habit, and when we see something available to us more than we need, we end up wasting it.
The buy one and get one scheme on food often encourage consumers to buy more food than they can consume, and this extra food ends up going into the trash.
Now when we come to consider the impact of our wastefulness on the environment would we understand that it’s just not food that gets wasted it’s all the resources that were put together to produce the food which was wasted too. Think about the water used to irrigation, land for planting, fuel for powering harvest, and transport vehicles. All of these really important resources go into the drain along with the food which could’ve fed someone needy.
If we consider facts, the production of just one apple takes one hundred and twenty-five litres of water, consider this when the next time you throw an apple into the bin.
People who waste non-veg food cause even worse damage, the number rises to fifteen thousand and four hundred litres for just one kilogram of beef. Water is very important and also a heavily valuable resource; wasting food is intrinsic to wasting water.
Another important resource which we waste with wasting food is earth’s precious and limited materials. Twenty-eight per cent of the world’s agricultural sector is used to provide food that gets ultimately thrown into the drains. This is a very clear and unnecessary degradation of land. To produce agricultural land one needs to cut down trees, when we think about the land we waste, let’s also think about the deforestation that comes with it. Deforestation causes the removal of wildlife from their natural habitat and is also really harmful to the environment as I’m sure everyone is aware.
The carbon track of food scrap is three point three billion tons of CO2 equivalent per year.
The discarded, wasted food which ends up getting rotten in landfills gives off methane, a harmful greenhouse gas, it has the capacity of catching heat twenty-five more per cent than carbon dioxide.
Food wastage is predicted to keep rising if we don’t do something about it.
This should be enough to make us aware and concerned. We should, however, not lose hope.
We can turn waste into worth by transforming the leftover food into new products for our own use.
We need to spread awareness and educate people about the harms of food wastage.
The pattern of our habit needs to be broken, and the behaviour of the consumers should be altered. We can become aware of the amount of food we need, plan our food consumption, and buy food accordingly, keeping in mind we need to not be wasteful.