Food Ethics: Pledge To ‘Think. Eat. Save’ This World Environment Day

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World Environment Day is celebrated every year on June 5th. This year the theme was ‘Think.Eat.Save’ – discouraging food wastage and creating awareness about it. According to researchers from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in England, as much as half of all the food produced in the world never makes it on to a plate and ends up as waste every year. Food waste per year is almost 2 billion tonnes. Mumbai Dabbawala Foundation also started their Share My Dabba campaign recently which minimizes food wastage and helps feed Mumbai’s underprivileged street children. It’s time we pull up our socks and stop the waste. Here are a few tips on how you can avoid and manage food wastage.

1. Make a shopping list
Supermarkets are designed to make you buy too much which might cause wastage of food. Hence it is necessary to plan the menu for a week and make a detailed shopping list when you go out to shop for grocery. It is also important to stick to the list. This will also help to keep track of when vegetables, fruits and other perishables need to be eaten. Make it a point to buy what you need and eat what you buy.

2. Food storage
Pay attention to how food is stored and wrapped in the refrigerator so that it doesn’t turn bad. Clean and cut up your vegetables before putting it in the fridge. The key to keep food fresh for a long time is keeping the air out of the food you freeze. Use zip-lock bags to store food and label them if you need with the date. For example, you can preserve limes by squeezing the juice into an ice cube tray and save it for later. Also, if you buy something in a big quantity like peas or meat, divide it and freeze it for later.

3. Make the most of leftovers
Instead of scraping leftovers into the bin, use them for the next day or may be transform leftovers into another dish.
• Slices of bread can be roasted and ground into bread crumbs which can be used for frying fish or potatoes and stuffed capsicums. It can also be made into French toast for breakfast.
• Leftover rice can be used to make fried rice.
• Brown bananas can be used to make smoothies or a milk shake.
• Old vegetables can be added into stews.
• Tomatoes can be pureed into tomato sauce.

Did you know?
Many research reports say that people buy food depending on its look – cosmetic look. Many people are said to buy fruits and vegetables if they look good. For example, if they are shapeless, they are trashed. Some even reject bent carrots or distorted pears. Some only like small strawberries which are said to be tastier than big ones.

4. Don’t let your eyes be bigger than your stomach
Eat only how much you want and don’t overeat. Start by small portions and go for second serving if you want more. This will avoid trashing of food.

5. Turn leftovers into garden food
Sometimes food waste is unavoidable. Here you can set up a compost bin for your waste. Composting is a way of recycling. Collect all your leftovers like peels and scraps of vegetables and fruits in a bin. For faster composting, shred it. Pour some water into it and keep it closed. Worms will find their way in and soon your leftovers will turn into a good quality fertiliser that can be used for your plants. You can also bury your food waste into the soil which will take around six months to decompose depending on the moisture in the soil.

Build a bin
Build a worm bin by just poking air holes into a plastic or wooden box. Store your waste in it and see it turn into fertiliser soon enough.

Have other ideas that you would like to share with us? Comment below or email us at [email protected]!

Image: Amit Khoje (AJ_Khoje on Flickr)

Post By Syrah (76 Posts)

Always curious, writing was something she discovered accidentally which she now enjoys. Loves reading fiction, dislikes staying idle and enjoys spontaneous trips or treks over weekends.

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Syrah

Syrah
Always curious, writing was something she discovered accidentally which she now enjoys. Loves reading fiction, dislikes staying idle and enjoys spontaneous trips or treks over weekends.