Perhaps one of life’s greatest injustices is when one person sleeps on a full stomach while another scours desperately for food a few feet away. While this is a direct consequence of the inequality that exists between people throughout the world, the situation is made a lot worse by the huge amounts of food that goes to waste each day due to improper management and disposal of leftovers. The issue of food wastage is of high importance to fight hunger, raise income and improve food security in Pakistan. Food wastage has an impact on food security for poor people, on food quality and safety, on economic development of a country and on environment.

Each time food goes unconsumed, all the resources that went into producing processing, packing and transporting the food are wasted. This means that a huge amount of water, money and other materials are depleted. Food wastage increases methane emission and contributes significantly to climate change.

Food wastage is morally wrong because there are many people who are hungry or dying, simply because they have no food. According to the UN`s World Food Organization around 920 million people are going hungry worldwide of which one third are children.

Go to the restaurant and look at the amount of food that remains uneaten when the wait staff removes the plates. The waste is especially grievous in the resorts, national parks, sea sides, and other public places; I see a huge amount of uneaten food. Supermarkets, bakeries and other stores that sell food, lose out on tons of items that go into dumpsters every day.

According to an estimate about 40 percent food prepared at different events in Pakistan, especially at weddings, is wasted when people rush towards the food and fill up their plates with more food than they can consume. Both the host and guests are responsible for the wastage of food. People (guests) take much food in the first attempt and then are unable to eat that due to which the food goes to waste. On the other hand there is a tradition in Pakistani weddings that a good host feeds his guests well. In weddings the food wastage is an eye opener because extra food has to be prepared to make sure everyone is well fed in spite of its expected wastage.

In addition the trend of buffet in different events, and weddings leads to more food wastage. People love to taste everything and in that process leave most of the dishes wasted because either they do not like it or want something else that catches their attention. People take maximum food in their first round without seeing what will be left for the person behind them in the queue.

We live in a country where thousands of people, unfortunately, hardly manage one meal a day and sleep with an empty stomach apart from those millions who are under-nourished. We should think at least once before wasting the food and look at those waiters who serve the food at weddings and restaurants. If one gets a chance to visit kitchens of restaurants, then one would be shocked to see the amount of food going to dustbins.

The food is prepared or ordered according to the number of guests invited. Meanwhile, normally the guests do not inform their host if they cannot attend the function, and hence the food that is prepared is wasted. There is a need to enforce a ban on wedding feasts and only snacks, tea or cold drinks shall be allowed, or at the best one-dish party with a limited number of guests to stop the kind of wastage that are going on. The alternative is also to encourage charities to pick up leftover food through refrigerated vehicles for free distribution among the destitute.