Curbing Ramadan Food Wastage An Obligation
It is not only an Islamic obligation but also an environmental as well as social obligation to curb food wastage during the holy month of Ramadan, or for that matter, during any time of the year. If you take a look at the figures, you will shudder to know the amount of food going waste during festive or religious occasions like Ramadan. In the Middle East, in Abu Dhabi alone, about 500 tons of food gets wasted during the Ramadan month. People are known to purchase 30% to 40% more food items during this time, irrespective of the fact whether they can finish off all that food or not. Qur’an says, “Eat and drink but waste not by excess, for God loves not the wasters.” Perhaps, it is time to pay heed to what the God has said and learn some ways to curb food wastage during the month of Ramadan.
Store Food Properly
When you store food carelessly, it goes waste. During the month of Ramadan, when there is a tendency to stock on food items, it becomes imperative that you place your groceries in a cool and dry place. Your refrigerator should be the right temperature and you should pack your meat and vegetables properly before placing them inside the refrigerator. If you pay attention to proper food storage during Ramadan, chances are you would not be wasting as much food. The storage is important because, as facts reveal, more than 30% of food in the Gulf nation households goes waste at an average. So, while buying in bulk, ensure that you have enough means of storage to keep the food safe till you can consume it all.
You know what is most enticing about going shopping to a supermarket – the bargains. When you read or hear the sign “Buy two get one free” or “buy four for the price of three”, you know you will eventually be lured by it, irrespective of whether you actually need that third free piece or not. While shopping during a festive month, you tend to purchase things in bulk, thinking that since it is going to be a day-long fast, you and your family will be able to consume more than usual amount of food. What actually happens is that although you cook up a large quantity, not all of it goes down the right way because after a 12 or 18 hour fast, human body is not so responsive to rich food, which is what the Ramadan menu is inadvertently made up of. Moreover, eating the same variety of food can get boring after a while. So, shop at your usual pace and in your usual quantity. Don’t give in to greed.
Don't Shop When You Are Hungry
When you shop on an empty, growling stomach, you tend to purchase more food. This has some psychological explanation. When you are hungry, your stomach sends emergency signals to your brain, which begins to look for means to satiate the hunger. Imagine that you are standing in a supermarket alley and there is every imaginable delicacy stocked around you. It is not hard to imagine how this supermarket trip would end. So, whenever you go for shopping during Ramadan, don't go out on an empty stomach.
Go For Less
What this rule means is that whenever you cook food, always cut out a third of the quantity. In other words, make only three-fourth of the quantity that you intend to make. This is because when fasting, you intend to over-estimate the quantity, thus, ending up wasting food. Please understand that you don't need to stuff yourself silly in order to break your fast or nourish yourself. Another tip in this respect would be to plan what you want to do with the leftovers.
No religion promotes wastage of food and Islam is no different in this respect. In fact, wastage of food is not just wastage of food itself. It is the wastage of precious resources utilized in the cultivation of that food. So, keep in mind these tips to reduce Ramadan food wastage and celebrate your Eid in a conscious manner.