Thursday, 15 August 2013

Please, Sir, I want some more...

This concept of “more,” made famous by Oliver Twist, seems to be dominant in societies today, particularly where food is concerned 

Why is this a problem? 
According to recent statistics, we throw away more than 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year. In effect, the “more” food we buy, the more is wasted.

It is human nature to indulge every so often; however problems occur when there is too much food being bought and eventually wasted. This not only costs us economically, it costs the environment in a drastic way. Food and drink that goes to landfill breaks down and releases more CO₂ and methane into the atmosphere, which contributes greatly to global warming. The food that deteriorates can also pollute the surrounding areas, by releasing too many harmful chemicals into the ground systems. 

On a human level, it is worth mentioning that the food that we eventually waste may take many years and much hard work from producers to reach our plates. If we truly consider the efforts that go into food production, for example, a plate of boiled rice – from the climate needed to grow the rice to the processes of harvesting, drying and milling it, maybe we would think twice about scraping our leftovers into the bin. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the impacts of food waste. Firstly, buying less food. It may seem difficult at first, but gradually reducing food intake benefits both our health and the environment.

We can also save our leftovers; they can either be frozen or eaten the next day for lunch! We could even take part of a meal to our neighbours if we make too much, or donate it to homeless shelters and food banks. More practically, we can request a food waste bin from our local councils, or install a compost bin in our gardens for food waste. 

Growing our own fruits and vegetables would also make us appreciate the work that goes into producing food, which would hopefully reduce the amount of food we waste and make us all think about our outlook on always wanting “more.”