Second in Bare Necessities- Zero Waste India series on SDGs in relation to zero waste, circular economy methodology and sustainability is Goal 2: Zero Hunger.
Composting is a wonderful thing, it reduces waste and can provide nutrients back to the earth where the products came from in the first place. It also makes us think about what we are eating all the time, whether that is the type of food or the quantity.
If we’re placing large quantities of cooked food into a compost bin daily, we know that we are cooking too much and will reduce the amount and buy less at the shop (we should be doing this if we’re placing waste into a bin too!). This simple process of raising our own awareness can have a much broader effect.
Step by step: by limiting the amount of food wasted at your home there will be less food brought in by shopkeepers because they know how much will be sold, in turn limiting their waste and improving the quality of products that only have a limited life at a store front (this improves the quality of products you as a consumer is buying!) and saves costs for the shop keeper because no unsaleable stock is thrown away.
Further down the steps the farmers will need to produce less produce, releasing a lot of stress on the livelihoods of everyone working on the farm. They similarly will have less waste because they will be working within the means of the land and the people managing it instead of following unsustainable practices that are pursued because you (the end consumer) keep asking for food to cook each night from the shopkeeper while throwing what you do not eat away (the key is to simply not waste at any step).
Summarising, by reducing the waste you have produced in your household (by becoming aware of the exact quantities that are needed for your family on a daily basis) you have helped people at the other end of the process. Prices will adjust accordingly. Quality will improve. And, most importantly there will be less wasted all through the process, which means that people who would generally go hungry because too much food is being sent elsewhere will have access to food- there is enough to go around if we decide to value what we eat on a daily basis.
By understanding the broader effects that occur if we use the exact quantities we need or if we don’t we can continue to reduce the amount of people who go to bed hungry each night. We need to be responsible with our consumption in order for the most vulnerable people to have enough to eat. Sounds simple right? Think about it tonight when you go to the store to cook a meal for your family. A simple choice can enhance the effectiveness of the entire system and ensure that a family somewhere else in the world is eating right there alongside you.