Food and its importance

OUR ACTIONS ARE OUR FUTURE.

World food day is celebrated annually on October 16th by 150 countries across the world is support of the FAO’s mission to use the event to raise awareness and to gather great support and understanding to the approaches that can help to end world hunger. This year’s theme calls for investing in rural development, for the international community to harness migration’s potential to support development and build the resilience of displaced and host community, thereby laying the ground for long-term recovery and inclusive and sustainable growth. Pope Francis has asked world governments to collectively work to end rising world hunger by working to stop the conflicts and climate-change related disasters that force people to leave their daily bread. Francis drew a standing ovation Monday at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, where he marked the U.N.’s World Food Day by calling for governments to work together to tackle the interconnected problems of hunger, global warming and migration.

In South Africa, one in four people do not have enough to eat, and half the population is at risk of hunger despite the country producing more than enough food, research by Oxfam shows. One 23-year-old mother who survives on piece jobs, often times only has R6 a day to feed her family of four.

Poor communities are squeezed due to lack of jobs, low levels of income, rising prices, lack of rights to land and water and climate change, an unfair, unsustainable food system that does not deliver sufficient food for everyone is largely to blame. Plus government policies are piecemeal, uncoordinated and under-resources. In addition, the food industry, which controls prices and availability of food, excludes small traders and farmers.

It’s a part of routine for many of us, our plates are stuffed with food and when unable to finish, the leftovers are easily scraped off into the bin. On many occasions, after large meals the leftover food is thrown away. It’s a common practice for many of the households without conceptualizing the magnitude of the global food waste in many countries. The amount of food lost and wasted every year is equal to more than half of the world’s annual cereal crops.

Seriously food waste is a national issue. Pakistan is a resourceful country the amount of food produced here can be sufficient for feeding the population, but lack of resources for food management and its distribution is the main problem. The food items include major commodities such as wheat, rice and sugar besides different vegetables and fruits. On the Global Hunger Index out of 118 developing countries, Pakistan is ranked at 107. To add more to these alarming statistics, it is estimated that 40% of food produced in Pakistan is wasted.

It’s a good sign that food banks are being set across the country, which try to reach out the hunger struck population. They collect the surplus food from various places and provide to the needy people. This food

after collection goes through quality assurance and after being sorted out is packed in small packages to be distributed.

Many NGOs are working for this cause, to utilize extra cooked food and give it to people who cannot afford a proper meal. This practice is conducted worldwide. A similar organization started this this work in Pakistan. In Karachi the Robin Hood Army commenced its activities in February 2015. Since its commencement it has fed millions in Karachi. Areas for food distribution are identified through scouting. The campaign is run by volunteers who are working professionals, students which also include school children. In Karachi more than 25 local eateries are contributing their leftover food for charity. In a detailed, many restaurants have their own policy for leftover food instead of throwing it away; they simply feed the poor on their own.

There is a war on food waste in many countries, like in France where the supermarkets have been banned from throwing away unsold food and restaurants must provide doggy bags when asked. By taking remarkable steps, France has secure top spot among the countries in food sustainability. France is the first country to introduce specific food waste legislation and loses only 1.8% of its total food production each year. By 2015 plans it further plans to reduce it to half.

Food sustainability is something which is being considered in the government’s agenda across the world. It is unethical and immoral to waste food resources when hundreds of millions of people remain hungry all across the world. We shouldn’t be relying on government, organizations, NGOs, food banks who work for reducing food waste. There is a need to adopt and promote a lifestyle that encourages sustainability for food resources and generate awareness for food waste reduction. Planning, preparing and soring food on an individual level can contribute to reducing food waste on a household level. Be mindful of old ingredients and leftovers you need to consume at first. By doing this you will waste less and may even find a new favorite dish by utilizing leftovers. When most of the items are kept neglected in refrigerators and ultimately discarded ending in bins. By making small changes in how you shop for, prepare, and store food, you cannot only save time but also money.

In 2012, the Food Network channel premiered a cooking show featuring world’s renowned chefs ‘The Big Waste’. The main feature of this cooking show was that the chefs who were competing in pairs to prepare a gourmet banquet meal, used food which was only intended for the landfill. That episode drew attention towards the issue of food waste.

If you can’t reduce wasted food, divert it from landfills. Landfill waste emits CO2 and methane, both of which are hazardous to the environment. Safe and untouched food can be donated to help those in need. Just look at the food wasted at weddings in Pakistan in particular. Together, this food can feed millions of people who go hungry. You can donate excess food to Robin Hood Army, who will surely collect and provide for the needy.

Humans and their failed Resource Partitioning

People can hardly refuse temptation of delicious food. Apart from being a mere temptation, food is an essential element for the survival of human being. According to Dr. Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs”, the basic “physiological needs” contains air, water, food etc. That’s why Professor Yuan Longping, “Father of Hybrid Rice” is so important to China as well as the whole word; he resolved the biggest problem faced by Chinese and saved thousands of people from famine.

Famine, the word sound so feminine but we can never understand the horror behind it until we have experienced it. Having the ability to get food at a click on our smart phones, one can never realize the pain of a mother in Thar caressing her crying baby to sleep that haven’t had a proper meal in days. According to a study conducted in University of Queensland, over eating today is a bigger problem than lack of food. Dilemma is that wealth and resources are concentrated in the hands of few while the rest of the poor majority starves to death.

In Pakistan, we love to do lavish parties and show off our wealth by the numbers of dishes served at a function. The sight of food being served at a wedding ceremony is extremely amusing but distressing at the same time. It looks like a battlefield; much like a fierce fight among people on whether who gets to fill their plate first.

While conspiring on capturing the table nearest to the food, me and my cousins would divide our responsibilities. One would guard the table while the rest are away getting food. The others would split the tasks of getting different dishes. It wasn’t until recently, when I studied the phenomenon of Resource Partitioning in ecology. It was surprising how our group of cousins was acting so similar to animal species. Resource partitioning is often seen in similar species that occupy the same geographic area. These similar animals avoid competition by using different kinds of food or other resources. If only humans had learned from these animals, there wouldn’t be 9.5 million hungry people in Ethiopia (African News Agency). Our greed has led us to procure as much as we can and become insensible towards the pain and suffering in other countries.

Pakistan produces enough food to feed the entire population but because of food wastage an estimated 6 out of 10 people go to bed hungry. On the Global Hunger Index out of 118 developing countries, Pakistan is ranked at 107 (The News). While wasting food we never ponder upon the effort a farmer has put into preparing his rice and wheat fields. In Pakistan, farmers feed the whole nation but unfortunately they are the least respected and most exploited population in our country. Sugar Mills and Flour Mills owners have become billionaires while a farmer’s situation hasn’t changed. How can there be peace in such an unjust society?

“A hungry people listens not to reason, nor cares for justice, nor is bent by any prayers.”

-SENECA

Early humans were hunters and gatherers. They would hunt just the amount of food needed and gather just the amount of fruits or vegetables required. There were no refrigerators or fridge to stock up stuff inside. The food was respected and cherished. The only way to rectification is our collective consciousness and concern for humanity. One should realize the consequences of one’s

actions. In short, we should think globally and act locally. Let’s vow not to waste food and respect it.

Water scarcity leads to Food insecurity

“Global Warming is not a prediction, it is happening”

Climate change is a global phenomenon, but their impacts are more pronounced in South Asia during the past few decades, which challenges food security in this region.

Thus, Pakistan facing frequent climate change induced annual drought and floods. Once, Pakistan known a water surplus country and now a water deficient country. The rain fall is neither sufficient, nor regular, to meet the growing needs of water. Yet we are wasting water on daily bases.

The surface water resources in Pakistan mainly the Indus River and its tributaries, which bring is about 138 million acre feet of water annually. The Indus River alone provide 65% of the total river flows.

The flow during the Kharif is 84% and during Rabi season is 16% in Pakistan.

Pakistan always face food shortage due to water scarcity and 47% population is food insecure. The production of food is greatly dependent on irrigation. So, Pakistan required new strategies to enhance water use efficiency, maintain and improve the quality and sustainability of resources base at Basin and water shed level. Pakistan need to invest soon in increasing rain water harvesting by increasing storage capacity of water.

Long term strategies may include the construction of large storage dams, better flood and drought forecasting mechanisms and resolving water distribution problems in all over Pakistan.

Short term strategies to save water are careful use of water in our daily use, campaigns and advocacy to ensure lesser water wastage, people in urban areas are wasting a lot of water in car wash, street cleaning, and other recreational activities these need to stop. Because water we waste in urban areas are causing a lot of trouble for the people in rural areas and causing damage to our agriculture. We are killing the rights of the people who are now deprived of the water because of our wastage of water.

World Food Day

World food day

It is celebrated on “16 October” every year on a global scale. The theme of 2018 on “WORLD FOOD DAY” is…

“Our actions are our Future”

Food is the basic requisite which must be fulfilled by every citizen of any country and a person of every religion, and creed in any geographical regions.

Food is basically any healthy matter which any living being eats, drink or can gain energy and fulfill its daily needs from.”

Foodies are the people who have tenderness to eat food as their obsession and not just because of hunger.

Food in Different Continents:

European people like to have a beer, blini, crepe and specifically borshch. Americans are fond of southern bbq. African like cuisines. In Asia, foodies adore to have Thai-basil chicken. Australians like to have burgers simply while Antarticans are fond of having fish and other sea-foods.

Foods in Pakistan:

In Pakistan, diverse regions have different cultures and traditions in food also. Like Punjabis eat food having much spices and chilies e.g; nan chany, karahi, biryani etc. While the people living in northern western (KPK) used to have saltish food e.g; Balochis and the people of Gilgit like to have dishes having less salt and almost no spices e.g; Saji, sea-food.

World food day theme in 2017 was “Zero hunger” but unfortunately it is might be possible in 2030 it is beneficial to celebrate food day internationally to lessen the scarcity at any level.

Major reasons that why we need to act upon this zero-hunger slogan:

    It could save the precious lives of 3.1million malnourished children wide-reaching.

    Well-nourished mothers could have well-nourished babies in their laps.

    GDPA could be increased up to 16.5% by acting upon this line of attack.

    Economical enhancement can also occur as a result of this NO HUNGER system.

    A healthy lifetime earning is upgraded as a result.

    Eliminating the iron deficiency can boost-up the efficiency rate up to 20%.

    9.4% of work-force can be increased by dwindling the mortality rate among children.

    Increasing food would be helpful for creating a more prosperous, healthier and satisfied human environment.