Criminal Wastage of Food

India, the household food waste estimate is 50 kg per person in a year, or 68,760,163 tonnes of food is wasted in a year.

Are we Indians irresponsible? Are we not disturbed or upset about our fellow Indians who starve of hunger? Is it not an alarming fact that we have the least concern about the food wastage in our homes, whereas nearly 20 crore people (14% of our population) are under-nourished? Ruthlessly, recklessly we are wasting food. The recent Food Waste Index Report 2021, is a warning signal for all of us. The report highlights that each Indian, every year throws way staggering 50 kg of food into the garbage bins. It includes prepared food, fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk products, ice creams, etc.

As per the Food Waste Index Report 2021, a staggering 50 kg of food is thrown away per person every year in Indian homes. This excess food waste usually ends up in landfills, creating potent greenhouse gases which have terrible environmental implications. When we dump prepared food into the dust bins, we also waste water and cooking gas. If you save food, you will be saving water & cooking gas. We have lavish parties arranged at posh restaurants, order expensive menus beyond what we can eat, and digest end up wasting the food. Even in our home plates are full of various delicacies most of our children don’t consume all the food served in plates. This is high time that we cultivate the habit of eating less, eat sensibly and don’t waste. Food wastage is criminal, we all should start discussing how we could reduce food wastage. As a welcome change, few NGOs/activists trying to supply left out food to old age homes, orphanages, in the majority of the cases it reaches too late to the end-users who could have had their meals.

• Around 67 million tons of food is wasted in India every year, which has a value of more than US$14 billion

• Fruits and vegetables, plus roots and tubers have the highest wastage rates of any food.

Why it is important to prevent food wastage?

• Food waste has a significant environmental, social and economic influence.

• Reducing food wastage can save money for households.

• Reducing food waste would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, slow the destruction of nature through land conversion and pollution, enhance the availability of food and thus reduce hunger and save money.

Key facts about hunger in India

• India is home to the largest undernourished population in the world

• 189.2 million people i.e. 14% of our population is undernourished

• 20% of children under 5 are underweight

• 34.7% of children under 5 years of age are stunted

• 51.4% women in the reproductive age (15-49 years) are anaemic

Through this article, an attempt has been made to create awareness and calls for broader ideas, discussion, debates to take place in every home to prevent food wastage. Let us begin from our own homes in a small way. Don’t waste food. It is like wasting one of the most precious things given by God to us.

Author: Dr. Pramod N Sulikeri, Ph.D

Pl. Note: We invite innovative articles, ideas on how we can prevent food wastage, let it start from each one of us. You can send your articles, selected entries will be published in


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