Save Food To Serve

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Food: Waste Not, Want Not, is the demand of the day and it is a social and national responsibility of every individual, because the world’s population is expected to double by the year 2050, making food security a major challenge. Food production will have to be doubled or preferably tripled by the year 2050 to meet the needs. The enormity of the challenge is significantly increased by the fact that the additional food will have to be produced on existing or even shrinking agricultural land due to socio economic pressure. Hence it is the high time to start practicing not to waste food.

According to Food and Agriculture organization (FAO) of the UN, approximately one third of the food produced for the human consumption, which amounts to 1.3 billion tons, gets lost or wasted.

According to Hindustan Times, around 67 million tons of food is wasted in India every year, which has a value of around Rs. 92,000 crore. And it's enough to feed all of Bihar for a year.

According to a written statement given to the parliament in 2013 by former agriculture minister Mr. Sharad Pawar, nearly 40% of the total produce is wasted every year in the country.

As per report of Hindustan times; out of the 9,400 tons of trash that Mumbai sends daily to its dumping grounds, 73% (6862 tons) comprises food, vegetable and fruit waste, says the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s latest Environment Status Report (ESR).

India suffers serious level of hunger, ranks 103 on global hunger index 2018.

The recent Global Hunger Index 2018 (GHI) reveals that tackling hunger and under nutrition is a difficult task for the Government. India stood 103rd on the Global Hunger Index along with Nigeria and has been categorized as a country with ‘serious’ levels of hunger.

India’s neighboring countries - GHI Rank and Score

Rank       Country GHI Score
25 China 7.6
72 Nepal 20.2
86 Bangladesh      26.1
103 India 31.1
106 Pakistan 32.6

God does not love the wasteful

Muslims have had lessons on avoiding and reducing waste for over 1,400 years and we can all benefit from the guidance offered in Islam.

”It is He Who has brought into being gardens, the cultivated and the wild, and date-palms, and fields with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and variegated. Eat of their fruit in season, but give (the poor) their due on harvest day. And do not waste, for God does not love the wasteful”. [Quran 6:141]

Islam absolutely prohibits wastage in every aspect of one’s lives, whether it be with time, energy, celebrations, one’s wealth, water or even food. If Allah Subhanah has blessed one amongst His believing slaves with more than his/her needs, then one must be grateful to his Lord and as a sign of his gratefulness and appreciation he must strive to share and distribute the excess amongst the poor and needy of society.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Surah Bani Israel verses 27

“Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the Shaytaan; and the Shaytaan is to his Lord, ungrateful”.

Food as a gift from God

According to Hinduism, food is a gift from God and should be treated with great respect. Devout Hindus offer food to God before eating and are careful about what and how they eat.

Annam na nindyat tad vratam
Prano vaa annam shareeramannadam ((T.U., part III, ch. 7)

(Treat nourishment with great respect. Never show disrespect to nourishment.)

Srimadbhawadgeeta says, “om brahmarpanam brahma havir-brahmagnou brahmnahutam; brahmaiva tengantavyam brahmakarmasamadhinah”– (Chapter 4:24) with its central idea that “Food is Brahma or God. Human soul is Brahma, dwelling in the body (temple of God or Brahma) and for its nourishment Food (Brahma) is offered to Brahma (soul in the body).

It implies that food maintains or nourishes body, for body is annamaya kosha, food-based cell, and so food should be looked upon with reverence as ‘Gift of God’, just like fresh air and water, and it should not be wasted at all. This is what the Vedic culture of India teaches. Food is the cycle of life of all species, for whosoever has body needs food for its survival. As a plant dies without water so does body without food in its natural course of existence.

Jesus Said Don’t Waste

John 6:12, after feeding all those people, Jesus said, “When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” Although the food he made was miraculous and he could probably do it again, he still didn’t want any of it to go to waste

Food is part of the spiritual life of every Sikh

Food is part of the spiritual life of every Sikh, and is commonly referred to as rijak, divine sustenance, or giras, nourishment. According to Sikh thought, after creating the Creation, the Divine continuously nourishes it and sustains it through breath and food. As the third Sikh Guru, Guru Amar Das writes: ‘The Creator created the creation; the Creator gazes upon it, and blesses it with breath and nourishment’ (SGGS,1055).

The Gurus remind us that constant nourishment by the Creator enables us to maintain a healthy mind and body, which we treat as a temple for the Divine. A person who is spiritually eats according to need, avoiding overindulgence.

It is estimated that 33 % of the total food production get wasted worldwide. This causes huge social, environmental and economic impacts. Food is wasted at all the stages of the food chain, but statistics reveal that households are the major contributor to food waste. The household contributes 42% of the total amount food waste. It’s time to think and take action!

Moreover the major religions of the world prohibits the wastage of food. Therefore, it is obligatory on all of us to avoid food wastage and save ourselves from the wrath of Almighty.

Save food and Serve Food to the needy and attain contentment both in this world and hereafter.


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