Food wastage vs. famine

Some of us don’t know how lucky we are in this part of the world to be able to afford 3 square meals in a day, sometimes, effortlessly too. ‘When one is well fed and warm, one’s desires turns to excesses and fleshly desire’ says an ancient Chinese proverb.

I am sure, I am not the only that tends to change the channel whenever the ‘starving helpless children of East Africa’ comes up on the television, either as a news item or some ‘Oxfam Aid Appeal’. As appalling as it may look on television, the reality of the true scale of the problem would be even more of an ‘eyesore’ to visualise.

The magnitude of the actual situation on ground, is that of a catastrophe on an unprecedented global level. It is an act of ‘war’ against the entire human race, and yet we the privileged do not only fold our hands and watch, but also ‘add salt to injury’ with our billions of pounds of food wastage annually.

According to the waste and resources action programme (WRAP) research conducted in 2008, which was based on a data for England and Wales, it is estimated that householders across the UK throw away £10.2 billion of food waste that could have been avoidable, goes to waste. In a news article for 2008, the BBC described the scale of food waste in the UK as ‘staggering’.

However, in the United States alone, according the website ‘’, food waste for household alone is estimated to be $43 billion. Just how much is the annual figure for food wasted globally then? Although we may never know for sure. but according to a new policy brief issued by the United Nation Food and Agriculture (FAO) and the Stockholm International Water Institute, close to half of all food produced worldwide is wasted.

‘If you are not part of the solution, you could well be part of the problem’ they say, those words couldn’t be more fitting in application to this scenario. What exactly does our (developed world) food waste got to do with their (East African) famine? You may wonder.
Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t, but imagine how a starving child in any part of the world might feel knowing that somewhere across the Atlantic, there are tons and tons of food being wasted annually.

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