Saving that food

Sunday February 2 2020

 

By NAFHA MAANI EBRAHIMI

While we have entered a slow economical phase, one hears complaints of all sorts, in the wholesale markets as well as in retail, real estate and other domains are cruising in the same boat, however, when it comes to food and the culinary industry not much has changed.
We all need to eat, and it seems even when we can’t afford to buy an expensive gift for a loved one on a special occasion, an invitation to a favourite restaurant can do the trick, even for children, the best outing can’t be complete without popping in a burger place, or grabbing a piece of pizza, before ending with an ice cream. The food saga continues even when we open any page on social media, self styled chefs are crawling all over the web, some professionals, others somehow imposters who assemble ingredients, and illustrate photos that went through layers of filters to make food look good and scrumptious, and depending on how clever they are, they harvest thousands of followers and end up being paid good commissions on ads, and given free commodities to advertise, all from the comfort of a home kitchen and armed with editing tools.
Back to the real kitchens, one of the main concerns has always been about what happens to the food leftovers in the thousands of restaurants around the world, and while some can recycle their leftovers into new dishes to be served the next day, others simply throw them away, and the best groups are ones who work hand in hand with soup kitchens and other charity organisations, who offer daily meals to homeless and needy people.
In the Middle East, and mostly in the Persian Gulf region, celebrations of big occasions such as weddings are taken very seriously, and with that comes a mega spread of food that includes a whole goat cooked to perfection and placed on an equally mega tray that is heaped with very aromatic and well seasoned rice.
The scenario that happens after the festivities were over, is always heartbreaking, because little food was eaten and the balance simply thrown in the bins.
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia, registered one of the highest food wastage that reaches hundreds of tonnes and is worth billions of dollars every year.
Here, big plastic bags are filled with fresh, unconsumed food that could feed a whole village, and simply dumped after guests left the party.The good news is that recently the Saudis are taking this matter very seriously, to limit, and hopefully stop this from happening, through imposing fines on defaulters and obliging restaurants and wedding halls to donate the remaining food to charity organisations.

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