This article in the Economic Times set me thinking. Ok, the Rs. 48 lakhs over 40  years seems to be a bit far-fetched as no one sees that far. Yet, as it is meant to do, the headline does make an impact and grabs your attention. Some of the statistics make you sit up and think. In the US and Europe the per capita food wastage is estimated to be 95-115 kgs per annum. In India, such a figure is not available but it is estmated that 15-20 % of the food gets wasted at social gatherings.

I am sure you have seen happen as I have. Be it at a restaurant, a wedding, or a company sponsored get together , the amount of food wasted is mind boggling. I often wonder why people serve themselves more than they can eat. Some people serve themselves so much at buffets as if there is no tomorrow! One reason could well be that they are not paying for it themselves and therefore don’t care a damn for the wastage.

I guess most people tend to be more frugal in their own houses or when they foot the bill. It’s like the guy saying at the restaurant that he would have two non-vegetarian gourmet dishes, two kinds of wine and assorted accompaniments, only to change his mind when he realized the treat was on him. He did a quick retake and said that since his stomach wasn’t too good, he would settle for simple fare and encouraged others to do the same.

The article says fruits and vegetables are wasted more than any other items. Perhaps we over order to get a good price or forget what we have when we add on more to the refrigerator which is already groaning with last week’s overload.

Spare a thought for the many who don’t have half as much as you do. No one says you shouldn’t eat your fill. Of course, you should. Just don’t waste in an environment when many go hungry. Here’s a story where an NGO uses kitchen waste to generate power in Bangalore.

One third of the world’s hungry live in India. As the old saying goes, waste not. Want not.