Food is the necessity yet is being wasted in tons. You aren’t aware of the fact that waste food in India is equal to the amount of food consumed by The United States Of America. Food wastage is definitely a major issue in India. The garbage bags, bins, and even the roads of India are the prove framed proves.
Almost 40% of food produced in India is wasted. India is known for its culture, great food, and hospitality. Bigger the party of any kind of wedding, birthday or even casual get together the more is wastage. There is a saying in India, “It doesn’t matter if you need to waste the food but nobody should remain hungry”. There are many hotels, banquets, restaurants, canteens are a huge source of food wasting.
You will be shocked to know that according to the agriculture ministry, INR 50,000 crores worth of food produced is wasted every year in the country. The major challenge for many developing countries like India is in the process that the food undergoes before it reaches the end-consumer. Though the numbers increased in awareness and some food suppliers employed food controllers to check food spoilage or some donate in the staff and other personnel and even orphanages and NGOs and even chose to use non-perishable food.
Let’s understand why food wastage is a problem in India?
- Well, the world indeed produces enough food to feed twice the world’s present population but it is also the fact that billions of people remain malnourished, this indicates that the maximum amount of food exists but the people do not receive the same.
- India has increased by 65 million more than the population of France the people who are hungry and do not receive the food which they deserve.
- There was a survey done by an organization working towards reducing hunger-Bhook in 2013, 20 crore Indians sleep hungry at night, sad but true and moreover 7 million children died in 2012 because of hunger/malnutrition, wasn’t expected but with a full stomach, we don’t even bother to look for the people who are not receiving even a portion of food for 2 times a day.
- Deforested land to grow food is no less, in fact, approximately 45% of India’s land is deteriorated essentially with deforestation, unsustainable agricultural practices, and redundant groundwater descent to meet the food demand. That much effort yet no food to the people, pity hearing that.
- Not only that 300 million barrels of oil are used to produce food that is eventually wasted. The wastage done in high quantity is definitely affecting people.
- Wastage is not only limited to some essentials whereas, but 25% of the freshwater used to produce food is also ultimately wasted. And still millions of people don’t have access to drinking water.
- While calculating the figures in cubic kilometers, this is a fraction of more than an average river.
Turning management into a resourceful business opportunity
Food wasting does not involve only our financial losses but it is also discovered that food waste generates about 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. So here are some great business opportunities that can turn the table upside down, this means the things counted in wastage can be the opportunity to generate income.
Manufacture and sell food waste recycling machines– You can be the one to start the manufacturing and recycling of food recycling machines. Or you can either set up a company that manufactures machines that turns food waste into homemade fertilizer in a very simple way.
Start a gleaning business- The most utilized yet not known to many, Gleaning is the act of collecting excess fresh foods from farms, gardens, and farmers’ markets. Once the gathering is done, list down where you would distribute them, so you need to get all these researched and ready before you start the business.
Start a Bio-Fuel Production Business- Bio-fuel can be defined as an oil commodity that is made from waste products. For example kerosene, petrol, or diesel, not only that it can be used to power large machinery. Its ease of production and widespread use makes it a valuable alternative source of fuel in many parts of the world. You can contact large restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, farmers in order to collect your raw material.
Start a food waste collection center- You can open a Waste collection center that gaining worldwide popularity. This business gets you an opportunity where consumers can come to submit their waste products for a small fee as payment. These wastes are also a great source of income it can be further be resold to companies who need them to produce things like bio-fuel or to feed worms or animals or to they are taken to city dumps.
Start a food bank- Food banks are non-profit, charitable organization that dispenses food to those who have difficulty purchasing enough food to avoid hunger, that means delivered to needy. Rather than violating the waste to landfill, this is an environmentally friendly way to deal with food items that are in a good condition is to donate them to food banks or charities prior to their expiry dates. You can also take an initiative to start your own NGO to get social recognition as well. Decide Purpose, Vision, and Mission, and you are set to go. In India, the registration process for NGOs is available under various Acts and laws in different states.
Documents required to start NGO’s:
- Name of the NGO.
- A clear statement that declares that the NGO is nonprofit and Charitable.
- Location to register and working area of the NGO.
- Name of Founder members and/or Name of Board Members with required Designations.
- The extent of personal and social liability of members, beneficiaries, associates, and concerned.
- Proper explanation of the capital stock and other instruments of NGO.
- How long the NGO is expected to exist as revocable or irrevocable.
- You can click on the registration link to move ahead.
Recycle food waste to animal feed- what can be the best way to get a profitable and socially beneficial business opportunity by taking advantage of food waste. You can go ahead with a food waste recycling business that helps companies reduce waste-disposal costs by taking the leftover food off their hands.
The products that can be recycled are fruits, vegetables, dairy, deli, and bakery foods for conversion to animal feeds, which can be further sold to livestock farmers. You can get your business by connecting small farms that rear maybe pigs, you can collect the leftover foods and vegetables and feed them to your pigs.
Personal measures can be taken to restrain the food wastage:
- All might have heard that charity begins at home, it is true that things cannot be changed overnight but you can be the one to take the initiative you must plan out your meal and make your list of grocery and food requirements to determine what you actually need for your daily routines.
- People living in urban areas get a habit to live a life that is a showoff, we buy things that we do not even use for months and ultimately it gets wasted about 20% of what we buy in urban India ends up being thrown away.
- Take an initiative on a weekly bases and cut down on the surplus and going forward with two or three weeks, you will get to know the precise consumption of your family per week.
- Food cooked at home should be measured according to the consumption and make sure to cook keeping in mind there is no excess.
- Try to utilize the things you have bought for your usage for example you can always complete your meals with a few fruits rather than keep some extra food in the refrigerator, its healthier and consumable.
- Take a shelf schedule like using green vegetables first. Don’t waste them keeping if your refrigerator for a longer period and do not throw out fruits and veggies with ‘appreciative only’ blemishes and go for first come first serve format, use things which will expire soon.
- Another best term is composting if food gets spoilt then compost it.
- Office people and collages students can check with the canteen and food courts how they manage excess food. You can get the cooked food first to finish, so you need to take care of the management especially since it has a low shelf life needs to be managed better and faster.
- What can be better than being a helping hand to the needy? you can with NGOs that offer to transport excess food to those who are hungry.
- There are many times when we host a party, plan functions or family get together either at home, a marriage hall or throw a party at a hotel or a restaurant, make sure you plan for the food to be conveyed to a place like an orphanage or an old age shelter and people who need it gets it.
- Do not take excess food on your plate and make a habit of finishing whatever is on the plate you can get extra after finishing.
Turning the problem into an opportunity:
Food wastage is a global problem, India stands a chance to convert this into an opportunity. This food wastage is not limited to one level alone but can be seen with each step ahead. Food needs to go ahead with many processes before consumed from harvesting, processing, packaging, and transporting to the end stage of consumption.
Expert Logistics and Supply Chain
- Most of the time food wastage that occurs because of gaps in the logistics supply chain which if organized and managed properly the wastage can be minimized.
- India is the world’s second-most populous country and it very essential to reduce food wastage to feed the 194 million Indians who sleep hungry every night.
Usage Of Technology
- There are many means of technology is adopted at every stage of the supply chain to overcome this problem and if maintained and managed properly can turn out to be very useful.
- The innovative reefer-container technology has brought a revolution in the transportation of perishable goods, food remains fresh for over a month, facilitating agriculture producers to safely send all products diversifying from grapes to shrimps across the world proficiently.
- It is also noticed that demand for refrigerated products has been growing at a steady 18 percent over the past few years according to an industry survey conducted by Maersk outlines and will increase to 19 percent annually amid 2017 and 2022.
- India exports from top reefer containers are fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish, the requirements are specific and the deals include sorting, grading, processing, and packing.
- Well, with many survey’s Government get to know that the per capita availability of fruits and vegetables in the country is low. After acknowledging this Government announced an investment of Rs 3,100 crore with a total of 101 new integrated cold chain projects. And a matter of fact the Chhattisgarh government started developing multi-commodity cold storage chambers for horticulture.
- Not only that government also announced a post-harvest management program to establish a network of packhouses and cold storage, to prevent the damage of perishable products which include fruits, vegetables, flowers, and any product having the possibility of decaying.
- There are initiatives taken but they illustrate the impact reefer technology and better processes can have on customary methods of logistics and trade.
- The government also took initiative and started using technologies, blockchain, artificial intelligence, data monitoring, storage and packaging solutions multiple government initiatives are also assisting in building infrastructure for the food industry. A great impact can be created on the logistics value chain by discovering new solutions in order to work on food waste management.
Food waste management is not a project its a necessity and changes can only come when the initiatives are taken by every individual. As mentioned above, according to the UN survey, there are 40% of people in India suffer malnourishment/ malnutrition. We can bring a great change in society by changing some non-beneficial habits. The whole management of food waste is based on aspects, reduce, reuse, and compost. These aspects should be taken care of by every family out there and food control can be done. There are many organizations like Robin Hood Army who have taken the initiative to supply the food the people who actually need it. Food donation, animal feeding, rendering are the basic measures that can be taken to work on food waste management. Hotel industry, banquets, and the one who deals with bulk should take the measure of food control or food security and do not forget to supply excessive food to the NGOs and needy people.
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