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Editorial

June 19, 2017

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Food basics

Food basics

While we discuss many other social and economic problems, we too often neglect the most basic of our problems as a nation: although we frequently refuse to admit it, a huge number of people in our country suffer hunger, malnourishment and food insecurity. This of course is the reason why according to the WHO an alarming 50 percent of Pakistani children are stunted or unable to reach the expected height for their age. According to the Global Hunger Index, 43 percent of people in the country suffer food insecurity and 22 percent are malnourished. These figures have changed only marginally over the last decade. In light of these alarming statistics, the facts presented at a seminar on food wastage should make us think. According to findings, 40 percent of food served at parties, weddings and other similar occasions in Pakistan is wasted. This adds to the global figure of food waste with the food that is thrown away across the world enough to feed nearly one billion people in need of nourishment.

Ironically, most food is wasted in Muslim countries during Ramazan because of the lavish buffets and increased consumption in several sections of society that has tragically become the norm for the month. Pakistan is a country with adequate resources to feed its entire population. Its poor showing in its actual ability to do so is a matter that should concern all of us as citizens. The government needs to look at food, production practices and its delivery to people more seriously. The equitable division of food through society is a necessity in order to maintain balance and harmony. In the context of Ramazan, we should also remember it is a religious requirement. The hosting of lavish ‘iftar’ parties defeats the essential message of the month and sends out an entirely inaccurate message to people. We need to address the problem of food wastage in our country. It is of course the minority that stands at the top of the income ladder which is most guilty of this wastage. It is up to the government and welfare organisations to correct this and ensure the hungry in the country can be provided enough to meet their needs.

 

 

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