I am sure at one point or another you may have witnessed huge wastage of good food at either someone’s weddings or a social gathering. Some of the weddings literally have hundreds of dishes many of which are not even seen, let alone eaten by the public. So where does it go? WASTE!
But, it seems that it may be a thing of past as the government plans to take strict actions again wastage of food in weddings & Social gatherings. Yes a lot of food goes to waste. According to some government figures at an average about 15-20% of the food made goes to waste. In my view, it could be even more and pretty expensive in terms of money. There are also the numbers of unaccounted people called gate crashers who enter a marriage function just to eat something and get out.
Government is planning to come up with a regulation on the lines of the Guest Control Order of the 1960s to manage the number of guests in marriages. After the recent problems like food shortages, food inflation, problem of food scarcity etc. the government has setup a committee comprising some eminent personalities ( the likes of MS Swaminathan etc.) to look into the problem of managing the entire food issue. And one of their recommendations involves this where building awareness and legislation for the same will be considered important.
Though this measure is an interesting attempt by the government at trying to save food resources, there are various problems. Who will see to that no wastage occurs at weddings because thousands occur every day in the country? What constitutes wastage – people throwing while eating after they take on their plate or excess food not being consumed? How much wastage is tolerable? What measures will help prevent this indiscriminate wastage of food? Does one have to answer anyone about the food consumed at a wedding after the entire function is over? Also, what if the reason for food wastage is real valid one….
If we consider this problem, then we can see there is food wastage everyday at messes, hotels, restaurants, bars, trains, aeroplanes etc. There is food wastage in people’s homes. There is food wastage while transporting various products from one place to another. Obviously I don’t mean that to say that food wastage is a good thing. But will the government have officers everywhere to prevent such wastage? Can such a thing be monitored all the time?
Instead what can be done is to prevent wastage during transportation by encouraging retailers to develop their cold storage. Large amounts of tomato and other crops have been wasted this year because of poor storage, inability to handle excess capacity etc. The milk products are spoilt very fast because of poor logistics and supply chain. Hundreds of Tons of food grains go rotting due to improper warehousing facilities. Law should be bought here..
For other times, the issue of wastage of food can be tackled by creating awareness about the importance of saving food for that one extra meal for the poor. Or one can probably have something like food credits at restaurants, hotels etc. similar to carbon credits. One can exchange these food credits if a restaurant or event management company for weddings cause less loss of food. But for that too some kind of evaluation and monitoring would need to be done.
This is a really good move by the government. But it has a long way to go if to develop into a concrete option to save food for the poor by a large amount.