Changing Food Habits and Waste Generation - An Indian Perspective



                            Since the end of 20th century India has seen a massive shift in its economic policies and a surging interest towards liberalization and globalization. We have made astounding growth in many respects, especially in the manner we have access to technology, information and much more. We see multitudes of international brands in Indian markets now from diverse fields like banking to hospitality services. There is no arguing about the kind of growth and consumer exposure that we Indians got in the last 20 years or so. As a nation we have seen changes that was once thought impossible for us. All that said and done, if we look closely enough, the global presence in our midst has changed our cultural and habitual preferences as well. Most people take note of the obvious changes that can be spotted on a daily basis like in the cases of choice of dressing, the type of jobs available now etc. But in between these obvious factors we also have to see the changing food habits and culture associated with usage of food in India, especially for the millennial's and generation x after it.

                          Once our country men have struggle for food, spend a lot of the days of their lives without having food. The condition still exists in many parts of our country and we must always keep fighting collectively our battles against poverty and lack of food. But for most urban areas and sub urban community areas the story has changed. People has got not only access to food, but they have a plethora of choices to avail. The economic conditions for majority of people in these demographics have also improved dramatically and hence their purchasing power remains very strong. Because of that the newer generation has the tendency have an inherent lack of appreciation for the food they use. Adding with influence of social media our youngsters like taking pictures of food than actually consuming it. The lack of apathy towards the food presented in front of their table results in a feeling that it is okay to waste food. If you ask around you can probably find that most households around India, especially in the urban areas the families complaining about how much the kids waste their food every day. I am not blaming just the kids, even the working professionals like you and me for N number of different reasons waste our food on a daily basis. If we look at the figures, there has been a steep increase in the amount of food waste generated in our country in the last 20 years. India has been struggling with dealing its waste management for a while now. In the next 12 years alone, South Asia — and “mainly India” — will be the fastest growing region for waste generation, says a paper published in Nature. By 2100 “India's total waste generation will be 70 per cent of all the high income and OECD countries put together,” says Perinaz Bhada-Tata, co-author and solid-waste consultant in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Even after the adoption of initiative like Swachh bharat we still have a lot more momentum to gain to gain control over the situation. In the total waste generated x percent of waste comes directly as food waste. 94% of the collected waste by the municipalities and other authorities is dumped on land and only 6% percent goes as composting. This must change. We must reduce and manage our country’s waste in whichever we can.


                          One way to do this would be to have a responsibility to ourselves to not waste food unnecessarily. And pass on the message of how valuable food really is to our younger ones. This simple thing can reduce a waste generation by a large extent. Adding to that the reality is that no matter how hard we try to control food waste, there will still be a substantial amount in the form of skin, peels, shells etc from the raw material we use for cooking. It is important to realize that and find new and effective ways to dispose these kinds of waste.


                          There are many companies that focus their time and research to solve these types of problems. Our future depends on such innovative problem solvers. Solwearth is one such company in India that recognizes how important it is manage and dispose the waste we have generated. A manufacturing company based in Kochi, Solwearth is presently the largest organic waste converter manufacturers in India. Our product SE food waste converter is a game changer in the field of waste management in India. SE food waste converter uses advanced dry decomposition technology to process your food waste and convert it into soil supplement that can enrich the soil with nutrients. What makes Solwearth’s SE food waste converter revolutionary is its minimal space requirements and faster processing times. Solwearth SE Food waste converter in Mumbai converts the food waste in less that 15 hours and by far it is the best performer available in the market.

                          It is recorded that 60-70% of total waste management is spend on waste collection. This is a huge set back and kind of manpower and management coordination required to pull this off is also a reason for unsuccessful waste management system in Delhi. To mitigate that the best way is to promote processing of waste at the source itself. Local communities, neighborhoods can pool together their resources and buy a waste management product like Solwearth’s SE food waste converter (organic waste converter in Mumbai), processing the waste on-site. This is a highly sustainable solution and would actually decrease the money spend for waste disposal in the long run. Not just households large scale food waste generators like canteens, hotels, hostels, hospital messes etc can make use of Solwearth food waste converter and have the food waste managed on their own. The twin benefits with this is that their manpower and cost for processing is reduced and at the same time contributing to well being of the society as well.

The problem of waste accumulation is very real. It is not something we should overlook. If we start mitigation efforts now we can create a better, cleaner, healthy nation for our future generations.

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