Jared Ingersoll on… hunger

Love food, hate waste

I would say that many of us have a memory of hunger. Maybe not from our own generation, rather our parents and grandparents – we have heard stories of going without, we know that this is something our society has very recently experienced.

For example, when my Mum was growing up, although they never starved, food was scarce and as such was something to be cherished and used – waste was never tolerated. And so when I was growing up I was never allowed to leave the table until my plate was clear, there was NEVER a thought given to my personal preference (except for birthdays or celebrations); it was eat what you are given, end of story. The reason Mum was so strict about this was because when Mum was growing up with her brothers they experienced hunger, proper hunger, they knew to respect the food that they had.

It is a different time now, food is everywhere and this is something I have written about more than a few times. I think that it is a good thing to have all this food about but we are going to have to be very careful how we treat our food systems if we want to enjoy this abundance. What is it we need to do, you ask? Well it is actually really simple, we must not waste anything. Buy the food you want and eat it! It’s not hard at all.

If you are wondering why I am harping on about waste again, it is because the UN ran a study on ‘food wastage footprint’ and has released some unsettling results. Currently we are wasting 1.3 billion tons of food a year, this emits 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide, and to waste that much food it requires 250 cubic kilometres of water – the whole while 870 million people go hungry every day! As our populations grow so do our food requirements.

So how does this effect you? You can’t very well send a half eaten sandwich to those in need, but you can think about how you buy and eat food (54% or wastage occurs in food production). If you buy whole foods and eat well you will make the world a better place, and if you get your kids into food you will be giving them necessary survival tools for a good life.

For more information check out: www.lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au and www.foodwise.com.au.

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