By Ghanim al-Sulaiti
Wasting food is bad for the environment, including the climate.
We waste about a third of all food? produced for human consumption. Food waste is a very serious issue not only in Qatar, but across the world. It’s so big of an issue that it has impacted everyone in so many aspects, all of which, to a very high degree.
As well as reducing pollution emitted by wasted food, lots of energy and resources are also conserved in the process. From growing crops, manufacturing, transportation, and selling of food — all of these processes consume energy and resources.
When there’s less demand for food production, fewer resources are needed. And when fewer resources and energy are used, more is saved for future generations to use.
Before you head out to the supermarket, take time to check your cupboards, fridge, and other food storage you might have. You may still have open packets of food that can still be used.
Buying locally-grown food is a good way to minimise your impact on the environment, but growing your own, takes it a step further. For example, here in Qatar during the growth season (October-April) it’s possible to grow fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis and peppers, as well as leafy greens — even kale. Good soil, sunlight and water will help you grow these foods products, and it’s truly a rewarding moment when you are able to prepare a salad using your own home-grown vegetables from your garden, rooftops or outdoor spaces. Qatar may be famous for its heat and humidity, but fruit and vegetables here are able to be grown just as successfully as in cooler climates.
Controlling the amount of food you make or put on your plate is one of oldest and easiest ways to reduce food waste. It’s all about self-control. While it’s tempting to make or eat more food than you can actually manage, it’s not a good idea.
In my recently launched Grab and Go business, specialising in on-the-go healthy food, I have launched an initiative to both reduce our food waste, and benefit those who may not have access to fresh, healthy food. At the end of every working week (Thursday), we give the chance to our customers to practise the art of giving. For each purchase, we add a complimentary food item that the customer can use to ‘give’ to anyone in need. It helps us reduces any waste in the final hours of business, and benefits somebody else. A win-win for the environment.
* The author is an expert in vegan wellbeing and health. Instagram handle: @Ghanim92