Food Waste: A Climate Change Culprit We Can’t Ignore

9 August 2023

In a world grappling with mounting environmental concerns, one issue looms large, casting a shadow over our future: food waste. Its devastating impact on our planet cannot be understated. In India, the scale of this problem is nothing short of staggering. A shocking revelation by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) states that a third of the food produced in the country goes to waste. This wreaks havoc on our environment and intensifies the peril of climate change, fuelling greenhouse gas emissions. The UNEP Food Waste Index Report 2021 highlights that household food waste in India amounts to around 50 kg per person annually, equivalent to a staggering 68.76 million tonnes, resulting in a substantial environmental footprint.

But there is hope. To combat this pressing challenge, we must take action at every level. Starting with consumers, we can take simple yet powerful steps such as mindful meal planning, proper food storage, and thoughtful purchasing to make a significant difference. Equipping our future change leaders with knowledge and guidance is paramount. The Nourishing Schools initiative empowers students through activities like composting and sustainable gardening, ensuring maximum food utilisation and minimal waste.

However, it’s not just individuals who can make a difference. Community-driven efforts are equally vital. By implementing food-sharing programs, composting initiatives, and food recovery networks, we divert surplus food from landfills, where it would emit harmful methane gases. This yields remarkable environmental benefits. It also tackles food insecurity, fostering a more sustainable and equitable food system.

The urgency to tackle food waste cannot be overstated. Every morsel wasted represents a loss of precious resources, further perpetuating the rising temperatures and environmental devastation that plague our planet. Together, let us rise to the challenge, acting urgently to reduce food waste—for the sake of our plates, the health of our planet, and the future generations who call it home. The time for action is now.