Look out for your consumption!
“Don’t leave the last bite on your plate, it’s a sin!” This certainly reminds us of an expression grandmothers used and the power that poverty and thrift gave to it, as well as the superstitions that the last bite must never be left unfinished. Nowadays this comes as an immediate response to the global consumerism, embraced from the world’s most developed countries, where among other initiatives, the fee you would have to pay in many restaurants for the unconsumed food you’d ordered is averagely 5 € for 100 grams of food.
While big economies are supporting various mechanisms to reduce the consumption scale, there are the frightening statistics showing that 795 million people in the world are not even able to have the minimal quantity of food required to live a healthy lifestyle for their daily diet. In other words, one in nine people goes to bed hungry.
But the mismanagement of the food chain from the farms, markets up to our homes, does not simply concern the poor. Albania discerns initiatives that promote equal access to food resources, but these steps are only sparks of other major social issues and there is not enough discussion on the economic and environmental problems concerning food waste.
Regarding the latter, the widely-used practice of food and agricultural products returning to the soil in the shape of waste and worse, without the customer’s opportunity to choose, is adversely affecting the environment.
The chemical load of our soils, although generally lower than in some of the developed countries in Europe, is still high. Food water and undegraded organic matter are among others an important source of pollution because they emit methane-a greenhouse gas. Also beside the carbon footprint, we need to think about the blue print- the water amount used to produce unconsumed food. It is calculated that the global water use is three times higher than the volume of Ohrid Lake. Think about the threatened wild fauna that are exploited in many territories because the increased demand for more unnecessary food and all these do not need a sophisticated imagination to think of.
We are living in times when the productivity is threatened by climate change, globalization of food markets and higher number of cases where food expands in kilometres but not in quality, food waste stocks, lack of price stability for the same product, where economic systems are shaking the natural balances with their policies, morbidity is increasing, because of malnutrition, large distances of people to nature, deforestation and overgrazing of animals in stock, waste of water, urbanization and disappearance of agriculture land, loss of authenticity of local products…Under these conditions, can we still treat food from farm to table as a gift and an asset?
Issues / Language versions
Mjedisi Sot – Issue 152 (Albanian)
(PDF document, 25.6 MB)