When you see people begging for alms on the streets, does your mind ever wander to the immense amount of food you can afford to waste, and yet there are people who do not even get to have two full meals a day? According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, roughly one third of the food produced for human consumption, approximately 1.3 billion tonnes, is lost or wasted every year.
The world is unfair, and so is the class difference in society. But, can we not do something about it?
Thinking on the same grounds and making it possible to answer the question in affirmative is The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP) that has opened the first food waste supermarket in Pudsey in the United Kingdom.
No, it does not give out the food that we waste from our plates to the less privileged.
Rather, organizers and volunteers collect surplus food that would otherwise end up in landfills, from a variety of sources including allotments, food banks, restaurants, cafes, food photographers and functions. This food is then sold to the people at a price they wish to pay for it.
This idea was first implemented in “pay-as-you-feel cafés”, but due to an immense amount of surplus food, this supermarket has been established.
The food that they provide is for everybody in general and not just for the needy. As what is claimed by the campaigners, their project follows all the environmental health regulations for transporting food, storing it, cooking and re-heating it safely. “We believe food waste is absolutely fit for human consumption and so that’s who we feed – human beings,” TRJFP wrote on their website.
Even if this food might have crossed its date of expiry, they make sure to check if the food is fit for consumption by smelling it, visually inspecting it, and also by tasting it. “We do not turn food away simply because it has ‘expired’, but we will never serve food that we believe is unfit for human consumption”, their website says.
One such pay-as-you-feel Kunzum Travel Café can be found in Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village too, but it has a limited menu and is basically meant for travelers to interact with each other. Nonetheless, their menu is limited to different kinds of tea, coffee and cookies and you can go there to enjoy the aura.
But an initiative like a food waste supermarket is yet to be launched in India. But multiple such supermarkets in every central location of the country could be set up very easily, don’t you think? This will not only help let people who earn a meagre amount of money, but do not extend their arms for help, to fend for themselves.
Let’s hope we are able to do the same as U.K. soon!
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