Post by RK News on Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Over the years, food wastage has become a growing concern in both developing and developed countries as it brings financial, ethical, and environmental consequences. Many experts are of the opinion that the problem of food waste is closely intertwined with globalization. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, an estimated 1.5 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally each year, accounting for one-third of all food provided for human consumption. The factors that have been identified for most of the food wastage in the world are not due to deliberate (and irresponsible) actions of people but deficiencies like lack of storage facilities, inappropriate pest control systems that are in use in countries where most of the food does not reach the consumer, and transportation. Despite the fact that the world produces enough food to sustain twice the current population but still food wastage is the cause of malnutrition for billions of citizens around the world. Food wastage is a major issue in the Kashmir valley as well. We live in a geographically isolated area where shortage of food and other material are common during the harsh winters. On the economic front, the valley contains some of the most fertile lands in the region, enough to support a sizable portion of the local population. However, new agriculture practices besides proper storage and preservation of food material need to be followed through in different food shortage situations. So far, we have only seen some deliberation in the horticulture sector after producers/farmers expressed interest in cold storage facilities. In the past agriculturists as well as the government have been affected by storage problem, with tonnes of food material getting spoiled due to adverse weather conditions and lack of temperature and humidity control equipment. Transportation has also cost the valley as different food stuff that is exported decay due to halts while they are being ferried out. Furthermore, the fruit-laden trucks that are used to export the valley's produce have very little protection. Sometimes the irresponsible behaviour adopted by the people also result in the food wastage. Also, during the extravagant wedding feasts, tonnes of food get wasted or is thrown away. It is only during crises that people come to realize the true worth of food and other materials. People in the valley have a natural tendency to store food, but they must learn how to preserve it and, more importantly, how to use it wisely. We may not be able to prevent food wastage completely but we can reduce it at our personal level. We as the responsible citizens should make it a habit not to waste food, not even a morsel.