Ramadan’s 10-day food waste could have fed over 300,000

Energy Wednesday 19/June/2019 20:08 PM
By: Times News Service
Ramadan’s 10-day food waste could have fed over 300,000

Muscat: People in Oman threw away over 13,000 tonnes of food in the first 10 days of Ramadan, enough to feed more than 300,000 people, a government report has revealed.
According to Oman ‘Environmental Services Holding Company (Be’ah): “The amount of wasted food during this period was around 13, 843 tonnes, enough to feed 374,135 people every day.
“The amount of wasted food directly impacts the company’s collection and disposal efforts, since the company collects it directly from trash bins,” the government agency added.
“More food waste means more equipment and manpower needed to support the operation.
“The harmful practice of food waste by citizens and residents shows that people have not planned their Ramadan tables correctly this year. ”
On average, hotel kitchens and individuals in Oman throw away food worth more than OMR50 million every year.
Assim Al Jamoudi, municipal Council Member in Nizwa, spoke to Times of Oman about what this amount of food waste might mean.
“It’s an outrage,” Al Jamoudi said. “People cook far too much food. Certain households have a culture of making more food than they need because they believe it’s better to be too full than to go hungry. Also, some of them have an old notion that maybe a guest might arrive who would need to be fed. But nowadays, these concerns don’t exist. Hardly anyone visits without calling or sending you a message beforehand.
“This gets worse during festive seasons,” he added. “There are people who buy food by the sack, and then most of it is thrown away. Wouldn’t it be better during these times to have neighbours cooking together, especially if they’re craving more than one dish?”
To change such behaviour, Be’ah organised several campaigns during Ramadan.
Omaima Labib Al Swaisi, a Social Outreach and Community engagement officer, told Times of Oman: “We took part in games and events. This included a version of Snakes and Ladders where children were asked questions about the environment and what they can do to reduce waste. So, for example, we asked them how they could stop food waste in their house, and then their answers would help them in the game.”