A survey conducted by the polling company Social Weather Stations revealed that as much as 4.2 million Filipino families experienced involuntary hunger during this coronavirus pandemic. Involuntary hunger has long been a problem here in the Philippines particularly for low-income families. Therefore, it is both disappointing and mind-boggling to note that Filipinos waste so much food every day.
According to a report by Germany-based media outlet Deutsche Welle, as much as 2,000 tons of food are thrown away daily in the country even though one in three Filipinos are considered poor. Evidently, we should have started doing something about this food waste problem started long ago but as the idiom goes, better late than never.
Parents should teach children the importance of not wasting food. Kids should learn that they must only get the amount of food that they are sure to eat. Parents can do this as they inculcate to their children the value of thriftiness. If children learn this value early on, then they will carry it with them as they become adults. As for the adults, they have to remind themselves that wasting food is the same as wasting hard-earned money.
Food chains and other restaurants can also do something to address the problem of food wastefulness. They can begin by allowing their customers to buy food in half servings especially rice. This would minimize wastage especially for those who don’t eat much for whatever reason and those who find the day’s meal unpalatable.
These food businesses can also implement a system of sharing their surplus food. Each day, large amounts of food doesn’t get bought in the canteens. Instead of disposing the surplus, these establishments can have a food donation program where they can have countless beneficiaries like street children, fire victims, and even jail inmates.
At a time when so many Filipinos are struggling to have food on their tables, it is just right for us to be more conscious of not wasting food. As Pope Francis pointed out, “It is a cruel, unjust and paradoxical reality that today, there is food for everyone, and yet not everyone has access to it, and that in some areas of the world food is wasted, discarded, and consumed in excess,” he said.