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Food is a right, good food is a privilege and thou shall eat from the sweat of thy brow- Holy Bible
A nice thought indeed. The body needs food to subtend, for its activities, be it physical or mental. Animals and plants do need a specific amount of nourishment to ensure the fullness of life and it can be provided only through food that is mostly ingested through roots or the mouth.
While plants make use of what is available in the soil and water creatures their environment, man is the only creation that has to make his food. He makes food through farming, cultivating grains and vegetables and rearing animals for milk, eggs and meat. He has to depend on plants for their rich growth for which, he needs an abundant supply of water which nature has provided him.
Through farming, he makes food, much more than he needs and makes others eat and make them healthy, for he does not want to waste what he has made in plenty. Interestingly wasted food accounts for about fifty per cent of what has been produced right from sowing the seed, watering or irrigating, harvesting, storing, distributing and retailing. This wasted food is to a certain extent inevitable to convert raw food to consumable food that which is in front, in the plate at the end of the food chain. But a major portion of food wasted occurs after it has been purchased from the retailer.
While the wasted food, from farming to the retailer is justifiable, as this goes back to nature in one way or another, wasting food on the table in a plate, ready for consumption cannot be justified.
One-third of the human population cannot afford even a single whole meal a day due to drought and famine, while our waste bins are sometimes full of what we wantonly discard, what we feel as tasteless or that which would overfill our requirement. Every food waste, discarded by animals including humans, goes back to nature and she takes her own sweet time to get it back to useable food material again, but the effort and water used go to waste. No matter how no matter is wasted by nature.
A five-course dinner, at the end, brings out not less than half of it as unconsumed waste. This volume becomes phenomenal considering the number of such dinners each day across the world. This cannot be corrected as too many with very different attitudes and approach is involved. A full meal consumes about 3000 litres of water from production to consumption, be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian. If half of this is not consumed it means wasting resources including 1500 litres of virtual water, which is not seen, but invariably used for the meal to arrive in the plate.
The food-making process at home involves washing, peeling, slicing and discarding peels, chopping and discarding inedible parts along with some that may be edible, washing out the nutrients in running water and cooking with salt and spices or sauces (another wasting industry) ensuring that it suits the pallet. Food from the pot to the service plate and then to the plate accounts for inevitable wastage of not less than twelve per cent and from the plate we eat, another three.
The only option here is to make consumers aware of the facts and resources involved in the production and making of the food on the plate in front. Wonton indulgence in culinary habits need to be discouraged from a young age and children need to made aware of good and safe food and to make how much and not more, if they are not planning a food production career, but then it is for others.