The topic ‘Food Waste’ is a very broad and serious topic that our group focuses on as large amounts of food gets wasted in the world and in Kuwait. Food Waste is basically defined as food loss or the discarding of food or even dumping of food. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, about 50% of food gets imported in Kuwait and other Arab countries. One of the reasons for this is because Kuwait’s agricultural land is limited to only 84 km’s in the border regions next to Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Generally, there are four stages in which food gets wasted during the food supply chain from the initial production phase to the final household consumption phase and these are; the growing stage, the processing stage, the harvesting stage, the packaging and storing stage, the transporting stage and so on. Of course, the wastage might be accidental or intentional but at the end, all the food wasted is accounted.
Background of the problem
Food waste has slowly started to take shape into a global issue which the US government and the western countries have noticed. If we have a look at the background of this issue, then Ramadan is an occasion where food gets spent on and wasted the most during an annual year. According to studies done by statisticians, food is wasted largely when people spend a lot on food during occasions such as the holy month of Ramadan. For example, the percentage of food getting wasted in the gulf countries is from 15-30% (Kuwait Times). In Kuwait, 45% of organic waste is all from food. The history behind food wastage in Kuwait and the Arab countries is appealing. Recently, an official at k-net company said that approximately KD 67 million is spent on food during the first day of Ramadan.
Significance of the Problem
The significance of preventing food wastage is really vital because of many reasons and one of them being the emission of methane gasses caused by dumping food waste in landfills. This impacts the environment immensely as this methane gas, naturally occurring, is one of the strongest greenhouse gas in the world (Triple Pundit). Also, not to forget that there are millions of people in the world who are fight hunger while others like households, restaurants and other food sectors keep wasting it. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organizations around 795 million people in the world suffered from chronic malnutrition during 2014-2016 (Hunger Notes). This issue is a serious one as not only is it leading to wastage of food but it is also affecting our climate and environment through the emission of methane gas.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose behind our research on this problem is that we want to bring awareness to people about how wasting food is becoming a fast dwelling problem. Here in Kuwait, people do not realize the importance of food and just keep discarding the leftovers whereas for those who are fighting hunger only realize the value of the food being wasted. Our group wants to tackle this problem by understanding the significance of food and spreading the word. We have interviewed an organization called Agrivage and understood their role in optimizing food waste. We realize how food waste can be put into good use by converting it into compost which is a good form of fertilizer for plants. Finally, we also would like to educate the people in Kuwait not to waste food by starting at home and ensuring that the extra food gets donated to charities and organizations who can make good use of it.