The numbers are overwhelming. One billion people on this planet are hungry. Every year, six million people die from starvation. In other parts of the world, tonnes and tonnes of food ends up in the bin. One-third of all the food produced, about 1.3 billion tonnes, is thrown away. In other words, there is plenty of food – an overabundance, even – but it is being wasted. There are things that can be done at every point in the food chain to prevent this waste.
What can we do at home to help prevent this waste?
If you want to do something right now to prevent this wasting of food, you can start by changing your perspective. First of all, let’s stop insisting that people, old and young alike, eat more. Trying to get someone who is full to eat more food is just an invitation for them to leave it on the plate. Even babies recognise when they are full.
Psychologists say that we have a problem with empty spaces, which is why we like to see our cupboards and fridges constantly full. Let’s stop doing this. Let’s embrace the empty space. Unnecessary stockpiling is the reason that many ingredients go off.
The most important thing is to strengthen our relationship with the ingredients. As we have become estranged from nature, we have become blind to how food is grown – the labour involved and the magic behind it all. It is a fact that we need to be much more conscious about everything from fruits, vegetables and grains to beef, chicken and fish.