Treating Food Right

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It is no hidden secret that I'm a food lover. Check my last poem for instance. I think good food is a luxury and it is not something that should be taken for granted. Why do we all work? Why do we all struggle to make some decent money? At the end of the day we all are doing this to have a good meal and fill our stomachs. I am someone who thinks that food should be cooked for the right number of people and nothing should go waste.

At our office cafeteria we have a board that shows the number of kilos of food wasted per day. Today I saw that it said the food wasted yesterday was 70 kilos and that it could have fed 175 people. My heart just broke as I saw this. There are so many people around the world who do not have a basic meal to eat and here we corporate slaves are wasting food everyday. I'm not too sure how this can be controlled in an office environment. Maybe one should be given the chance to taste the food before actually getting it on to the plate. Also, one should just take the quantity of the food that one can possibly eat. We have some counters in our office where the rice and curry is unlimited and I have seen people helping themselves to four to five spoons of them. If you can eat it, then good for you. But more often than not, half the food remains uneaten and ends up in the dustbin.

I come from a house where we have fresh food everyday. My mother is a working lady and in spite of that made sure that we get hot fresh meals three times a day. I am someone who loves fresh food and I also like variety. I am not the one to eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In order to be able to have fresh food three times a day, it is important that one cooks only enough for one meal. I hate it when people make a pot full of food and then leave it in the fridge. When cooked food is placed in the fridge it loses its nutritional value, but nobody understands that. It is a matter of convenience and laziness for a few people. I have seen people store food for days together in the fridge and eat it over a period of two-three days. At times without even heating it. I find it utterly disgusting. Some times the food remains forgotten in the fridge and is thrown away after a few days. All this can be avoided if one cooked exactly for the number of people per meal.

I've mastered the art of cooking for two people. Even when I was staying with my in-laws my mother-in-law insisted that I only cook for my husband and myself. So I had the measurements right from a long time. Today I make breakfast and lunch in the morning. Since I cook the right quantities, the breakfast is over at breakfast and the lunch for exactly two people is packed. I am someone who can only eat hot food. So I warm the food in the office oven just before lunch. Breakfast and lunch is done with zero wastage. Once back home in the evening, I cook dinner exactly for two people. All the pots and pans are empty by night. No, I do not skimp on the quantity. I cook food that is more than sufficient for two people. If any food remains extra, I immediately give it away to someone who might need it. Cooked food going into the fridge never happens in my house.

Food is something sacred and it is also a luxury in every form. We should not abuse it. I also hate people who go in for easy food. Like making rice and then mixing it with a powder to have a meal ready. This is the height of laziness for me. Once in a while I would understand, but doing this everyday just for convenience is not something I would ever understand. Make food enjoyable. Try out different cuisines and makes different food for each meal a day. To be honest it doesn't take that much of time. I love food that is fresh and hot and that is something I always follow in my house. I know how much quantity of food is needed for a number of people and go ahead with that. Also if I happen to eat out once in a while, I only order how much I can eat. In case there are some leftovers, I parcel them and give it away to the less fortunate.

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Wastage is not only limited to cooked food. Some of us buy vegetables and fruits and forget it in the fridge at times only to find it gone rotten a few days later. If one understood the time and effort that goes behind growing vegetables or fruits, you would think twice before throwing it away. Thankfully all of us can afford to buy vegetables and fruits, but must we buy them for a month or two? I have seen houses where the fridges stink of rotten food, cooked and raw both. Makes me want to puke as I think of it. Buy vegetables that would last for three days or maximum a week. Wash them, pat them dry and store them well. Use them as often as you can and do not forget about it. Being the OCD freak that I am, I plan a menu as soon as I come home from the vegetable store. I alternate vegetables with spinach and pulses and decide what dish each vegetable would be a part of. It just takes a little while and I feel sorted.

Food is something that keeps us alive, so let us treat it that way. Think twice before cooking or throwing away food. Cook the right quantity and the food will be of excellent quality. As much as possible try to cook and eat within an hour or two. Do not carry over food from one meal to another. Or from one day to another. Only cook how much is needed and only serve yourself how much you can eat. At home or at any restaurant. This would help avoid food wastage to a certain extent.

If you think of any other way we can reduce food wastage, please let me know in the comments below.

10 comments:

  1. i think its our life style that has changed with all those inventions and discoveries to match up with fast life has led to advantages and disadvantages where wastage belongs to latter.when it comes to home,one can reduce food wastage but its difficult at eateries unless you are a regular customer who knows how every dish tastes.forget about storing food,with swiggy and zomato,most of people stopped cooking too.whenever i go to restaurant,they give lot of items with a meal and an individual can't eat so many items in thali and they all get wasted cuz waiters will be busy taking orders and don't like to take items back which we don't want to eat.so being a regular customer to certain restaurant helps waiter to know your eating habits and when i order north indian thali,they bring only items that i eat.during every visit i save all south indian items that they give with north indian thali. how we buy vegetables at home?we buy 5 varieties of vegetables for 5 weekdays and its done on weekend, so no wastage.

    truth is, you can't stop wastage when you buy food outside or in restaurants and you can stop wastage at home.so tonnes of wastage is from restaurants and food markets and not from individuals home.in fast paced life, you just can't control larger things.

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    1. People need to only order how much they can eat. Or maybe order a single meal for two people instead.

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  2. Doubt if it may work, but one can levy a small fine for quantities wasted.

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  3. I think 'wastage' has only increased in modern times. When growing up, I used to wonder about the surplus food at home. About where it went. Then I realised that my parents were actually cooking surplus to give it away to neighbours and some less fortunate people in our community.

    Of course, these days, I see people ordering much more than they can consume when at restaurants. They don't even parcel it for takeaway. Just waste it. It's almost like a show of 'opulence' and saying 'I can afford this'.

    Interesting post, Soumya. You know, I'm with you on this one.

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    1. If you can afford it, prove that you can eat it as well. This should be the motto now.

      It is fine to cook or order a little extra. But give it away instead of wasting it is all I say.

      I know that :)

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  4. Since the first week of our marriage till today (it's been 7.5 years!), we go and buy our groceries and vegetables every Saturday. I know exactly what we need. we finish whatever I cook. If there is anything left over, it goes to the maid for breakfast or the reception guys for their meals. I keep checking things for expiration and give them away a few days before.

    Wastage is so disheartening. I have seen people pushing and struggling to take free food packets. I wonder what happens to leftovers in a buffet. I wish there was an organised system in every country where they could collect extra food and distribute. Sadly, it doesn't exist.

    Food wastage is a very serious subject which needs to be discussed much more everywhere in the world.

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    1. Ah, I love you more now!

      A buffet always breaks my heart. There are a few organizations here who collect the leftover food and give it away to NGOs. So some element of good happens.

      Sadly, our government doesn't take it every seriously. And the people, definitely not. It pains for me to see food going waste or rotten anywhere.

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  5. I agree with you on reducing food wastage but disagree on not preparing food in bulk. Unfortunately, I rarely have the time too cook every day and because I want to eat healthy, I have to prepare my meals in advance. Generally, I'll have lunches prepared for the week on Sunday making sure I cook enough portions so that nothing goes waste. Similarly, with dinner, I'll try and cook one or two dishes ahead of time so that all I have to do after a long day at work is heat it in the microwave or stove top and eat it. I don't see the sense in spending hours in the evening in the kitchen especially as I want to go to bed by 9-930. I get home only by 6:30 and leave home at 5:45 in the morning. I'd rather spend my time at home blogging, writing or reading. But I do agree we need to reduce the amount of food we all waste.

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    1. If it works for you, then good Sanch :)

      As long as the food is not going waste. You're planning a day or two ahead, so that's fine. But I have seen people cook so much that they are forced to eat that for every meal. At times it goes rotten soon and they have to throw it away. That's a bad thing.

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