How much food do you waste?

THE WEEKEND WARRIOR –

Oman loves to eat. This is a fact. But today, we’re not talking about obesity or the scary and divisive genetically modified food. We’re going to stick to how Oman residents love their food. Yesterday morning was the launching of the Food and Hospitality Oman — a gathering of over 400 companies and brands under one room not only from Oman but also the world.
Held at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, this year’s FHO banked on the success of the event held the year before. What is interesting though is that they doubled the fun and excitement by sticking to what worked in the past and improved on them so people will be enticed to come back.
And if the grand launching is to be the basis, it seemed like people and investors are coming in droves.
Of the many companies exhibiting their products at the event, two actually caught my eyes.
One was the Aquaculture Development Company (ADC) and its partner Blue Waters and the other, the MC Delicious Group.
The reason why I got interested in ADC is because they are doing sustainable fish farming. From the story that I gathered, they currently have sea cages located a few kilometres off the port of Quriyat. These cages, for now, are filled with seabream and twice every week, they harvest fishes which are not only distributed in Oman but elsewhere as well.
The idea of sea cages is not something that you encounter every day. There is so much that I’d want to know and how the process is sustainable and it was through a brief conversation that I decided it was worthy of a more detailed feature in the future.
MC Delicious Group, on the other hand, got my attention because I love chocolates. Mix chocolate with truffle, put a squeeze of orange and you will have a product I would definitely buy. And this is their promise — bringing in truffle-chocolate products that would add to the wide selection of sweets already available in the country. With young Omanis running the business, it was to me, definitely something worthy to be checked out.
There are series of activities happening in the next three days and while Omani Women’s Day and World Food Day are celebrated in the same week, for sure this is a very hectic week indeed for us in the office.
Touching on World Food Day which is celebrated today, I think it has been said many times how much food is wasted every day. While it’s easy to point finger at restaurants and food and hospitality organisations, a lot of us are actually contributing into the cycle of food wasting.
For instance, I’d been observing it for weeks now that we always end up having lots of expired food on the fridge. Not one for eating home-cooked meals all the time, I have the propensity to hoard and stock up because I don’t like the inconvenience of having to go and pick food items one by one.
This week alone, we have almost half a dozen bananas and peaches rotting while milk and fruit juices eventually end up being thrown out because we don’t finish the cartons that were previously opened.
On top of these are two packs of mushrooms, half a kilo of onion and garlic and some other veggies.
I would have to create a strategy on how to avoid this from happening.
And this is the point I am trying to get at. Food conservation needs effort. Coming up with a system is not easy and no two systems are alike. All of us have to create one that would work for us and our household.
As of May 2018, it has been reported that 27% of municipal waste comes from food in the Sultanate. The cost of this waste is nearly RO57 million which if the analysis is to be believed, is 18 percent of the annual food demand in the country.
Looking at it collectively gives perspective but breaking it down, it all boils down to one person paying attention to what he is doing.
While a lot of the organisations in the country today are doing their part to manage food waste, I hope we all do our little responsibilities at home as well. It might be inconvenient putting a new system in place but by reducing food waste, we are not only helping our budget but ultimately the environment where our waste is sent back to.