The week-long Eid Al Adha holidays have come to an end and people all over have shown the precarious symptom of being unable to find the will to go back to work.
Many decided to travel; some expats flew back to their home countries, while the rest stayed back in Oman and enjoyed the long holidays with their friends and family here.
Festival holidays are always special, as you know there is always something to look forward to. Celebrations galore, new clothes, exchange of gifts, and of course the delicious food that you always overeat, which can send you into a food coma for the next couple of hours. During these nine days, Oman did not just celebrate Eid Al Adha, but the Indian expats from Kerala also celebrated their harvest festival, Onam. The celebrations are as grand and large for both festivals. They involve new clothes and lots and lots of food. While during Eid, the meal is meat-heavy with shuwas and biryanis, Onam is associated with the sadhya, which is a number of vegetarian dishes served on a banana leaf.
However, what follows after savouring the sumptuous meal is what people fail to ponder over. Huge quantities of food are prepared, a lot of it eaten, but a lot more goes to waste. According to Be’ah, Oman Environment Services Holding Company, food accounts for 27 per cent of municipal waste and its cost is estimated to be OMR57 million in a year. The amount of food is generally higher during festivals, especially Ramadan and Eid.
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It’s not just in homes that we find food being wasted in painful portions; it’s the same in restaurants too. Food wastage is a huge problem that needs to be looked into. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), every year, 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted. This is equivalent to the amount produced in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa.
But for those who wish to consciously reduce the amount of food they are wasting at home, there are some easy ways that may just lead to saving kilograms of food.
1. Cook less
Count the number of people you are preparing the food for instead of cooking in bulk
2. Make sure you look at the expiry date on products before buying them
Make sure to use them before they expire
3. Avoid impulse buys
Always keep a grocery list that you will stick to
4. Make use of your leftovers
There are many innovative ways to use leftovers that you can find on YouTube and prepare a delicious meal for yourself.
Every time you have the urge to waste some food on your plate, remember there are thousands of people starving in different parts of the world without even one square meal. In fact, one in every seven people in the world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of five die daily from hunger.
It is also up to hotels and restaurants to adapt sustainable practices that help in stopping/avoiding the mass wastage of food. Certain hotels in the country resort to methods such as recycling and reusing leftovers in innovating ways. Excess food is quite often recycled to the staff cafes. Hotel chains have even urged charities to focus on food wasted in hotels and restaurants and redistribute them among those in need.
© Muscat Media Group