Friday, October 12, 2012

Big Fat Indian Wedding 'Waste'

Hello All,

Its been quite a while that I wrote a post. I  have been to Hyderabad last week, and I must say the COP11, Biodiversity Conference had brought in so much glamour to the city. New roads laid, medians got new planters, nights illuminating with garland of lights...what not! And I got a chance to visit the art hub Silparamam only to find that it has got its glory back :) So, if you have plans to visit Hyderabad some time soon, you better pre pone it to witness the glory, while it may not last long coz the rioters are always on their toes to spoil the city!

Read an article in TOI today, although this newspaper is not part of my morning ritual. Deviating a little from the main topic...TOI was never my favourite and cannot possibly be in future. I am The HINDU devotee, call me an oldie or too classy....I cannot change this for anything except when the newpaper wallah does some mismatch like he did today. My Coffee was craving for its partner! Anyways let me not engross you more with my obsessions. 

Moving on, the article in TOI presented some survey which said Rs.339 crores worth of food/per year is wasted at the weddings only in the City of Bangalore. Ever since Bangalore municipal authorities woke up and took up an operation mission im'possible called segregating the waste and cleaning up the city...surveys regarding the waste have been popping up frequently. The figure in the TOI survey was really overwhelming to me. It was almost equal to a budget of small scale state welfare programme. Needless to dig in to the reasons why so much food is wasted, as most of us are the witnesses of this dump.

I have written a post on the Big Fat Indian Wedding which was much about the money that is spent of weddings. And food is a major part of the spillage. Its a status quo to serve innumerable varieties of food at weddings, most of which turns out in the dump yard after a few hours of the grand buffet/serving. The hosts of the wedding are very well aware of this fact yet they find it irresistible to avoid this wastage. Keeping aside the worth of wasted food, imagine the whopping amounts invested to bring in several varieties of food from all different corners of the country.The food offered at weddings is too much that often people end up eating very little.The first look and feel and flavours of the food may excite the taste buds, but the tummies can never grow big just to accommodate a flamboyant wedding buffet.  While we put in so many efforts to bring in a zillion varieties of food, not many of us give a thought about the food that will not be consumed or wasted. At least do we make any arrangements to send them out to distribute for those hundreds of street side destitute??? I don't think so that happens. When I attended a wedding in a village few months back, the homeless and beggars were allowed to eat after all the guests/hosts were done. That way not wasting any food. How often that happens in a city??? Not even once I believe. I don't know if there is an organisation like City Harvest in our country except for the child line number which collects waste food...not sure how effective this is...though I requested the servers at my wedding to call and send the excess food, at least am pardonable that way may be :P

Apart from the food, what about the litter and scrap of those disposable serving plates and cutlery??? How much that accounts for?? Most of which is not biodegradable. So big fat weddings can turn out to be potential health hazards too! Forget weddings, now every event is celebrated in a big grand way...hence endless waste and so much pollution.

Can we really do something about this??? why not? 
I would say, its better to opt for a hotel based venue where food is not prepared in excess and the choice of items is minimal rather than choosing a private convention centre and spilling enormous amount of money to waste food. 
Instead of going for 100 different items, choosing the best few items will actually work even better.
Dedicating some extra time to send the excess food for those hungry people would be much better just as we dedicate time to arrange for lunch/dinner. 
We should resolute to pay for food that is consumed not for the food that gushes out in the gutters. 
And make a habit of not wasting food, be it at a wedding or at home. We have a well known Hindu saying "Annam ParaBrahma Swaroopam" which means that food is godly. So do not waste food!!!



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