VALUING FOOD by Maryam Hedayat

Published: The Tripoli Post, 03/04/2012 09:34:00

Blessing (Photo credit:

It is known to all that survival of human being depends upon air, water and food. Air and water are the vital necessities of life. Food is also our necessity, but in addition, it is also concerned with our wishes and cravings . Food is a substance that people or animals eat to sustain life and growth.

While air and water are in plenty and easily available to us, in comparison, food is something for which we have to work hard to grow and make use of it for survival.

Truly, food is an essential part of living. Among all human activities eating undoubtedly has the greatest effect on health. After breathing, eating is what we do most frequently during lifetime.

All human beings love food more than anything else. We can say food is the first and most desirable obsession in this world. Everyone wants to eat the best they can.

People visit various hotels and restaurants to enjoy different and delicious food and drinks. We spend a lot of money on them. The delicious food provides us much more pleasure in life than any other activities in life.

But do we ever think of the importance of food while wasting it? Do we ever feel that after a lot of hard work and spending a lot of money we get the food, which we just throw it in the dust-bin without knowing the value of it? Do we ever think of those people who are dying of hunger?

Especially in parties and marriages, tones and tones of foods and drinks are wasted. Many people just pile up their plates with varieties of food and then throw them after taking one or two spoon from it.

Sometimes we cook more than the need, and the left over are just wasted. Every time friends are invited and encouraged to pile up their plates, just to show the generosity and status of the family. The more the variety of food, the greater the family’s prestige. Unfortunately, there’s a dark side to this abundance. This is frequently noticed in the Arab countries with much wealth in their possession.

In day to-day life also people just fill up the plate, sometimes they just taste it and leave the whole plate of food. Sometimes open the bottle of juice and leave it after tasting. All these are nothing but disregard and wastage of food.

Consumers in rich nations waste a combined 222 million tons a year, according to the report. That’s almost as much as all the food produced in sub-Saharan Africa. One-third of the world’s food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted each year.

The average European or North American consumer wastes 95kg-115kg of food a year, above all fruits and vegetables. In a report for The National, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) throws away 500 tons of food each year only during the month of Ramadan. The amount of food that they waste could fill the hunger of many million people.

What is the real value of food; ask those who do not have even a single meal a day. Their children die just because of the hunger. How saddening it is!

Every year 36 million people directly or indirectly die as a result of hunger. Fifteen million of them are only children. In developing countries, almost one out of every 15 children will die before they reach the age of five (UNICEF 2008).

According to the latest Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) statistics, there are 925 million hungry people in the world and 98 percent of them are in developing countries.

Wasting of food also increases the price of food, and the rising food price has pushed 44 million more people into extreme poverty. (According to a survey of world bank)

Wasting food is not good for anyone in any way to the economy, to the environment or to our own ethical justification. Civilization is moving forward only to say but our values are actually moving backward.

“The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “not to leave anything in the plate and he said: “You do not know in which portion of your food Allah has put the Barakah” (Blessing).

Food is one of the great blessings that Allah has bestowed on mankind. Food is indeed a favour that we take for granted. We never think of the sin we commit by wasting it. We must think before wasting even a single grain.

Food and drink are the great bounties of Allah Subhanahu Wa Taa’la. Every grain of food must be greatly appreciated. Wasting is the way of Shaitaan (devil).

Allah (SWT) mentions in the Quran: “Eat and drink and do not waste, verily Allah does not love those who waste.”(S:7, V:31)

Always thank the Almighty, and remember those who are starving of hunger. How lucky we are, we eat what we wish, Alhamdulillah!

Categories: Wasting Food


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