Today is World Environment Day. I am sure most of us wouldn’t bother and realize and frankly speaking a leading daily’s green page caught my attention. UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme) initiative World Environment Day is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. The theme this year is Think. Eat. Save . It is an anti food-wastage campaign which encourages people to reduce their foodprint.
Following are some of the market reports that give shocking details of food industry and a reality check of the amount of food wasted in the world.
• An estimated 30–50% (or 1.2–2 billion tons) of all food produced never reaches a human stomach.
• 1 in every 7 people in the world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 die daily due to hunger.
• 10% of rich countries’ greenhouse gas emission comes from growing food that is never eaten.
• 25-30% of school lunches end up in the bin.
• The UK generates over 16 million tonnes of food waste every year, costing an estimated £22 billion a year.
• Between 25-40% of fruit and vegetable crops are rejected by supermarkets.
A new comprehensive market research report states global food production occupies 25% of all habitable land and is responsible for 70% of fresh water consumption, 80% of deforestation, and 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. These research reports are enough to raise awareness and to awaken the global citizen in you. And if you think that only industries, governments and other national organizations can take care of these food wastage then you are wrong! Small minimal changes can lead to a big change.
Following are some pointers that can help you a get a step closer to change.
• Don’t prepare excess food; always make it sufficient enough which will suffice your needs. And if it’s getting wasted give it to the less privileged.
• Try organic food. The organic food industry is on the rise! Organic foods are foods that are produced using methods of organic farming – that does not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
• Buy loose fruits and vegetables instead of Prepacked, then you can buy exactly the amount you need. Choose meats and cheese from a deli so that you can buy what you want.
• Some food waste is unavoidable, so why not set up a compost bin for fruit and vegetable peelings? In a few months you will end up with rich, valuable compost for your plants. Just feed it with your scraps sprinkle over a layer of special microbes and leave to ferment. The resulting product can be used on houseplants and in the garden.
• Food preservation is an effective way of saving food and preventing it from being wasted or lost. Reports state how different countries preserve their foods. In India, tamarind or lemon juice are used as preservative for chutneys, pickles, In Kenya people preserved milk by turning it into milk powder .
• Choosing to buy locally can also mean that foods are not flown halfway across the world and therefore limit emissions.
Our growing population puts so much pressure on the environment that nowadays the natural resources are no longer as abundant as they used to be. How we use and dispose our non-renewable resources is altering our ecosystems and even the planet’s renewable resources are rapidly being exhausted. There are many possibilities as for how we can change our unsustainable consumption habits while also improving our quality of life. To do more with less is essential for us to live within the resources the planet has to offer. Changing our current living standards requires us to adopt innovative and creative solutions. That would enable a transition to more sustainable activities and also protecting the world’s natural resources. And like UNEP states THINK. EAT. SAVE