There is an uneven distribution of food in the world. There is a huge amount of surplus food in the rich countries that are thrown away every day. In the report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN published in 2011, 1/3 of food fit for human consumption was wasted away, totaling 1.3 billion tonnes. But in the poor countries, many people struggle to have enough food, or suffer from under-nutrition.
The food produced each year is enough to feed the entire world, with left over. To a large extent, the reason behind wasted food is because food manufacturers want to provide variety and boost sale. This causes over-supply and wastage.
Even though the wasted food may not be directly re-distributed to those living in poor region, but as consumers of the global food market we have an impact on the global supply and manufacturing of food. Our concerns over reducing food wastage and how food is manufactured will change how food is distributed. Hopefully this will alleviate the shortage of food for people in the poor area, and also mitigate the impact on the environment. [FAO]
Meditation on Scriptures:
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. (Genesis 1:26-30)
The Lord molded us in His image, and set rules for us, teaching us how to manage the resources in this world and taking care of the living creatures. The food has already been prepared to us, more than what we need. Let us be the good steward in our lives and cherish the food provided by God; and manage and distribute the resources entrusted to us in accordance with the Lord’s rules and guidance. We pray that people, creatures and the natural habitat can be sustainably developed.
Pray for ourselves and the world:
- Pray that we can learn to purchase only the food we eat, and that we can be proactive in asking for fewer rice or beef, etc, where suitable to reduce wastage.
- Pray that we learn to share the food we do not need with others.
- Pray that as we enjoy food, we also think of how food is supplied to us, is the sourcing and manufacturing process just and appropriate.
- Pray that we will purchase locally produced food to reduce wastage and damage in transfers. This will also reduce our carbon footprints.
- Pray that food suppliers produce what is actually required, to prevent excessive food being produced.
- We pray that while we are blessed with the abundance of food, we will not forget those who are hungry, poor or suffer from under-nutrition.