Food Waste by Giselle Makinde, Cream of the Crop

Food Waste by Giselle Makinde, Cream of the Crop

Have you wondered why we waste so much food nowadays?

It wasn't always like that. The relation of our grandparents with food was different. They respected a lot more because they didn't take the food for granted.

The last time we were asked not to waste food was during world war II. There was a notion of sacrifice for the good country for the war effort.

There were posters like “Food is a weapon, don't waste it” (pictured here) and all sorts of propaganda to encourage the public not to waste food. Since that time, food has become more plentiful. All of a sudden, we did start to see much more abundant and cheaper food. Our notion of what's a reasonable amount of food to eat has changed. The idea of larger portions is seeping into our households. Serving food in abundance is appreciated and encouraged. Therefore, wasting food is not only widespread but also condoned.

Because we don't struggle to have food on our table, we don't respect the production process, and when we waste food, we also waste all the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package it. It's a system that failed. When this food goes to the landfill and rots, it produces methane—a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide. Wasted food isn't just a social or humanitarian concern—it's an environmental one.

It's estimated 2.5 billion tonnes of food goes uneaten around the world each year. That is an increase of approximately 1.2 billion tonnes from last year. These new estimates indicate that of all the food grown, about 40% goes uneaten.

Wasting food should be taboo. It's one of the last things you can do, one of the last environmental ills that you can just get away with it.

The cycle of food waste starts with ourselves. Our grandparents didn't have an alternative, neither did we.

The only way is to respect the food and doesn't waste it.