“A Nation Could Eat Off The Food We Waste”: Buy Wisely, Cook Carefully, Eat It all don’t be responsible for food wastage
Pakistan is a developing country with a population of 212.2 million citizens and it is ranked 6th populated country in the world. Pakistan is an agricultural country and its major exports include Agro-based products, which are raw or processed in one or another form but the irony is that the farmer who harvest the crops usually sleeps without food in Pakistan. According to a UN report, an estimated 36 million tones of food has been wasted in Pakistan each year, which is around 40% of total food production, this includes food loss during the supply chain (production, post-harvest handling, agro-processing, distribution, and consumption) that occurs every year.
However, according to the director of the World Food Program, around 43% Pakistani population is food-deprived, and 18% of people in Pakistan have a serious food shortage, the Global Hunger Index 2016 has ranked Pakistan as a country with serious hunger and malnutrition.
Food wastage is just not garb aging a cooked meal but it is a wasting of other resources that are utilizing for food production, human need 2.5 liters of water daily to survive but 3500 liters of water has been used to generate food for a single being, so it just not food being wasted but also the resources electricity, manpower, fertilizers, pesticides, transportation fuel, and other expenses get ruined just because of food waste, and the management of these wastes is another matter which is highly alarming in Pakistan, upper and middle-class people waste food which is indirectly wasting of other resources as well and for managing the waste food more resources are required which sum up in huge cost being utilized on food, rather producing more sustaining food is the key to avoid malnutrition in the poor and unhealthy diet in the prosperous people.
Many developed countries and also a few developing countries have formulated proper legislation and authorities are abide by them, it is their responsibility to maintain adequate distribution for unused food to impoverished people, however, Pakistan doesn’t have an integrated legal framework on food disposal and distribution but has set laws which deal with different aspects of food safety, although these laws were formed a long time ago and they have a tremendous capacity to achieve at least minimum level of food safety but are not enforced properly and effectively, there are in total 4 laws in out of which 3 are directly related to food safety and distribution and remaining one is related to Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority Act, and is indirectly related to food safety.
Unfortunately, there is no system in Pakistan to ensure proper food consumption and distribution, however, different nonprofit organization and people voluntarily worked to feed needy people with 3-time meal containing sufficient nutrition required for daily living and also involved in distributing unused food between needy, there are different foundation like JDC, Saylani, Edhi and other who provide meals free of cost and several philanthropists donate their valuable money to them for this purpose, however, the high court of Punjab noticed this concern and have commanded Punjab Food Authority (PDA) to enforce and implement the guidelines regarding food waste management and inflation rate in the province and provide implementation report on monthly bases on this issue, nevertheless, people of other provinces are waiting for such ordinance to enact or their high courts to take action on food wasting and inflation in respective provinces.