Among this near-sighted Ibaloy writer’s childhood memories was my cousins and I having lunch at our late grandpa Pedro Baban’s house where we were expected to finish the food we have in our plates and not to waste anything.
“You are all blessed to be able to eat three square meals a day while so many are not as lucky. When I was your age, there are times when we only eat once a day, if at all,” our lolo, the country’s first Igorot general belonging to Philippine Military Academy Class of 1940, would always remind us with a stern (but loving) look.
Well, lolo’s gentle reminder decades ago has stayed with me and I have also reminded my daughter when she was younger (she will be 23 this year, how time flies!) to finish her food since millions of kids are starving around the world and are not as lucky as her. I admit to be a little more dramatic then, but it seems to have done the trick. We see to it that we do not waste any food in our tiny household.
It then comes as a shock to read in a newspaper article that cited United Nations Environment Programme data that revealed one-third or about 1.3 billion tons of food produced in the world yearly get lost or wasted.
In the article, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization explained that reversing the trend would preserve enough food to feed 2.1 billion persons in the world. Imagine that.
The article disclosed according to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology, 1,717 metric tons of food is wasted each day in our beloved archipelago of delicious coconuts and smiling carabaos. That’s each day, my God!
Well, this travesty and horror of food wastage while so many of our fellow human beings are starving must stop. We can do our share by not wasting food ourselves.
We can also remind our friends and loved ones to do the same. It may be easier said than done at times, but that’s the least we can do.
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.